The FAA has accepted AOPA’s proposal to extend until April 9 the deadline for inspecting 17,957 Piper PA–28-series single-engine airplanes for the proper position of their fuel tank selector cover placards.
AOPA is hopeful that the extension will afford the FAA time to consider and act on public comments, including allowing aircraft owners and pilots to perform the inspection.
The AD mandated inspections to verify that the left and right fuel tank selector placards are located at the proper positions, and replacement of improperly installed placards, after the FAA became aware of “a quality control issue at the manufacturer that resulted in the installation of the fuel tank selector covers with the left and right fuel tank selector placards improperly located.”
“The FAA agrees that the additional time would allow operators additional time to prepare and comply with the requirement of the AD,” the FAA said in a March 7 letter to AOPA approving the AMOC.
AOPA noted in formal comments on the AD that there were no known placard-related accidents, and a single report of reversed fuel placards.
AOPA questioned the urgency of the AD—which was issued without the usual advance public-comment period—and advocated for permitting PA–28 owners and operators to perform the initial inspections themselves, consistent with past FAA practice.
The AD estimates the cost of compliance at $42.50 for each inspection, resulting in a fleet-wide estimated cost of more than $763,000 that could be saved if owners may perform the initial inspection.