Eclipse 500 Operators Responding to Emergency AD
The FAA and Eclipse Aviation are awaiting the results of thrust-lever quadrant inspections on the more than 200 in-service Eclipse 500s before determining what caused a maximum uncontrolled thrust condition in one of the very light jets on approach to Chicago Midway Airport on June 5 (see “Stuck Power Control Leads To Eclipse 500 Tire Blowout”). Late Thursday, the FAA issued emergency AD 2008-13-51 requiring a one-time inspection of the very light jet’s thrust levers to ensure there are no “unusual noises,” such as grinding or scraping. Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn told AIN yesterday about half of the fleet had completed the required checks and so far no anomalies have been uncovered. Raburn estimated that 50 to 60 pounds of force put N612KB’s thrust levers into the out-of-range condition. Possible remedies could include rewriting the engine Fadec software code to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future or replacing the thrust-lever quadrant with a different design. Raburn said Eclipse is continuing to build and deliver airplanes while the investigation into the incident continues.