Two Piper Spar ADs in Close Succession- but is my airplane affected?


FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

Two Piper Spar ADs in Close Succession- but is my airplane affected?
Notice Number: NOTC1681

The release of a Piper wing spar inspection AD in November and another one in January has some owners uncertain if their airplanes are affected.  Published in November, AD 2020-24-05 was the result of some airplanes with severely corroded spar caps that, in some earlier models,  are not easy to access. There is concern that without wing access panels there is a risk for undetected corrosion.  The AD requires an inspection for certain airplanes, and optional methods are provided.  Aside from the AD, all aircraft should have this area inspected as part of a regular maintenance program; the listed aircraft just may not have access panels and may require a bit more effort to inspect.

AD 2020-26-16, published in January, was the result of some wing failures that were traced to fatigue cracks in the spar.  As a method of keeping the focus on the small percentage of higher-risk airplanes, the AD requires us jump through some hoops designed to exclude the majority of (lower risk) airplanes from the inspection requirement. The AD requires any airplane in the applicability chart to meet at least one of three criteria before the AD is applicable.  Then, for some airplanes, the factored service hours must be calculated based on the number of 100-hour inspections recorded in the maintenance logs.  If the factored service hours require the eddy current inspection to be done, then the AD points to the inspection method contained in Piper SB 1345.  Note that the AD only incorporates the “Inspection Method” section of the SB, and not the entire SB.  This is because the AD differs from the SB in terms of applicable airplane models, and the hours at which the inspection is required.

What if I complied with SB 1345 before AD 2020-26-16 was released?  Well, that depends.  If your aircraft has met the above mentioned requirements listed in the AD, then you may request an Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC).  If the AD is not applicable to your airplane (even though the SB is), then an AMOC is not necessary.  What about those of us who did everything that was in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), before the AD was published?  If you have accomplished everything in the current AD, but before the publication date, then you may request an AMOC.  The FAA has published a flow chart for the AD, and has also provided an AMOC example that should make the AMOC process fairly painless.

Select this link for the AMOC Example or paste this address into you browser

Select this link for the FlowChart or paste this address in your browser


For questions, contact William D. McCully (Dan) via email at [email protected]


No votes yet