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Authorities ground Sukhoi Superjets for inspections
25 December 2016

Authorities ground Sukhoi Superjets for inspections

File photo of an Aeroflot Superjet 100-95 (photo: Dmitry Zherdin / CC:by-sa)

Russian authorities grounded all Sukhoi Superjet aircraft for mandatory inspections after cracks were found at stabilizer attachment points.

In an Airworthiness Directive, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency reported that during the maintenance of Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B aircraft serial No. 95018, tail No. RA-89010, cracks were detected in the lugs of the stabilizer upper and lower bracket attachment bands.

Operators are instructed to perform an inspection of the stabilizer bracket attachment bands prior to departures from the base airports of the RRJ-95 aircraft.

RA-89010 is one of 104 Superjets that have been delivered to date. RA-89010 first flew in July 2012 and operates for IrAero since July 2016.

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FAA orders engine icing fixes for GEnx-powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners

The incident aircraft, JA822J at Vancouver, 18 April 2015 (photo: Eric Salard / CC:by-sa)

The incident aircraft, JA822J at Vancouver, 18 April 2015 (photo: Eric Salard / CC:by-sa)

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) to reduce the likelihood of engine damage due to fan ice shedding on certain Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft powered by GEnx-1B engines.

On March 14, 2016, the FAA already issued AD 2016-06-08 which was prompted by an incident on 29 January 2016.
A Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, operating as JL17 from Vancouver, Canada to Tokyo/Narita, Japan, was at 140 km east of Narita when the No.2 engine had to be shut down.
Partial fan ice shedding resulted in fan imbalance that in turn caused substantial damage to the engine and an in-flight non-restartable power loss. The engine involved was a General Electric GEnx-1B()/P2.
The engine damage appears to be a result of susceptibility to heavy fan blade rubs common to the GEnx-1B PIP2 engine. The other engine on the event airplane was an older design GEnx-1B PIP1 configuration that incurred expected wear and minor damage during the icing event and continued to operate normally. The event occurred in icing conditions at an altitude of 20,000 feet.
The urgency of this issue stems from the safety concern over continued safe flight and landing for airplanes that are powered by two GEnx-1B PIP2 engines operating in a similar environment to the event airplane. In this case both GEnx-1B PIP2 engines may be similarly damaged and unable to be restarted in flight. The potential for common cause failure of both engines in flight is an urgent safety issue.

This AD (AD 2016-08-12) requires revising the AFM to provide the flight crew a revised fan ice removal procedure and a new associated mandatory flight crew briefing to reduce the likelihood of engine damage due to fan ice shedding. For an airplane with two GEnx-1B PIP2 engines having specified model and part numbers, this AD also requires reworking or replacing at least one engine.

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FAA proposes AD to prevent turbine hub failures on IAE jet engines

The FAA proposes to issue an Airworthiness Directive (AD)  to prevent high-pressure turbine hub failures on certain IAE jet engines, which could result in uncontained blade release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

The AD was issued in the wake of an incident that occurred on 18 September 2014. An Airbus A320-232, JetBlue flight number 1416, powered by two International Aero Engines (IAE) V2527-A5 turbofan engines, experienced a No. 2 (right) engine failure and subsequent undercowl fire during initial climb after departing Long Beach Airport (LGB), California. The flightcrew shutdown the No. 2 engine, discharged both fire bottles, and performed an air turnback to Long Beach. The airplane made a successful and uneventful single-engine landing at Long Beach Airport.

The NTSB determined the probable cause of the engine failure and subsequent undercowl engine fire was due to the fatigue fracture of a high pressure turbine stage 2 disk blade retaining lug that released two blades which impacted the low pressure turbine case causing a fuel line to fracture spraying fuel on the hot engine cases where it ignited. During a machining operation of the disk lug, a tool mark was introduced that set up the area for fatigue cracks to initiate.

The FAA determined the unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design. Consequenty a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (Nprm) was issued, asking relevant parties to respond to the proposed AD by June 6, 2016.

