FAA Issues Revised AD on Eclipse Thrust Levers
In response to a thrust-lever quadrant failure in an Eclipse 500 on June 5, the FAA issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD 2008-13-51) on June 12, calling for pilot inspection of quadrants and a report to the FAA of any problems found. On Thursday, the FAA issued revised AD 2008-16-15, mandating inspection of the thrust-lever quadrant by a qualified maintenance technician and in accordance with Eclipse Aviation alert service bulletin 500-76-001. The revised AD eliminates the reporting requirement. If the airplane was already tested per the emergency AD, then the thrust-lever quadrant testing required by the revised AD is not due until the next scheduled maintenance visit or within 60 days. Those Eclipse 500s not previously inspected have 30 days to comply, and when the AD is due, operators have up to 10 hours to fly to a maintenance facility. Eclipse is also working on a permanent fix, a software update that increases the thrust-lever range limit to prevent the fault. FAA certification of this software change is expected in the fourth quarter.