Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Lefty
#1719530
Don’t go looking for problems where non exist. Wait till we know what the FAA say, then what EASA / the CAA say.

If / when the FAA, decide on a course of action - then EASA / CAA will have to decide whether or not to follow the FAA action in full or in part.

In summary:
1 PA28R crashed after the left wing folded up - 1 instructor and 1 student died.
Another PA28R was found to have the same fatigue crack in the wing spar attachment.
Both these aircraft were very high hours training a/c that had spent their entire lives in a training environment - eg lots of T&G’s with ham fisted students throwing them a5 the ground. They had done approx 80,000 landing cycles.

12 months ago, the FAA announced that they were thinking about issuing an AD requiring all PA28’s and most PA32’s to have their wings removed and tested using an ultrasonic test technique.

AOPA, and Piper have written to the FAA stating that this should only apply to a/c that have similarly huge numbers of landings in a training environment. The FAA have yet to decide what they will do.

The general consensus is that they will develop a formula that targets a/c that are most vulnerable- and not the entire worldwide fleet of 80,000 a/c.
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By TheFarmer
#1719554
Back in 2006, the whole of the UK Taylorcraft fleet was grounded overnight because of a wing strut failure on a T-Craft in the USA.

We simply weren’t allowed to fly unless we either bought new struts, or had a special
X-ray done immediately, and annually thereafter. We all received a letter that arrived two days after the grounding had been issued.

RobL organised six new sets for some of us to keep us flying.

I’d be amazed if the CAA don’t react in a similar way, or worse, considering they’re on C of A’s and mostly used for training.
By GAFlyer4Fun
#1719602
@TheFarmer perhaps if these aircraft were not so expensive brand new the training organisations could have afforded to replace their fleet much more frequently and this sort of problem might not occur.

Perhaps it is time GA aircraft manufacturers changed their business economics to encourage aircraft owners to replace aircraft as often as they do cars
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By TheFarmer
#1719607
Fair point. But the time delay between Piper/Cessna halving their prices and flying schools buying them up and encouraging new students to learn to fly their shiny new machines will bankrupt one of them, or both of them.

GA will always flourish in the USA because of the aviation infrastructure, the cost of fuel, the different attitude towards housing development, the distances/reasons people travel in their aircraft, and the lack of bunny cuddlers trying to knock back anything that remotely makes a noise or uses fossil fuel.

In the UK however, we have the complete opposite, and while we see so few SEP aircraft coming into the UK, our fleet of 50 year old spam cans will continue to rapidly rise in value (as they seem to be now), and will continue to leave parts of their airframe behind in flight due to their age.
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By MichaelP
#1719658
PA28 wings had to be removed for AD inspection a few years ago.
This trouble is not unknown.

My understanding is that you can’t immediately buy a new PA28 or C172 due to demand from China... Is this still true?
By malcolmfrost
#1719665
TheFarmer wrote:Fair point. But the time delay between Piper/Cessna halving their prices and flying schools buying them up and encouraging new students to learn to fly their shiny new machines will bankrupt one of them, or both of them.

GA will always flourish in the USA because of the aviation infrastructure, the cost of fuel, the different attitude towards housing development, the distances/reasons people travel in their aircraft, and the lack of bunny cuddlers trying to knock back anything that remotely makes a noise or uses fossil fuel.

In the UK however, we have the complete opposite, and while we see so few SEP aircraft coming into the UK, our fleet of 50 year old spam cans will continue to rapidly rise in value (as they seem to be now), and will continue to leave parts of their airframe behind in flight due to their age.

As we no longer have a UK light aircraft industry to protect, would it not make sense to allow "competent" people to build kits to order for individuals and/or organisations?
South Africa do this with Jabirus.
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By romille
#1719668
malcolmfrost wrote:As we no longer have a UK light aircraft industry to protect, would it not make sense to allow "competent" people to build kits to order for individuals and/or organisations?
South Africa do this with Jabirus.


I imagine product liability insurance would be a major problem for such a venture.
By GAFlyer4Fun
#1719671
TheFarmer wrote:Fair point. But the time delay between Piper/Cessna halving their prices and flying schools buying them up and encouraging new students to learn to fly their shiny new machines will bankrupt one of them, or both of them.


That can also happen to the bigger aircraft manufacturers, particularly if customers/passengers gets scared of a design (e.g. B737 Max) putting a big whole in the finances to pay off the design/development/manufacturing investment.

Piper did a cut down PA28 at a reduced price and called it the Piper 100 which quickly resulted in L3 confirming a deal for 240 aircraft with deliveries starting in 2020.
https://www.flyer.co.uk/piper-launches-low-cost-trainer-pilot-100-series/

It is still not a cheap aircraft, but a step in the right direction that gave Piper the biggest order in its history. It makes me wonder what Piper could do with the maths if a sizeable proportion of the owners of 80,000 ageing PA28 aircraft directly told Piper they would buy a new one if they got the price a lot lot lower.

It cant be that much different to buying anything else in bulk, other than a production line not geared up to that volume in a short time frame, but I am sure many would wait in a queue if it gave a substantial saving in purchase price.

The supply v demand thing is always interesting with aircraft of all shapes and sizes. Look at the massive investment the likes of Airbus/Boeing make in design/development with a risk assessment of how many customers (airlines) will buy/lease it in enough volumes to pitch the purchase price per aircraft at something an airline could afford to buy/lease, resulting in how many go into production.