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FAA issues Airworthiness Directive following airspeed anomalies on Boeing 787 Dreamliners

The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD), warning Boeing 787 Dreamliner pilots not to use abrupt control inputs in case of erroneous airspeed indications.

The FAA states it has received three reports of in-service displayed airspeed anomalies on Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplanes. While further investigation is ongoing, the anomalous behavior is consistent with significant water ingestion or simultaneous icing of two or three of the three pitot probes. During each of the reported events, the displayed airspeed rapidly dropped significantly below the actual airplane airspeed. In normal operations, the air data reference system supplies the same airspeed to both the captain and first officer primary flight displays. During one in-service event, with autopilot engaged, the pilot overrode the engaged autopilot in response to the displayed erroneous low airspeed and made significant nose-down manual control inputs. In this situation, there is the potential for large pilot control inputs at high actual airspeed, which could cause the airplane to exceed its structural capability.

The AD, for all Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes, calls for a revision of the airplane flight manual (AFM) to instruct the flightcrew to avoid abrupt flight control inputs in response to sudden drops in airspeed, and to reinforce the need to disconnect the autopilot before making any manual flight control inputs.

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Brazil issues emergency AD on Phenom 300 anti-icing equipment

File photo of a Phenom 300 (photo: Rolf Wallner)

File photo of a Phenom 300 (photo: Rolf Wallner)

Brazilian authorities, ANAC, issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) requiring inspection of a wing anti-icing element on Phenom 300 jets.

The Emergency AD resulted from a report of an incorrect installation of the wing leading edge anti-ice piccolo tube. Incorrect installation of this tube could result in ice accretion on the wing leading edges and consequent loss of control of the airplane. ANAC judged that this condition might exist in other Phenom 300 jets.
Consequently an Emergency AD was issued. requiring inspection and correction of discrepancies in the installation of the piccolo tube of the left hand and right hand outboard wing leading edges.

The piccolo tubes route hot bleed air from the engines  through wings, tail surfaces, and engine inlets to keep the flight surfaces above the freezing temperature.

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Canada issues emergency AD requiring inspection of flap fasteners on Challenger jets

File photo of a Challenger 601 (H.Ranter/ASN)

File photo of a Challenger 601 (H.Ranter/ASN)

Transport Canada issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD), requiring operators of specific Canadair Challenger 600, 601, 601-3A/3R aircraft to inspect inboard flap fasteners.

According to the AD, there have been three in-service reports on Challenger 604 Variant aircraft of a fractured fastener head on the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting at Wing Station (WS) 76.50, which were found during a routine maintenance inspection.
Investigation revealed that the installation of these fasteners on the inboard flap hinge-box forward fittings at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, on both wings, does not conform to the engineering drawings. Incorrect installation may result in premature failure of the fasteners attaching the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting. Failure of the fasteners could lead to the detachment of the flap hinge box and consequently the detachment of the flap surface. The loss of a flap surface could adversely affect the continued safe operation of the airplane.

On August 15, 2014, an AD had been issued, mandating a detailed visual inspection (DVI) of each inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting, on both wings, and rectification as required. Incorrectly oriented fasteners require repetitive inspections until the terminating action is accomplished.
After the issuance of the original AD, there has been one reported incident on a Challenger 604 where four fasteners were found fractured on the same flap hingebox forward fitting. The investigation determined that the fasteners were incorrectly installed. Although there have been no reported fractured fastener heads found to date on any model Challenger 600, 601, 601-3A/3R aircraft , incorrectly oriented fasteners were found on some of these models.

The AD requires repeated inspections until the fasteners have been replaced.

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EASA publishes Emergency AD following control issues on A321 with blocked angle of attack probes

File photo of AOA probes on an Airbus A330 (photo: ATSB)

File photo of AOA probes on an Airbus A330 (photo: ATSB)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive for several Airbus models, detailing emergency procedures in the case of undue activation of Alpha Protection.

