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FAA Proposes AD to Supersede Current AD for Piper Twin Heater Issue

Piper Apache by hangars at sunset - FAA Proposing to Supersede Existing AD 69-13-03 for Heater Issue on Piper Twins
A Piper Apache twin-engin aircraft

The FAA says that they estimate the proposed AD would affect 1,950 airplanes.

The FAA recently posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 69-13-03, which applies to the following Piper Aircraft models:

  • PA-23
  • PA-23-160
  • PA-23-235
  • PA-23-250
  • PA-E23-250
  • PA-30

Originally, the FAA issued AD 69-13-03 to address an issued in certain combustion heaters where a heater exhaust extension could potentially deteriorate and allow carbon monoxide to enter the cabin. The AD calls for inspection of the heater exhaust extension in order to determine if it is mild steel or stainless steel. If it is stainless steel, the AD requires no further action, but if it’s mild steel, the AD calls for “repetitive inspections of the mild steel extensions for deterioration“, replacement of the mild steel extension as necessary, and overhaul of the combustion heater assembly.

The FAA’s recent NPRM proposes to supersede AD 69-13-03, because according to the agency, “Since we issued AD 69-13-03, we proposed an AD that applies to the Meggitt (Troy), Inc. combustion heaters, and the proposed combustion heater AD would incorporate corrective actions for the heater that contradict the overhaul requirement of AD 69-13-03.

The FAA says that the AD proposed to supersede AD-69-13-03 would retain the requirements for inspection of the heater exhaust extension, including replacement if necessary, but remove the combustion heater assembly overhaul requirement.

Estimated Cost of Compliance

The FAA says that they estimate the proposed AD would affect 1,950 airplanes. In addition, they say that the new requirements of the proposed AD add no additional economic burden, and the agency provides the following estimated inspection costs:

Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators
Determine installation of a mild steel or stainless steel heater exhaust extension 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 N/A $85 $165,750


The FAA also provides the estimated cost to take care of any necessary corrective actions as a result of the inspection, though they note that they have “no way of determining the number of airplanes that might need these corrective actions.

Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product
Inspection of mild steel heater exhaust extension 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 Not applicable $85
Replacement of heater exhaust extension 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $1,000 * $1,085
Remove or disable the heater 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 Not applicable $85

* The FAA also notes that there are currently no available replacement parts for the heater exhaust extension and that the parts cost is the agency’s best estimate if the parts became available.

Submitting Comments

The FAA is inviting comments with “relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD” until April 17, 2017. Using procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, comments may be submitted through the following methods:

  • Online: via the Federal Register
  • By Fax: 202-493-2251.
  • By Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Featured Image: Piper Apache, courtesy of Bob OwensCC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Piper Apache and Piper Aztec: Birds of a Feather

piper aztec - piper apache

Is it a Piper Apache PA-23? Or a Piper Aztec PA-27? Or PA-23 Aztec? I guess technically all three designations are correct with the official FAA designation for this aircraft being the Piper PA-23.

The Piper Apache / Aztec was Piper Aircraft’s first twin-engine production aircraft and over 7,000 were produced over close to a thirty-year time span, with multiple variants over the years. The last model to roll off of the Piper line [Click to read more…]

Anders Clark was introduced to aviation a few short years ago, and has developed an interest in aviation history and what the future of aviation will bring. A writer and editor, Anders enjoys researching and sharing the stories of aviation.