767 AD Raises Air Carrier Concerns About Duplication of Effort

The FAA is superseding two earlier 767 Airworthiness Directives (ADs) and replacing them with a new terminating AD.

The earlier Airworthiness Directives were AD 2000–17–05 and AD 2001–04–09.  AD 2000–17–05 had required a functional check of the shear rivets in all six elevator power control actuator (PCA) bellcrank assemblies to determine the condition of the shear rivets.  AD 2001–04–09 had required repetitive testing of the elevator control system to determine if an elevator PCA is rigged incorrectly due to yielded or failed shear rivets in a bellcrank assembly for the elevator PCA.  Since those two were issued, a terminating modification has been designed. This new AD requires an inspection to determine the part numbers and condition of the bellcrank assemblies and modification or replacement of the PCA bellcrank assembly, if necessary.  The AD is generated because of failures or jams in the elevator system that occur when the elevator is fully deflected (hardover).

The new AD also requires certain repetitive checks, which the FAA estimates will cost about $3,000 per inspection cycle (estimate found in the Federal Register).  Federal Register cost estimates are notorious for their inaccuracy, and Fox Business News has estimated that the repetitive checks could cost $2 million per aircraft.

United objected to the AD during the Notice and Comment period.  They felt that the AD terminating work had already been accomplished by the industry (they’d received Alternative Method of Compliance [AMOC] approvals from the FAA ).  The FAA disagreed, explaining that the actual number of aircraft that complied through AMOCs was unknown.

Anyone with an interest in 767 aircraft or affected 767 parts should consider what opportunities this may pose for existing 767 parts inventories.

The new AD is effective March 3, 2014.

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About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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