The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive–2013-14-51–relating to the GE90-110B1 and -115B, which power aircraft such as the Boeing 777-200LR and 777 freighter. The July 12 AD was prompted by a report of the additional failure of a transfer gearbox assembly (TGB) radial gearshaft, outside the suspect population identified in AD 2013-10-52, which resulted in an in-flight shutdown.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Dassault Falcon 2000s, 2000EXs, 900s and 900EXs and all Falcon 50s. The AD was prompted by reports that collapse of the main landing gear could cause wing tank structure failure, which could result in fuel spillage and a fire hazard. This AD requires modification of the wing fuel tanks in the area of the wheel well.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise an existing airworthiness directive for the AgustaWestland AW139 requiring inspection of the fuselage frame to detect fatigue cracks that could lead to structural failure and subsequent loss of control. Since the AD was issued, AgustaWestland developed a frame reinforcement modification that supports extending the interval for inspecting the fuselage frame for a fatigue crack.
How accurate should airworthiness directives be? Before you answer that question, let me give you an example of an actual AD applicable to the Airbus A318/319/320/321 and then you can decide whether the information provided is sufficient for a mechanic to perform the required maintenance properly. I know you’re not all mechanics, but I don’t think you need to be one to see the problem.
As expected, the FAA has published an Airworthiness Directive for 800-series Hawkers equipped with Aviation Partners (API) winglets.
The FAA has proposed an Airworthiness Directive for the Eurocopter AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2 and EC225LP. It requires inspecting the intermediate gearbox (IGB) fairing for a crack and inspecting the IGB fairing gutter, if installed, for a crack, separation or interference.
The FAA is proposing to supersede an airworthiness directive for the Sikorsky S-64E (type certificate currently held by Erickson Air-Crane). It requires inspecting and reworking the main gearbox second-stage lower planetary plate.
The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive–2013-10-52–for GE90-110B1 and GE90-115B engines on May 16 after two reports of transfer gearbox assembly (TGB) failures prompted in-flight engine shutdowns. Investigations revealed the cause as TGB radial gear cracking and separation. The AD prohibits the operation of any aircraft with either engine installed five days after receipt of the directive.
In a Service Bulletin issued May 3, winglet manufacturer Aviation Partners (API) instructed operators with winglet-equipped 800-series Hawkers modified by STC#ST01411SE to reduce maximum permissible altitude to 34,000 feet. “Several instances of aileron/wing oscillations have been reported on the Hawker 800 [series],” the company said. “Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.”
Despite a number of recent fatal accidents involving post-crash fires blamed on the Robinson R44’s vulnerable aluminum fuel tanks, and despite the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) publishing an airworthiness directive demanding replacement with improved flexible bladder versions, many operators have failed to comply.