The FAA released a supplement on June 3rd, 2020 regarding the Piper wing spar airworthiness directive. Some aircraft were removed and others added. While I don’t own a Piper aircraft, I do have access to an Arrow, which I occasionally fly. Does this give me pause? Sure it does. At any rate, here are quick links to: The update, aircraft potentially affected, link to a pdf of the entire document, as well as, a direct link to where you can share your thoughts with the FAA.

According to the supplemental notice, the AD’s applicability could be reduced by as many as 8,800 aircraft.“Based on airplane usage history, the FAA determined that only those airplanes with higher risk for fatigue cracks (airplanes with a significant history of operation in flight training or other high-load environments) should be subject to the inspection requirements,” it said.

June 3, 2020By Dan Namowitz

New List of Affected Piper Aircraft

FAA (you can download the PDF here)

Piper Wing Spar Background

Likely, most people involved in General Aviation are aware that the airworthiness directive is birthed by the harrowing crash of a Piper Arrow at a flight school in Daytona Beach, Florida. This newly released supplement is on the heels of NTSB findings regarding the probable cause of that fatal crash.

Extensive fatigue cracking in the left-wing main spar lower cap and doublers, which resulted in the in-flight separation of the left wing.

National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report
Accident Number: ERA18FA120

Are you the caretaker of one of the models on this list? What is your take? Obviously, climate, airframe hours, history of abuse, etc. all weigh in on the matter. I can’t help but reflect on the sobering reality of father time, inherent in flying 30, 40, 50 year old airplanes. Let’s be clear, I have never flown anything newer than that. What say you?

Comment to the FAA Here:

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