EASA Approves Falcon 7X Ferry Flights

 - May 31, 2011, 8:20 AM

After grounding Dassault Falcon 7Xs under its jurisdiction last Thursday, the EASA began to allow ferry flights of the trijet last night. The FAA–which also issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive on Friday, grounding the U.S.-registered Falcon 7X fleet–is expected also to approve Falcon 7X ferry flights shortly. The “flight condition approval sheet” implies no limitation in distance; a ferry flight from London to São Paulo, Brazil, has already taken place, an EASA spokesman told AIN. Meanwhile, the manufacturer is continuing to investigate the causes of the runaway pitch trim event last Wednesday that triggered Dassault’s request to ground the fleet. A Dassault spokesperson told AIN that teams of engineers were sent from France and the U.S. to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the incident aircraft is still sitting. The incident aircraft was flying from Nuremberg, Germany, to Kuala Lumpur with just two pilots and one flight attendant on board. According to the company, the aircraft’s fly-by-wire control computers were not found to be faulty. Another Falcon is flying some pieces of the incident aircraft’s equipment back to Dassault laboratories in France for more in-depth testing. The company spokesperson noted that the problem can also occur with conventional controls. Among the affected Falcon 7Xs were the two owned by the French government, one of which was grounded in Deauville, France, after flying French president Nicolas Sarkozy there for the G8 summit.