The stellar reputation of Martin-Baker (M-B) for saving lives has been tarnished by the inquest into the death of a UK Royal Air Force Red Arrows pilot. Flt Lt Sean Cunningham was killed on Nov. 8, 2011 when the MB Mk 10B ejection seat in his BAe Hawk T.1 jet trainer accidentally fired on the ground, and his parachute failed to open. The coroner who officiated at the three-week inquest returned a ‘narrative’ verdict that cleared the pilot of blame but was critical of M-B and the RAF.
The FAA has issued a final rule to adopt a new Airworthiness Directive (AD) for the sliding doors on the Eurocopter AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350C, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N and AS355NP. The AD does not apply to aircraft that have modification AL 4262. The AD, which requires removing specified nuts and washers from the lower ball-joint bolt, was prompted by a report of a sliding door detaching from the helicopter in flight.
ECAS, a stocking distributor of aerospace mil-spec hardware and electrical components, announced it intends to open a Las Vegas distribution center on Jan. 3, 2012. ECAS maintains an extensive inventory of AN, MS and NAS fasteners and O-rings.
Eurocopter AS 350BA, Princeville, Hawaii, March 8, 2007–The NTSB has blamed the fatal crash on the failure of maintenance personnel to properly tighten the flight control servo lower attachment clevis and reinstall a functioning lock washer, which resulted in a flight control disconnect and complete loss of control.
Aerospatiale AS 350-BA, Princeville, Hawaii, March 8, 2007–The NTSB determined the probable cause of the AS 350 crash was the failure of maintenance personnel to properly tighten (torque) the flight control servo lower attachment clevis and reinstall a functioning lock washer, which resulted in a flight control disconnect and complete loss of helicopter control.
A special airworthiness information bulletin recommends that operators of Mitsubishi MU-2Bs comply with recently issued service bulletins (SBs) for a one-time inspection to check for corrosion and the proper torque of wing attach barrel nuts and bolts. The SBs were based on the discovery of a fractured barrel nut during a routine inspection.
When a China Airlines 737NG caught fire soon after landing at Okinawa’s Naha Airport on August 20, initial suspicions centered on maintenance issues, but new developments show the problem might be more widespread than first considered. Investigators discovered that a loose bolt in the leading-edge slat track assembly–believed to have been missing a washer–pierced the wing fuel tank, allowing fuel to escape.
Consider the lowly fastener, an object guaranteed to induce acute boredom in the mind of the average man, a cure for insomnia perhaps. They’re hidden away in corners, under seats and floors and behind panels, rarely seen but so necessary.
The FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin for certain Beech King Air F90/100/200s and Beech 99s. It details recent failures of main landing gear actuator nut assemblies (part numbers GMD115-810029-17 and -23) built by General Machine-Diecron (GMD), of Griffin, Ga. The assembly isinstalled only in aircraft thathave electrical/mechanical mainlanding gear systems.