An occurrence was reported where an Airbus A321 encountered a blockage of two Angle Of Attack (AOA) probes during climb, leading to activation of the Alpha Protection (Alpha Prot) while the Mach number increased. The flight crew managed to regain full control and the flight landed uneventfully.
When Alpha Prot is activated due to blocked AOA probes, the flight control laws order a continuous nose down pitch rate that, in a worst case scenario, cannot be stopped with backward sidestick inputs, even in the full backward position. If the Mach number increases during a nose down order, the AOA value of the Alpha Prot will continue to decrease. As a result, the flight control laws will continue to order a nose down pitch rate, even if the speed is above minimum selectable speed, known as VLS.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in loss of control of the aircraft.
This systems is installed on Airbus A318, A319, A320, A321, A330 and A340 aircraft. To address this unsafe condition, Airbus have developed a specific Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) procedures. The Airworthiness Directive requires amendment of the applicable AFM.

This is considered to be an interim action and further AD action may follow.

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Brazil issues emergency AD for inspection of horizontal stabilizer attachment nuts

Embraer Phenom 100 file photo (photo: JBabinski380 / CC:by)

Embraer Phenom 100 file photo (photo: JBabinski380 / CC:by)

The Brazilian regulator Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) to inspect barrel nuts in the horizontal stabilizer-to-vertical stabilizer attachment joint on Embraer EMB-500 Phenom jets.

During an inspection on the assembly line, cracking in the barrel nuts at the horizontal stabilizer-to-vertical stabilizer attachment joint was found on an Embraer Phenom jet.

This prompted ANAC to issue an EAD to detect and correct cracking of the barrel nuts at the horizontal stabilizer-to-vertical stabilizer attachment joint, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the affected part and consequent detachment of the horizontal stabilizer from the airplane.

The inspection must be accomplished within three flight cycles of July 25, 2014.

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Brazil issues emergency AD to prevent engine separations on Embraer ERJ-190 jets

Right hand engine pylon on an Embraer ERJ-190 (photo: H.Ranter/ASN)

Right hand engine pylon on an Embraer ERJ-190 (photo: H.Ranter/ASN)

The Brazilian regulator Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) to prevent engine separations on Embraer ERJ-190 jets.

During maintenance on an Embraer ERJ-190 passenger jet of Virgin Australia on 25-26 June it was discovered that there was an issue with an engine pylon lower link fitting assembly. Virgin Australia subsequently checked the entire fleet of 17 ERJ-190’s and found similar issues with nine of them.

The manufacturer, Embraer, then issued Alert Service Bulletins on June 27, which were followed by ANAC’s Emergency Airworthiness Directive that mandated the actions described in these service bulletins.
The actions required are intended to prevent the shear pins installed on the left hand and on the right pylon outboard and inboard fittings to get loose, which could lead to failure of one of these fittings and consequent separation of the engine from the wing.

Operators are to re-torque the inboard and outboard lower link fitting assembly on the  left hand and on the right hand engine pylon. The EAD is considered an interim action. These action are required to be repeated at intervals not to exceed 600 flight cycles or 750 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

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Emergency AD issued to prevent in-flight deployment of Challenger 600 thrust reversers

File photo of a Challenger 600 with thrust reverser deployed (Photo: User:Omoo / CC:by)

File photo of a Challenger 600 with thrust reverser deployed (Photo: User:Omoo / CC:by)

Transport Canada issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD), requiring checks of thrust reversers on the Bombardier CL-600-1A11 Challenger 600 corporate jet.

According to Transport Canada there have been two reported incidents of partial deployment of an engine thrust reverser on a Challenger 600 jet in-flight.
This was caused by a failure of the translating sleeve at the thrust reverser actuator attachment points. Inspection of the same area on some other thrust reversers revealed cracks emanating from the holes under the nut plates.
In both incidents, the affected aircraft landed safely without any noticeable controllability issues. Transport Canada decided to issue an emergency AD to prevent further incidents or accidents.

Bombardier Inc. has revised the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) to prohibit the thrust reverser operation on affected airplanes. Additionally, as an interim corrective action, Bombardier has issued
an alert service bulletin requiring an inspection and/or a mechanical lock out of the thrust reverser to prevent it from moving out of forward thrust mode.
The AD mandates the incorporation of revised AFM procedures and compliance with the service bulletin for all affected CL-600-1A11 aircraft.

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