An Airworthiness Directive (AD) proposed on Tuesday would, according to the FAA, affect 11,476 U.S.-registered Pipers. The proposal is based on a couple of reports of corrosion found “in an area of the main wing spar not easily accessible for inspection.” If undetected, the corrosion could cause failure of the main wing spars. To addresses this, the proposed AD, if implemented as-is, would require an inspection and the installation of new inspection panels—if the plane doesn’t already have one in the area of concern—for certain PA-28 and PA-32 models.
Cost and downtime aren’t particularly prohibitive if no problems are discovered during the inspection. The FAA estimates 2 hours and $170 for the inspection and $685 for 6 hours of work plus the new inspection panel installation kit. Once the AD becomes effective, owners have 12 calendar months or 100 service hours (whichever comes first) to comply. The FAA will be taking comments on the proposed AD until December 22, 2017.