TDATA NOTE: The comment period for the NPRM published on October 6, 2023,
at 88 FR 69556 and scheduled to close on November 20, 2023, is
extended until February 20, 2024. Because no other portion of
the proposal or other regulatory information has been changed,
the entire proposal is not being republished.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE
The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by
February 20, 2024.
(b) AFFECTED ADS
This AD applies to all airplane models specified in Table 1 to
paragraph (c) of this AD, certificated in any category, that are not
equipped with a rudder having a rudder post made from 4130N low-alloy
Note 1 to paragraph (c): Most parts manufacturer approval (PMA) rudders
are equipped with a rudder post made from 4130N low-alloy steel. This can
be verified by reviewing the individual PMA.
Note 2 to paragraph (c): Piper Service Bulletin 1379, dated December 2,
2022, contains information related to this AD.
TABLE 1 TO PARAGRAPH (C)-APPLICABLE AIRPLANE MODELS
TYPE CERTIFICATE HOLDER AIRPLANE MODEL
FS 2001 Corp J5A (Army L-4F), J5A-80, J5B (Army L-
4G), J5C, AE-1, HE-1.
FS 2002 Corporation PA-14.
FS 2003 Corporation PA-12, PA-12S.
Piper Aircraft, Inc J3C-40, J3C-50, J3C-50S, J3C-65, J3C-
65S, PA-11, PA-11S.
Piper Aircraft, Inc J3F-50, J3F-50S, J3F-60, J3F-60S,
(Army L-4D) J3F-65, J3F-65S.
Piper Aircraft, Inc J3L, J3L-S, J3L-65 (ARMY L-4C), J3L-
Piper Aircraft, Inc J4, J4A, J4A-S.
Piper Aircraft, Inc J4E (ARMY L-4E).
Piper Aircraft, Inc PA-15.
Piper Aircraft, Inc PA-16, PA-16S.
Piper Aircraft, Inc PA-17.
Piper Aircraft, Inc PA-18, PA-18S, PA-18 "105"
(Special), PA-18S "105"
(Special), PA-18A, PA-18 "125"
(Army L-21A), PA-18S "125", PA-
18AS "125", PA-18 "135" (Army L-
21B), PA-18A "135", PA-18S
"135", PA-18AS "135", PA-18
"150", PA-18A "150", PA-18S
"150", PA-18AS "150", PA-19
(Army L-18C), PA-19S.
Piper Aircraft, Inc PA-18A (Restricted), PA-18A "135"
(Restricted), PA-18A "150"
Piper Aircraft, Inc PA-20, PA-20S, PA-20 "115", PA-20S
"115", PA-20 "135", PA-20S
Piper Aircraft, Inc PA-22, PA-22-108, PA-22-135, PA-22S-
135, PA-22-150, PA-22S-150, PA-22-
Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 5540, Rudder Structure.
(e) UNSAFE CONDITION
This AD was prompted by reports of broken rudders. The FAA is issuing
this AD to address fatigue loading and corrosion of rudder posts made
from 1025 carbon steel which, if not addressed, could result in a
broken rudder and consequent reduced ability of the flightcrew to
maintain the safe flight and landing of the airplane.
Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless
(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS
(1) At the applicable compliance time for the category type for your air-
plane specified in Table 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD, replace the
rudder with a rudder that is equipped with a rudder post made from
4130N low-alloy steel.
TABLE 2 TO PARAGRAPH (G)-COMPLIANCE TIMES
AIRPLANE MODEL CATEGORY TYPE COMPLIANCE TIME
J-3, J3C-40, J3C-50, J3C-50S, J3C- Category I Within 2 years
65, J3C-65S, J3F-50, J3F-50S, J3F- Airplanes: after the
60, J3F-60S, J3F-65 (Army L-4D), Airplanes having effective date
J3F-65S, J3L, J3L-S, J3L-65 (ARMY both a rudder of this AD.
L-4C), J3L-65S. post mounted
J-4, J4, J4A, J4A-S, J4E (ARMY L- beacon light and
4E), J4F. a 150 or greater
PA-11, PA-11S. Category II Within 3 years
PA-15. Airplanes: after the
PA-16, PA-16S. Airplanes having effective date
either a rudder of this AD.
beacon light or
a 150 or greater
PA-17. Category III Within 5 years
PA-18, PA-18S, PA-18 "105" Airplanes: All after the
(Special), PA-18S "105" other airplanes effective date
(Special), PA-18A, PA-18 "125" not in Category of this AD.
(Army L-21A), PA-18S "125", PA- I or Category II
18AS "125", PA-18 "135" (Army that do not have
L-21B), PA-18A "135", PA-18S a rudder post
"135", PA-18AS "135", PA-18 mounted beacon
"150", PA-18A "150", PA-18S light and have
"150", PA-18AS "150", PA-18A an engine less
(Restricted), PA-18A "135" than 150 HP
(Restricted), PA-18A "150" installed.
PA-19, PA-19 (Army L-18C), PA-19S.
