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FAA to publish AD to require CFM56-7B engine inspections after uncontained failure on Southwest 1380
19 April 2018

FAA to publish AD to require CFM56-7B engine inspections after uncontained failure on Southwest 1380

The FAA issued a statement, saying it is planning an AD to be published in the wake of the Southwest Boeing 737 uncontained engine failure accident on April 17.

The Boeing 737-700, powered by CFM56-7B engines, diverted to Philadelphia when the no.1 engine suffered an uncontained failure while climbing through FL325. One passenger sustained fatal injuries after debris broke a window.

The NTSB stated that fan blade no.13 was missing and that it had separated at the hub. Preliminary investigation results show there was evidence of metal fatigue in the area where the blade broke.

This prompted the FAA to issue the following statement:

“The FAA will issue an Airworthiness Directive (AD) within the next two weeks that will require inspections of certain CFM56-7B engines. The directive will require an ultrasonic inspection of fan blades when they reach a certain number of takeoffs and landings. Any blades that fail the inspection will have to be replaced.”


EASA issues emergency AD on certain PW1000G powered Airbus A320neo and A321 neo aircraft

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)  issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive with an operational limitation on certain Airbus A320neo and A321 neo aircraft fitted with PW1000G engines.

EASA states that several occurrences of engine in-flight shut-down (IFSD) and Rejected Take-Off (RTO) have been reported on certain Airbus A320neo family aeroplanes. While investigation is ongoing to determine the root cause, preliminary findings indicate that the affected engines, which have high pressure compressor aft hub modification embodied from ESN P770450, are more susceptible to IFSD.

In line with an Airbus alert to operators, AD 2018-0041-E requires the following operational restrictions:

  1. Within 3 flight cycles (FC) from the effective date of this AD, do not operate an aeroplane having two affected engines installed.
  2. Within 1 FC from the effective date of this AD, for an aeroplane having at least one affected engine(s) installed, ETOPS operations are not allowed.
  3. Inserting a copy of this AD in the ETOPS Configuration, Maintenance and Procedures (CMP) of concerned aeroplane models and, thereafter, operating that aeroplane on ETOPS accordingly, is acceptable to comply with paragraph (2) of this AD.

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


EASA issues Emergency Airworthiness Directive for Trent 1000 engines

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency AD for specific Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, as a result of an incident in November 2016.

A Scoot Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner returned to land at Singapore Airport after the crew performed an engine in-flight shut-down (IFSD) following N2 vibration and multiple messages.
The post-flight borescope inspection of the engine revealed an intermediate pressure turbine blade (IPTB) missing at the shank. Analysis shows that this kind of failure was due to sulphidation corrosion cracking.
Initial actions included and AD (2017-0056) that required removal from service of certain engines. Since that AD was issued, prompted by further occurrences and analyses, it has been decided that, to reduce the risk of dual IFSD, a new cyclic life limit must be applied to certain engines, which determines when an engine can no longer be installed on an aeroplane in combination with certain other engines.
For this reason, the EAD requires de-pairing of the affected engines. This AD is considered an interim action and further AD action may follow.

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Propeller control system malfunction eyed in fatal Let L-410 accident in Russia

The Let L-410 impacted terrain (photo: MAK)

A propeller control system malfunction is focus of the investigation into the cause of a fatal Let L-410 accident in Russia in November 2017.

The Let L-410 aircraft operated by Khabarovsk Avia impacted a forest with little or no forward speed, 1200 m short of runway 04 at Nelkan Airport, Russia. Two crew members and four passengers suffered fatal injuries. A young girl was the only survivor.

On 15 December 2017 EASA issued a Safety Information Bulletin, stating that preliminary investigation identified an un-commanded activation of the beta mode signalization of a propeller during the final approach. As a preliminary preventive measure, Let issued Revision 1 of Service Bulleting L410UVP-E/492b, providing instructions to check the components of engine and propeller control system, including the beta switch.

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FAA issues emergency AD for GP7200 engine fan hub inspections after Air France accident

The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) prompted by the recent an uncontained engine failure that occurred on Air France Airbus A380 powered by 
Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270 turbofan engines. 

On September 30, Air France flight 66 suffered an uncontained failure of the no.4 engine while en route over Greenland. The entire fan and engine air inlet cowling broke away. This prompted the crew to divert to Goose Bay, Canada.

