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.
Final Report: Eclipse Lost Fairing in Flight
- June 5, 2009, 5:32 AM