PA-20, PA-20S, PA-20 "115", PA-
20S "115", PA-20 "135", PA-20S
PA-22, PA-22-108, PA-22-135, PA-22S-
135, PA-22-150, PA-22S-150, PA-22-
J-5, J5A (Army L-4F), J5A-80, J5B
(Army L-4G), J5C, AE-1, HE-1.
(2) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install any rudder that is
equipped with a rudder post made from 1025 carbon steel on any
(h) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)
(1) The Manager, West Certification Branch, FAA, has the authority to
approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in
14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to
your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as
appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the
West Certification Branch, send it to the attention of the person
identified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed
(2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal in-
spector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local
flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.
(i) RELATED INFORMATION
(1) For more information about this AD, contact Joseph Zuklic, Aviation
Safety Engineer, FAA, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198;
phone: (206) 231-3858; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(2) For service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated
by reference, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero
Beach, FL 32960; phone: (772) 299-2141; website: piper.com. You may
view this service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Sec-
tion, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106.
For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call
(j) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Issued on September 27, 2023. Victor Wicklund, Deputy Director, Compliance
& Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 20,
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2023-1893; Project Identifier AD-2023-00389-A]
Airworthiness Directives; FS 2001 Corp, FS 2002 Corporation, FS
2003 Corporation, Piper, and Piper Aircraft, Inc. Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for certain FS 2001 Corp, FS 2002 Corporation, FS 2003 Corporation,
Piper, and Piper Aircraft, Inc. (Piper) airplanes. This proposed AD was
prompted by reports of broken rudders. This proposed AD would require
replacing any rudder equipped with a rudder post made from a certain
carbon steel with a rudder equipped with a rudder post made from a
certain low-alloy steel. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by February
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to regulations.gov. Follow
the instructions for submitting comments.
Fax: (202) 493-2251.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2023-1893; or in person at
Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, any comments
received, and other information. The street address for Docket
Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph Zuklic, Aviation Safety
Engineer, FAA, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198; phone:
(206) 231-3858; email: email@example.com.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2023-1893; Project Identifier
AD-2023-00389-A'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend
this proposal because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The
agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this NPRM.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to
Joseph Zuklic, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, 2200 South 216th Street,
Des Moines, WA 98198. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not
specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for
The FAA received reports of two non-fatal accidents involving
airplanes designed and built by Piper that were caused by broken rudder
posts that structurally failed above the upper hinge in flight. Both
accidents occurred in Anchorage, Alaska. The first accident occurred on
June 8, 2020, and involved an FS 2003 Model PA-12 airplane and the
second accident occurred on July 23, 2021, and involved an FS 2002
Model PA-14 airplane. Both airplanes sustained substantial damage when
the rudder structurally failed.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published the
report Structural Failure of Piper Part Number 40622 Rudder Posts Made
of 1025 Carbon Steel, NTSB/AIR-22/02, dated January 10, 2022, which
provides information regarding the NTSB's investigations of these two
accidents. The NTSB accident investigation report included a
recommendation (Safety Recommendation No. A-22-3) to the FAA to issue
an airworthiness directive addressing this unsafe condition. The NTSB
report can be found on ntsb.gov.
The NTSB examined the rudders involved in these accidents and
determined that the rudder posts fractured above the upper hinge and
the top portion of the rudder folded over the upper tail brace wires.
The NTSB also determined that the rudder posts were made from 1025
carbon steel and fractured due to fatigue.
Prior to this proposed rulemaking action the FAA issued an
Airworthiness Concern Sheet, dated September 4, 2020, that requested
information from the aviation community regarding in-flight failure of
the rudder just above the upper hinge on all Piper and FS2003 Corp
(type certificate previously held by Piper) Model J-5A, J-5B, J-5C, J-
5D, AE-1, HE-1, PA-12, PA-12S, PA-14, PA-16, PA-18, L-21, PA-20, and
PA-22 airplanes. The responses revealed that there were five additional
broken rudder incidents dating as far back as 1979.
Prior to 1974, all rudders installed on Piper model airplanes were
equipped with rudder posts manufactured from 1025 carbon steel and
starting in 1974, the rudder posts were manufactured from 4130N low-
alloy steel (Chromoly). Most parts manufacturer approval rudders are
equipped with rudder posts made from 4130N low-alloy steel.
The NTSB determined that the broken rudder incidents resulted from
the combination of fatigue loading and corrosion affecting the rudder
assemblies made from 1025 carbon steel. This condition, if not
addressed, could result in a broken rudder and consequent reduced
ability of the flightcrew to maintain the safe flight and landing of
The FAA is issuing this NPRM after determining that the unsafe
condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other
products of the same type design.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require replacing any rudder equipped with a
rudder post made from 1025 carbon steel with a rudder equipped with a
rudder post made from 4130N low-alloy steel.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 30,992 airplanes of U.S. registry.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed
||8 work-hours x $85 per hour =
Authority for This Rulemaking
Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.
Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight
of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for
practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary
for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that
authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to
exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.
The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship
between the national government and the States, or on the distribution
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.
Sec. 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness