Prompted by reports of control cable assembly failures that may lead to failure of the horizontal stabilator control system which could result in loss of pitch control, the FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) today which comes into force on 11 March 2013 to correct unsafe conditions of these products. The AD calls for inspections of the stabilator control system and replacement of parts as necessary of the horizontal control cable assemblies of Cherokee, Saratoga, Lance and Seminole aircraft that are 15 years or older. The AD will be specific to models and will, at first, apply to older aircraft. The inspections will become mandatory as aircraft reach the 15 year point. The FAA Ruling and AD can be found here:
FAA Regulatory & Guidance Library
A Piper spokeswoman said the company has already issued a Service Bulletin and Mandatory Service Bulletin regarding the control cable inspections and "cooperated fully" with the FAA in developing the AD. (Source: AvWeb 4 Feb 2013).