The following information is derived from the FAAs Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts.
Lost Rudder Hinge Bolt
The upper rudder pivot bolt backed out of its self-locking nutplate at the upper hinge while in flight. The rudder was ripped from the lower bell crank control, and departed the aircraft. The aircraft landed without incident.The rudder was found and its upper pivot bolt was retained in the rudder cap. The bolt could be inserted in the nutplate with light, finger pressure only, and removed the same way.The nutplate was worn and had lost its locking ability. At installation of a factory new rudder assembly, a drilled AN bolt was used to include a cotter key below the nutplate. Provided part numbers are: rudder 0431001-29; nutplate NAS 682A3.Part Total Time: Unknown.
Cracked Tip-Tank Bulkhead
Inspection found the aft bulkhead (p/n 0823400-63) of the left wings tip-tank assembly (p/n 5092300-17) cracked through horizontally from the approximate center of the inboard lightening hole to the bulkhead inboard edge.This area is adjacent to the aft attach point for the tip-tank assembly. The aircraft history of this area is unknown-the crack may have been caused by previous ground mishandling or a hangar rash incident.Part Total Time: 6881.4 hours.
Frayed Elevator Cable
A mechanic found the r/h aft elevator cable (p/n 5815103-6CR) significantly frayed …through four of the seven strands-failure was imminent.This cable showed no signs of wear on the previous inspection (500 hours earlier) and it only takes a 20 degree bend at the pulley (located at fuselage station 290). It should probably be inspected every 300 hours instead of the factory inspection schedule of 600 hours. The submitter noted: …the corrosion-resistant stainless steel cables seem to be more brittle than the standard steel cables.Part Total Time: 4000.0 hours.
Piper PA 28-161
Broken Nose Wheel Flange
The submitting mechanic states, The nose wheel flange broke off during taxi. Close inspection shows the crack might have started from corrosion under the flange, which is the thinnest part of the wheel assembly. (I) recommend inspection on high-time wheels-especially on aircraft that do not fly frequently. The Cleveland nose wheel is p/n 551-792.Part Total Time: 7639.8 hours.
Piper PA 28-180
Bent Fuel Gascolator Cover
This technician has observed bending deformation in the fuel filters bowl cover (p/n 14428-00) as a result of the wire assembly bail (p/n 494-644) being tightened to the point of deforming its gasket.Over the years, the force of the bail actually bends the frame (to the point) the gasket will no longer seal, and fuel will seep by the gasket when the bowl is rocked forward and aft-90 degrees to the location of the bail assembly.The only option to remedy the situation is to replace (the gascolator) with a factory new part or with an STC replacement.Part Total Time: 2895.0 hours.