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Transport Canada issues emergency AD addressing Challenger 604 potential APU fuel leak
18 June 2014

Transport Canada issues emergency AD addressing Challenger 604 potential APU fuel leak

File photo of a Challenger 604 (H.Ranter/ASN)

File photo of a Challenger 604 (H.Ranter/ASN)

Transport Canada issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD), limitating landing/taxi light operations on ground due to potential fuel  leakage relating to specific models of the Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 corporate jet.

Bombardier Inc. has determined that there is a potential for fuel leakage from the auxiliary power unit (APU) boost pump component installations in the right hand landing lights compartment. On a hot day, the temperatures in the landing light compartment as result of the heat generated by the taxi lights and/or the landing lights on the ground, can reach the auto-ignition temperature of the fuel and may ignite any fuel/fumes present in the right hand landing light compartment.
In order to mitigate the potential safety hazard, Bombardier Inc. has revised the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) to introduce additional limitations for operation of the landing/taxi lights on the ground.
This AD is being issued to mandate compliance with the revised AFM limits for landing/taxi light operations for the affected aeroplanes.

 

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FAA issues Emergency AD to prevent TFE731 engine turbine blade separations

Honeywell TFE731 engine

Honeywell TFE731 engine

The FAA issued an Emergency airworthiness directive (AD), detailing inspections of specific Honeywell TFE731 turbofan engines following reports of 2nd stage low-pressure turbine (LPT2) blade separations.

On June 10, 2014 the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an Emergency airworthiness directive (AD), prompted by reports of 2nd stage low-pressure turbine (LPT2) blade  separations on TFE731 engines. Analysis indicates the presence of casting anomalies at or near the root of the LPT2 blade. This condition, if not corrected, could result in LPT2 blade failure, multiple engine in-flight shutdowns, and damage to the airplane.

The AD requires before further flight a review of the engine log book maintenance records to determine if any affected engines are installed. Operation is prohibited of an airplane with two or more affected engines that have LPT2 blades with less than 250 operating hours since new after receipt of the emergency AD.

Affected engine series are: Honeywell International Inc. (Type Certificate previously held by AlliedSignal Inc., Garrett Turbine Engine Company) TFE731-4, -4R, -5AR, -5BR, -5R, -20R, -20AR, -20BR, -40, -40AR, -40R, -40BR, -50R, and -60 turbofan engines. These engines are fitted to various corporate jet models and some military jet trainers.

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China orders Xian MA60 landing gear checks

An Okay Airways MA60 retracting the undercarriage afte takeoff (Photo: byeangel / CC:Bync-sa)

An Okay Airways MA60 retracting the undercarriage afte takeoff (Photo: byeangel / CC:Bync-sa)

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) ordered landing gear checks of MA60 turboprop aircraft following recent incidents.

The Xian MA60, a Chinese manufactured 60-passenger turboprop airliner, was involved in two incidents in China in February 2013. On February 4, a Joy Air MA60 suffered a nose gear collapse on landing at Zhengzhou. Three weeks later, the crew of an Okay Airways MA60 aborted the approach due to unsafe gear indications. A safe landing was carried out at Shenyang.

These incidents prompted the CAAC to issue three airworthiness directives (AD’s) on the issue. The AD’s call for a revision of the Airplane Flight Manual and an inspection of the undercarriage and gear annunciation system for all aircraft that have logged more than 6400 takeoffs.

A total of 15 aircraft are affected by the measure. Five are operated by Joy Air and others by Okay Airways, Lao Airlines, Air Zimbabwe, TAM of Bolivia and aircraft that were operated in the Philippines by Zest Air

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EASA issues emergency AD for Short 360 landing gear inspections

File photo of a Short 360 (photo: H.Ranter/ASN)

File photo of a Short 360 (photo: H.Ranter/ASN)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to prevent main gear collapse occurrences on Short 360 aircraft.

