Avstar Aircraft of Washington, Inc.

10415 172nd St. E., Hangar A1
Puyallup, WA  98374
office (253)770-9964
or (253)770-0120
email:  avstarair@att.net

01-14-2001 Ask Mike! Archive
How do I handle a speed limited Bonanza?

Dear Mike,

I have located a very nice B model Bonanza but I don't want a high performance A/C that is limited to 125kts.  Do you know if there is an STC to improve the tails on the early planes?  If there is not, would it be possible to reskin the tail and gain FAA approval for normal cruise speed?


Yes, there's nothing worse than a 225 HP 172.  But seriously, Raytheon (Beech) has issued Service Bulletin SB 27-3358 to deal with this situation.  Through about a year of research, the Feds, Raytheon, and the ABS (American Bonanza Society) came up with this "fix".

Synopsis of this bulletin:

  1. Review aircraft paperwork and inspect to see all mods and repairs are mutually compatible.
  2. Visual inspection of aft fuselage and empennage, inclusive to rigging, cable tensions and structure / skin deformation.
  3. Dimensional inspection of misc. skins, bulkheads, and bearings.
  4. Checking and setting ruddervator balance within more restrictive limits.
  5. Inspection of engine mounts, hardware, and dynamic propeller balancing.

Of course, this is an abbreviated version, the bulletin is 13 pages, and it does contain the wording this inspection is an approved alternate means of compliance with AD 98-13-02.  Special tools are required, and the inspection (only) is estimated at 40 hours to perform.  If you're looking to buy a pre C model, I would advise this bulletin be complied with as part of the pre-purchase inspection.
Gear Green,