The FAA reported in their AD that the failure occurred on an Engine Alliance GP7270 turbofan engine that had 3,527 cycles since new, which
is a relatively high cycle engine.

The AD requires a one-time visual inspection of the GP7200 series engine fan hub, with the compliance time based on the number of accumulated flight cycles, and removal of the fan hub if
damage or defects are found that are outside of serviceable limits. These interim actions are intended to prevent failure of the fan hub, which could lead to an uncontained release of the fan hub, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

The GP7200 series engine is in use by A380-861 aircraft of Air France, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, and Qatar Airways, as well as 90 of the 142 A380s ordered by Emirates.

EASA issues emergency AD to prevent fire risk on Airbus A350 aircraft

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an ermergency airworthiness directive (AD) to prevent a fire risk on Airbus A350 aircraft.

The AD states that, “In the A350 design, the hydraulic fluid cooling system is located in the fuel tanks. Recently, an overheat failure mode of the the A350 hydraulic Engine Driven Pump (EDP) has been found. Such EDP failure may cause a fast temperature rise of the hydraulic fluid. This condition, if not detected and corrected, combined with an inoperative Fuel Tank Inerting System (FTIS), could lead to an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic fluid, possibly resulting in ignition of the fuel-air mixture in the affected fuel tank.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued a Major Event Revision of the Airbus A350 Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) that incorporates restrictions to avoid an uncontrolled overheat of the hydraulic system.”

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

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FAA AD on gust lock modification on Gulfstream G-IV jets becomes effective

The G-IV accident that prompted the AD (NTSB)

An FAA Airworthiness Directive (AD) is becoming effective on August 3, 2017, calling for a retrofit of the gust lock throttle interlock on specific Gulfstream G-IV, G300 and G400 jets. This AD follows a fatal accident in 2014.

On May 31, 2014 a Gulfstream G-IV corporate jet was destroyed in a takeoff accident at Bedford-Hanscom Field, Massachusetts, USA. All four passengers and three crew members were killed.
During the engine start process, the flight crew neglected to disengage the airplane’s gust lock system, which locks the elevator, ailerons, and rudder while the airplane is parked to protect them against wind gust loads. Further, before initiating takeoff, the pilots neglected to perform a flight control check that would have alerted them of the locked flight controls. During takeoff the flight crew noticed that the controls were locked. The aircraft overran the runway, struck lights and came to rest in a gully.

The G-IV is equipped with a mechanical interlock between the gust lock handle and the throttle levers that restricts the movement of the throttle levers when the gust lock handle is in the ON position. This interlock mechanism was intended to limit throttle lever movement to a throttle lever angle (TLA) of no greater than 6° during operation with the gust lock on. However, postaccident testing on nine in-service G-IV airplanes found that, with the gust lock handle in the ON position, the forward throttle lever movement that could be achieved on the G-IV was 3 to 4 times greater than the intended TLA of 6°.

This caused the NTSB to issue a Safety Recommendation (A-15-31) in September 2015, addressed to the FAA:

After Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation develops a modification of the G-IV gust lock/throttle lever interlock, require that the gust lock system on all existing G-IV airplanes be retrofitted to comply with the certification requirement that the gust lock physically limit the operation of the airplane so that the pilot receives an unmistakable warning at the start of takeoff.

A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was published by the FAA in December 2016, resulting in the AD to be published June 29, 2017. This AD now becomes effective.

Operators must, within 36 months, modify the gust lock system by doing a retrofit of the gust lock throttle interlock, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions provided by Gulfstream.

More information:


EASA issues emergency AD for stabilizer inspection of Sukhoi Superjet aircaft

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive, requiring inspection of the horizontal stabilizer for cracks.

EASA reported that cracks were found on Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B aeroplanes in service in the rear spar of the horizontal stabilizer between ribs 0, 1 and 2.

The AD requires operators to accomplish a borescope inspection of the horizontal stabilizer rear spar web cut-out between ribs 0-1 and 1-2 before exceeding 1300 flight cycles since first flight, or before July 29, whichever occurs later. Thereafter, the inspection must be repeated at intervals not to exceed 300 flight cycles.

Should an operator detect any crack, fastener failure, or corrosion, it must contact Sukhoi Civil Aircraft before next flight, for approved repair instructions.

More information:

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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