During investigation of an accident with a Short 360 aircraft, it was established that a main landing gear (MLG) wheel lever failure occurred, due to fatigue cracking. This was initiated by corrosion in the area between the wheel lever bore for the axle bushes and the outer surface of the axle bushes. The absence of cadmium protective treatment on the outer surface of the axle bush was cited as a primary cause of the corrosion and subsequent fatigue cracking.
A review of maintenance repair organisation (MRO) records for the affected Wheel Lever Unit (WLU) provided no tangible evidence that the repair bushes used had the necessary cadmium protective treatment applied. The MRO record review also identified a further three WLU that were lacking the cadmium protective treatment and were therefore susceptible to corrosion and fatigue cracking.
This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of the WLU and collapse of the main landing gear, possibly resulting in damage to the airplane and injury to the occupants.
For these reasons, the emergency AD requires identification of the affected WLU and their replacement with serviceable parts.

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Airbus A320 gear up landing accidents prompt tougher inspections

The right landing gear of flight 063 only partially extended. (photo: ANSV)

The right landing gear of flight 063 only partially extended. (photo: ANSV)

Two recent Airbus A320 gear up landing accidents in Italy prompted EASA to demand tougher inspections. At the same time, the Italian accident investigation board ANSV issued four safety recommendations to EASA.

ANSV is currently investigating two accidents involving Airbus A320 passenger planes at Roma-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in 2013. On June 8 an Wizzair A320 encountered problems when the crew selected the gear down during the approach to Rome-Ciampino Airport.  The left main gear only partially extended and remained stuck. An emergency landing was carried out at Fiumicino Airport.

On September 29, an Airbus A320 operated by Alitalia developed similar problems, this time with the right main gear only partially extending on approach to Rome. This aircraft also made an emergency landing at Fiumicino Airport.

Preliminary investigation results of the Alitalia plane indicate that the right hand main gear actuator was jammed. An X-Ray analysis revealed the presence of heavy debris in the damping housing. A retaining ring was found ‘out of the design position’. An analysis of DFDR data showed that the undercarriage locked down without delay on previous flights. No fault messages were found.

Several airworthiness directives have been issued since a similar occurrence involving a United Airlines A319 at Newark in January 2010. EASA now issued a new AD that retained the requirements of EASA AD 2011-0069R1 and AD 2013-0132-E, which are superseded, but with reduced inspection intervals, and requires replacement or modification, as applicable, of the affected MLG door actuators as terminating action for the monitoring, repetitive checks and inspections.

At the same time, ANSV issued four safety recommendations to EASA. Amongst others, ANSV recommends EASA to require additional checks of the hydraulic system of the landing gear doors when replacing an actuator, to make sure that there is no contamination present. ANSV also recommends X-Ray inspections of actuators.

 

Emergency AD calls for Embraer Phenom 300 brake inspections

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

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

Brazilian authorities issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) regarding a  brake assembly inspection for Embraer Phenom 300 jets.

The Brazilian civil aviation agency Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive to inspect Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 corporate jets.
Embraer learned that cracks could occur in the stator pressure plate of the brake assembly of an airplane. This may lead to loss of brake parts on the runway, and to a reduced airplane brake capability with a possible runway excursion event.

The EAD calls for inspection of the airplane before the next flight after the effective date of the AD, which is September 26, 2013.

The AD does not state if the cracks were discovered during routine maintenance or during examination following a recent incident. On August 5, 2013, for instance, a Phenom 300 suffered a runway excursion on landing at Minneapolis-Flying Cloud Airport, MN (FCM).

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EASA issues emergency airworthiness directive following Saab 2000 rudder control incident

File photo of a SAAB 2000 (photo: ASN)

File photo of a SAAB 2000 (photo: ASN)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive following a rudder control incident on a Saab 2000 turboprop plane.

EASA reported a recent occurrence of rudder pedal restriction on a Saab 2000 aeroplane. Subsequent investigation showed that this was the result of water leakage at the inlet tubing for the in-line heater in the lower part of the forward fuselage. The in-line heater attachment was found ruptured, which resulted in water spraying in the area. Frozen water on the rudder control mechanism then led to the rudder pedal restriction.
Analysis after the reported event indicates that the pitch control mechanism (including pitch disconnect/spring unit) may also be frozen as a result of water spray, which would prevent disconnection and normal pitch control.
This condition, if not corrected, could result in further occurrences of reduced control of an aeroplane.
Prompted by these findings, as a temporary action to avoid this potential unsafe condition, SAAB has determined that the potable water system should be deactivated. SAAB is working on a solution that is expected to eliminate the consequences of water spraying in the area.
This Emergency AD requires deactivation of the potable water system.

