Seventeen Gulfstreams with recently overhauled Rolls-Royce Spey or Tay engines were grounded last Friday when a problem was discovered with the engine’s air control actuator (ACA), a key fuel control component. According to Gulfstream director of customer support Mitch Choquette, three of the aircraft were already in scheduled maintenance at the time.
Maintenance and Modifications
News and issues about aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), covering all segments of the aviation industry; and modifications for aircraft and engines. Subjects include product support of aircraft, engines and avionics, MRO company mergers, acquisitions, announcements and personnel, Airworthiness Directives, Supplemental Type Certificate approvals and other topics.
At press time, as many as 50 of the 183 Citation Xs delivered worldwide had yet to be inspected for “very small cracks” in the elevator hinge fittings that were originally discovered during a routine inspection on April 20 of a Citation X at the Wichita Citation Service Center. Subsequent inspections revealed several other Citation Xs with similar cracks. On April 22, Cessna ordered all Citation Xs grounded until they were inspected.
“We’ve had some very positive response from the marketplace,” a Honeywell spokesman said, but the company and partner Garrett Aviation Services have failed to obtain the minimum number of orders needed to launch a Hawker 700 engine upgrade program. Last spring the companies announced a program to install a new high-pressure-ratio fan and a new TFE731-5 hot section, creating a TFE731-4.
Jet Aviation’s facilities at Biggin Hill in the UK and Dusseldorf, Germany, were named by Embraer as authorized service centers for the Legacy, the new corporate jet from the Brazilian manufacturer based on the ERJ-135 regional airliner. Embraer started deliveries of the Legacy in the second quarter of last year and the first deliveries to Europe were scheduled for last month.
Alpha Omega Jet Services, launched in late 2000 as an aircraft management and consulting firm, went into the completion and refurb business last month with the acquisition of Aircraft Components Manufacturing. Both companies reside at Sulphur Springs (Texas) Municipal Airport. As a subcontractor, ACM had done the cabinetry work for four Boeing Business Jets finished by the former Raytheon Aircraft Integration Systems.
A passive sound-reduction kit for the Pilatus PC-12 lowers cabin noise by 55 percent in the speech interference level and by 80 percent in the average “A” weighted scale, according to Western Aircraft, the Boise, Idaho company offering the kit. The kit uses a variety of soundproofing materials installed throughout the cabin of the turboprop single, adding between about 90- and 120 lb to the aircraft’s empty weight. The kit costs $21,602.
Learjet 30-series jets operating in the Pacific Rim can have RVSM mods performed by Jet Aviation Singapore. Under an agreement with the jet’s manufacturer, Bombardier, Jet Aviation will arrange for height-monitoring flights and install modifications to make the aircraft RVSM-compliant. The agreement applies to Learjet 31s, 31As, 35s, 35As, 36 and 36As. RVSM currently applies in Pacific airspace from FL 290 to FL 390 inclusive.
Dee Howard, the San Antonio-based heavy maintenance, repair and aircraft modification company in business since 1947, is being auctioned. According to CEO Jim Malone, Dee Howard filed for Chapter 11 protection in mid-February and the due diligence phase is now in progress, with all bids due by April 15. The winning bid is expected to be announced on April 18 and subsequently sent to a Federal Bankrupcy Court for approval.
Times are tough, but you won’t hear a lot of complaints from Universal Jet Services. In fact, the company is doing well enough that it made its first appearance ever at September’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
GE Druck has introduced a new air-data line-switching unit to make it easier for operators to test their pitot-static systems. The LSU-105 unit uses manually switched color-coded valves to allow crewmembers to connect the test equipment quickly to the aircraft’s pitots. The unit can conduct multiple tests simultaneously to reduce downtime. Each of the four pitot-static channels can be isolated to allow independent instrument testing.