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FAA encourages corrosion inspections on Piper aircraft

January 12, 2011, 09:56 am

In a recent article, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association discussed the five recent FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins concerning areas that frequently develop corrosion on specific models of the Piper aircraft.

According to the bulletins, models PA-28, 32, 34 and 44 can potentially develop corrosion on the flap hinge and ribs and on the ring wear spar at the fuselage attach fitting. The PA-28, 32 and 34 models also tend to develop corrosion on the vertical stabilizer forward attach point and on the aileron at the attach fitting. Finally, the PA-32 and 34 models are at additional risk for potential corrosion on the on the wing front spar at the fuselage attach fitting, at the landing gear attach point and behind the leading edge fuel tank.

The article also reminds pilots that although the particular planes mentioned in the SAIBs tend to be older than 30 years, age is not the only factor in corrosion development on aircrafts. Storage, maintenance, and usage all influence corrosion.

Corrosion is a particularly dangerous issue and according to the FAA, it can lead to "eventual structural failure" if ignored. It is important for pilots to consider pilot insurance coverage before taking off, since sometimes pilots are unaware of internal corrosion and can experience structural failure while in flight.  

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