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updated: 2/4/2013 7:22 AM

FAA mandates safety checks for older Piper planes

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- 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."

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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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