If you have had extended range fuel tanks installed in the passenger or baggage compartment of your aircraft within the last twenty years (since 1987), it is possible that the corresponding FAA Form 337 your A&P mechanic was required to complete and send in to the FAA never made it. According to a Final Rule published today, the FAA hasn’t been receiving as many Form 337s for extended-range fuel tanks as it had in the past. When it investigated the situation, the FAA discovered that FAR Part 43, Appendix B, which was amended back in 1987, provides an incorrect address for mailing Form 337s disclosing extended range fuel system installations.
In order to rectify the situation, the Final Rule advises that “[a]ny FAA Form 337 that describes a modification to an aircraft fuel system or that shows additional tanks installed, should be mailed to the FAA, Aircraft Registration Branch, AFS-751, P.O. Box 25724, Oklahoma City, OK.” All other FAA Form 337s should be mailed to the FAA, Aircraft Registration Branch, AFS-750, P.O. Box 25504, Oklahoma City, OK.
The amendment contained in the Final Rule is effective September 20, 2007. If for some reason you have questions regarding the Final Rule or would like further information, you may contact Kim Barnette, Aircraft Maintenance Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202- 493-4922); facsimile: (202-267-5115); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since copies of any Form 337s submitted in connection with an aircraft remain with that aircraft’s maintenance records, along with a corresponding logbook entry, this probably isn’t a big issue for aircraft owners. In fact, the only way I can think of that this issue would arise for an aircraft owner is if the aircraft owner, or a potential purchaser of the aircraft, requested a copy of the aircraft’s records from the FAA in Oklahoma City and, upon review, discovered that the FAA was missing a Form 337 that was prepared in connection with an extended range fuel system installation. Probably not a real common occurrence.
As a side note, I wonder what happened to all of the Form 337s that went to the wrong address. Are they collecting dust in some unopened post office box in Oklahoma City? Or were they all returned as undeliverable and none of the A&P mechanics during the past 20 years let the FAA know about the problem? My vote is with the former.