Piper has issued Service Bulletin #1355 requiring owners with aircraft exceeding 3,500 hours Time In Service (TIS) to conduct an inspection of their tee bar assembly.
This Service Bulletin is labeled “mandatory,” but as always, Service Bulletins are not “mandatory,” whether described as such or not, for Part 91 (General Aviation) operators. “Mandatory” is not true unless and until an AD (Airworthiness Directive) is issued. They are issued for a reason, however, and are strongly recommended to be taken seriously.
For pilots who would like to take the FAA’s advice and inspect the part, the Service Bulletin lists a significant percentage of legacy Piper aircraft; serial numbers are available below.
From Service Bulletin #1355, issued on February 25, 2022:
“A review of service history reveals that cracks may develop in the tee bar assembly of the affected aircraft. This service bulletin provides instructions for the recurring inspection of the tee bar assembly for cracks. Replacement of the installed tee bar weldment assembly with the applicable new tee bar weldment assembly specified in Table 1 will eliminate the need for a recurring inspection.”
Instructions are available in the PDF of the Service Bulletin (log in or read the PDF below). Also in the PDF are the part numbers.
Piper Owner Society A&P/IA consultant Erich Rempert said if this part is cracked on your plane, new parts distribution is handled by Aviall, which is now owned by Boeing. “Cost and lead time will be steep if going this route,” Rempert said.
More typically, you’d either be headed to a boneyard, or you would have your A&P repair the part.
“What buyers will want to do is make sure there is some sort of acceptable return policy if the part is not satisfactory,” Rempert said. “Boneyards will have the best policies on this; private sellers are a crapshoot.
“I would also investigate possibility of repair. That may be the most cost-effective means of compliance and it would help to not reduce the available parts pool unnecessarily for future need.”
The FAA gives instruction for repair in this massive 600+ page document called AC 43.13-1B. Your A&P would already be familiar with this information, but here’s a link if necessary.
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