WASHINGTON 10/02/98-- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) requiring owners of about 20,000 small, primary non-commercial aircraft to immediately deactivate or remove a modified inflatable door seal that could cause smoke and potentially fire in the cabin. The directive is responsive to a recommendation issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stemming from three incidents relating to this equipment.
Bob Fields Aerocessories located in Santa Paula, Calif., was issued a supplemental type certificate by the FAA that allowed for the installation of inflatable door seals on certain aircraft. The modification amounts to an inflatable tube installed around the door of an aircraft. To reduce in-flight cabin noise, the tube is inflated by a small electric air pump making a tight seal between the frame and the door when closed. The FAA and NTSB have found if the tube around the door is punctured, the electric air pump may continue to run, possibly overheating electrical components and causing smoke and/or fire in the cabin.
Owners of these small aircraft that have undergone this modification must deactivate or remove the door seal system and install the original equipment or a FAA-approved equivalent before flying. The AD also specifies that no aircraft can be installed with this inflatable door seal in the future.
The FAA estimates about 20,000 aircraft -- typically with two to six seats -- were modified with the door seal kit and are affected by this AD. The agency is sending more than 133,000 letters to potential owners of aircraft that were eligible for this type of modification advising them the AD is effective immediately upon receipt of the letter. The types of aircraft possibly affected by this AD are listed below.
SA3735NM Cessna Models 170, 170A, and 170B Airplanes
SA4136WE Cessna Models 310, 310A, 310B, 310C, 310D, 310E, 310F, 310G, 310H, 310I, 310J, 310K, 310L, 310N, 310P, 310Q, 310R, T310P, T310Q, and T310R Airplanes
SA2226NM Cessna Models P210N and P210R Airplanes
SA3736NM Cessna Models 185, 185A, 185B, 185C, 185D, A185E, and A185F Airplanes
SA4177WE Cessna Models 175, 175A, 175B, and 175C Airplanes
SA4212WE Cessna Models 210, 210A, 210B, 210C, 210D, 210E, 210F, 210G, 210H, 210J, 210K, 210L, 210M, 210N, T210F, T210G, T210H, T210J, T210K, T210L, T210M, T210N, 210-5 (205), and 210-5A (205A) Airplanes
SA4213WE Cessna Models 310, 310A, 310B, 310C, 310D, 310F, 310G, 310H, 310I, 310J, 310K, 310L, 310N, 310P, 310Q, 310R, T310P, T310Q, and T310R Airplanes
SA4283WE Cessna Models 172, 172A, 172B, 172C, 172D, 172E, 172F, 172G, 172H, 172I, 172K, 172L, 172M, and 172N Airplanes.
SA4284WE Cessna Models 180, 180A, 180B, 180C, 180D, 180E, 180F, 180G, 180H, 180J, and 180K Airplanes
SA4285WE Cessna Models 182, 182A, 182B, 182C, 182D, 182E, 182F, 182G, 182H, 182J, 182K, 182L, 182M, 182N, 182P, 182Q, R182, and TR182 Airplanes
SA4286WE Cessna Models 206, P206, P206A, P206B, P206C, P206D, P206E, TR206A, TP206B, TP206C, TP206D, TP206E, U206, U206A, U206B, U206C, U206D, U206E, U206F, U206G, TU206A, TU206B, TU206C, TU206D, TU206E, TU206F, and TU206G Airplanes
SA4287WE Cessna Models 320, 320A, 320B, 320C, 320D, 320E, 320F, and 320-1 Airplanes
SA4180WE Raytheon Models H35, J35, K35, M35, N35, P35, S35, V35, V35A, V35B, 35-33, 35-A33, 35-B33, 35-C33, 35-C33A, E33, E33A, E33C, F33, F33A, F33C, G33, 36, A36, A36TC, and B36TC Airplanes
SA4184WE Raytheon Models 95, B95, B95A, E95, 95-55, 95-A55, 95-B55, 95-B5A, 95-B55B, 95-C55, D55, E55, 56TC, 58, and 58A Airplanes
SA4239WE Raytheon (Beech) Models 58P, 58PA, 58TC, and 58TCA Airplanes
SA4240WE Raytheon (Beech) Models 50, B50, C50, D50, D50A, D50B, D50C, D50E, D50E-5990, E50, F50, G50, H50, and J50 Airplanes
SA4282WE Raytheon (Beech) Models 35, A35, B35, C35, D35, E35, F35, G35, and 35R Airplanes
SA4178WE Mooney Models M20, M20A, M20C, M20D, M20E, M20F, M20G, M20J, and M20K Airplanes
SA4472NM Aerostar Models PA-60-601P, PA-60-602P, and PA-60-700P Airplanes
SA4234WE The New Piper Aircraft, Inc. (Piper) Models PA-34-200, PA-34-200T, and PA-34-220T Airplanes
SA4179WE Piper Models PA-24, PA-24-250, PA-24-260, and PA-24-400 Airplanes
SA4235WE Piper Models PA-44-180 and PA-44-180T Airplanes
SA4236WE Piper Models PA-28-140, PA-28-150, PA-28-160, PA-28-180, PA-28-235, PA-28-151, PA-28-181, PA-28-161, PA-28-236, PA-28-210T, PA-285-160, PA-28S-160, PA-28S-180, PA-28R-180, PA-28R-200, PA-28R-201, PA-28R-201T, PA-28RT-201, and PA-28RT-201T Airplanes
SA4237WE Piper Models PA-23, PA-23-160, PA-23-235, PA-23-250, and PA-E23-250 Airplanes
SA4238WE Piper Models PA-30, PA-39, and PA-40 Airplanes
SA4385WP Piper Models PA-31, PA-31-300, PA-31-325, and PA-31-350 Airplanes
SA4288WE Piper Models PA-32-260, PA-32-300, PA-32S-300, PA-32-301, PA-32-301T, PA-32R-300, PA-32R-301, PA-32R-301T, PA-32RT-300, and PA-32RT-300T Airplanes
SA2511NM Bellanca Models 17-30, 17-31, and 17-31TC Airplanes
SA2510NM Bellanca Models 17-30A, 17-31A, and 17-31ATC Airplanes
SA4316WE Wing Aircraft Company Model D-1 Airplanes