Final Report: Eclipse Lost Fairing in Flight

 - June 5, 2009, 5:32 AM

Eclipse EA-500, Rockford, Ill., July 17, 2008–The NTSB has determined the probable cause of the separation of the left-side wing-to-body fairing was improper installation of the leading edge of the panel, causing the fairing to separate from the airplane during an encounter with turbulence. A contributing factor was the reduced surface area secured by use of small-head screws and grommets for attaching the fairing. Operated by North American Jet Charter, the airplane sustained minor damage after the captain and first officer reported hearing a “loud bang and short rumble” originating from the left rear portion of the VLJ as it entered a cloud deck at 5,000 feet msl in cruise. The airplane landed without further incident, and investigation of the left engine showed no foreign object damage from the fairing separation.