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

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FAA and EASA call for Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) inspections following Boeing 787 ground fire

Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and EASA have issued an airworthiness directive (AD) for the inspection of specific Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) on Boeing 787 Dreamliner  aircraft following a recent fire occurrence.

On July 12, 2013, a fire occurred on a parked, unoccupied and electrically un-powered Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner at London-Heathrow Airport.  The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) reported on July 18 that it was examining the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) as a possible source of the fire and issued two safety recommendations.

On July 26, both FAA and EASA issued airworthiness directives requiring either removal or inspection of the Honeywell fixed emergency locator transmitter (ELT), and corrective action if necessary.

Deactivation of the ELT is allowed if the repair is made within 90 days, according to the FAA approved Boeing 787 Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL). The EASA approved MMEL stipultates that repairs have to be carried out within 6 flights or 25 flight hours. EASA decided to revise this rectification interval to 90 days in line with the FAA.

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Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) eyed as a source of Boeing 787 ground fire

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) reported that it was examining the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) as a possible source of the fire that damaged a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at London-Heathrow Airport.

On July 12, 2013, a fire occurred on a parked, unoccupied and electrically un-powered Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner of Ethiopian Airlines.  An employee in the air traffic control tower had noticed smoke emanating from the aircraft and activated the crash alarm.

Firefighters entered the aircraft at the L2 door and encountered thick smoke. As they moved to the rear of the aircraft the smoke became denser so they opened further cabin doors to clear the smoke. At the rear of the passenger cabin they observed indications of fire above the ceiling panels. They attempted to tackle the fire with a handheld “Halon” extinguisher but this was not effective, so they forcibly moved a ceiling panel and tackled the fire with water from hoses. This was effective and the fire was extinguished.
The greatest heat damage and highest temperatures were centered on the rear fuselage close to the crown and displaced to the left of the aircraft center line. This correlates to the most damaged external areas, with blackened and peeling paint and damage to the composite structure. It also coincides with the location of the aircraft’s Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) and its associated wiring system. The ELT stores it’s own energy in Lithium-Manganese Dioxide (LiMnO2) batteries.

The AAIB issued two safety recommendions:

  • It is recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration initiate action far making inert the Honeywell International RESCU406AFN fixed Emergency Locator Transmitter system in Boeing 787 aircraft until appropriate airworthiness actions can be completed.
  • It is recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration, in association with other regulatory authorities, conduct a safety review of installations of Lithium-powered Emergency Locator Transmitter systems in other aircraft types and, where appropriate, initiate airworthiness action.

The Federal Aviation Administration is working with Boeing to develop instructions to operators for inspection of the ELT wiring, while ATW reported that EASA was working on an airworthiness directive (AD) to instruct European operators to remove the ELT. Current European operators of the Dreamliner are: British Airways, LOT Polish Airlines and Thomson Airways.

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EASA issues emergency AD on A320 landing gear issues following Wizz Air accident

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ordered Airbus landing gear checks to prevent problems in extending and locking of the undercarriage as occurred on a Wizz Air Airbus A320. 

On June 8, 2013 an Airbus A320 of Wizz Air was approaching Roma-Ciampino Airport, Italy when the left hand main landing gear failed to fully extend and lock down. The alternate procedures for extending the undercarriage failed and the crew diverted to Roma-Fiumicino Airport for an emergency landing. The aircraft was damaged and three passengers were injured in the evacuation.

Analyses by Airbus have revealed that the Centralized Fault Display System (CFDS) was expected to have generated specific messages prior to the accident, indicating slow operation of the main landing gear (MLG) door opening/closing sequence.
A previously issued airworthiness directive called for repetitive checks of these CFDS messages since these messages may be indicative of wear of certain parts of the MLG.
Investigations showed that the damping ring and associated retaining ring of the MLG door actuator deteriorate. The resultant debris increases the friction inside the actuator which can be sufficiently high to restrict opening of the MLG door even by gravity, during operation of the landing gear alternate (free-fall) extension system.

Since the CFDS messages were not generated, repetitive checks of messages are not effective for aeroplanes fitted with a specific parts as detailed in the AD.

The Emergency AD requires identification of the affected aeroplanes to establish the configuration and, for those aeroplanes, repetitive inspections of the opening sequence of the MLG door actuator and, depending on findings, replacement of the MLG door actuator.

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