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FAA issues AD for certain Engine Alliance GP7000 engines after A380 uncontained engine failure
22 June 2018

FAA issues AD for certain Engine Alliance GP7000 engines after A380 uncontained engine failure

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Engine Alliance  GP7270, GP7272, and GP7277 turbofan engines in the wake of the uncontained engine failure on an Air France Airbus A380.

This AD (2018-11-16) requires a one-time eddy current inspection (ECI) of the engine fan hub blade slot bottom and blade slot front edge for cracks, a visual inspection of the engine fan hub for damage, and removal of parts if damage or defects are found that are outside serviceable limits.

This AD was prompted by the uncontained failure of the engine fan hub on an Air France A380 on September 30, 2017.

The required actions must be accomplished within 120 days after the effective date of the AD, which is July 2, 2018.



FAA issues new airworthiness directive for all CFM56-7B engines in wake of Southwest 1380 accident

The U.S. FAA issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all CFM International S.A. (CFM) Model CFM56-7B engines in the wake of the April 17 uncontained engine failure accident involving a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700.

The AD 2018-09-10 requires initial and repetitive inspections of the concave and convex sides of the fan blade dovetail to detect cracking and replacement of any blades found cracked.

The AD is effective May 14, 2018.

In response to the Southwest Airlines accident, the FAA issued Emergency AD 2018-09-51, to address certain high-time CFM56-7B engines, specifically including those with 30,000 or more total accumulated flight cycles since new. AD 2018-09-51 requires a one-time ultrasonic inspection (USI) of the concave and convex sides of the fan blade dovetail.
Since the issuance of that AD, the FAA states it has been working with CFM to develop an additional compliance plan to address the risk of fan blade failure for the entire CFM56-7B fleet. This AD addresses the unsafe condition affecting CFM56-7B engines by requiring initial and repetitive inspections of fan blades based on accumulated fan blade cycles.

FAA and EASA issue Emergency Airworthiness Directive for CFM56-7B engine inspections

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued Emergency Airworthiness Directives, requiring inspection of CFM56-7B engines, in the wake of the accident involving Southwest flight 1380.

On April 17, a Boeing 737-700 of Southwest Airlines, powered by CFM56-7B model engines, experienced an engine failure due to a fractured fan blade, resulting in the engine inlet cowl disintegrating. Debris penetrated the fuselage causing a loss of pressurization and prompting an emergency descent. Although the airplane landed safely, there was one passenger fatality.

The FAA AD (2018-09-51) details specific series of CFM56-7B model engines with 30,000 or more total accumulated flight cycles since new. The FAA requires that airlines within 20 days after receipt of this AD, perform a one-time ultrasonic inspection (USI) of all 24 fan blade dovetail concave and convex sides of these engines to detect cracking.

On the same day, EASA issued Emergency AD 2018-0093. This AD describes similar required actions for engines with 30,000 or more engine cycles. However, EASA also requires an inspection on engines with less than 30,000 engine cycles. These need to be checked before exceeding 20.000 fan blade cycles, or within 133 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.
Also, the EASA AD requires inspections to be repeated at intervals not exceeding 3,000 engine cycles.

The EASA AD supersedes a previous AD (2018-0071), dated March 26, 2018. This AD was issued following a previous engine failure event and required inspections within 9 months.

CFM56-7B engines are known to be installed on, but not limited to, Boeing 737-600, 737-700, 737-800 and 737-900 aircraft.


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.

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