FAA mandates safety checks for older Piper planes

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring inspections on tens of thousands of older model Piper airplanes to check cables that control tail surfaces.

The FAA is posting a directive in Monday's Federal Register, prompted by reports of failures in the cable assembly which direct a plane's nose. The rule requires inspections and parts replacement as needed, to correct what the FAA calls an "unsafe condition."

The requirement applies to certain Piper aircraft that are more than 15 years old.

A Piper Aicraft Inc. spokeswoman says it's aware of three incidents that led to the directive. The privately held Vero Beach, Fla., company, which makes some of the most popular general-aviation planes, is cooperating with the FAA.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the move, saying it affects about 34,000 aircraft.

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