FAA Issues Piaggio Emergency Airworthiness Directive
The FAA issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD)—2011-01-53—on December 20 to owners and operators of the Piaggio Avanti twin turboprop. The AD supersedes AD 2011-01-51, issued December 18. The latest FAA-issued AD follows previous ADs issued by both the FAA and the EASA in response to reports of clogged drain holes in the environmental control unit condenser that caused water accumulated in the belly of the aircraft to freeze, subsequently jamming the flight controls. AD 2011-01-51 requires an immediate functional test of the drain holes and a report of the results to the FAA. “Due to the nature of the immediate safety-of-flight situation, the FAA is working this AD concurrently with EASA instead of waiting for EASA, as the State of Design, to issue an AD. Thus, this action is considered unilateral AD action. The FAA is also working with EASA and Piaggio on this unsafe condition.” The FAA further believes this “unsafe condition” is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.