The Eurocopter EC135 light twin helicopter is facing more trouble after the EASA issued an emergency airworthiness directive on December 19 referring to a manufacturer alert service bulletin that requires a one-time check of fuel probes and, possibly, cleaning and replacement. The issue, discovered by Bond Air Services, appears to be that the probes are indicating a fuel level higher than actual. Investigations showed that the incorrect signals that the probes transmit to the indicator may also inhibit the amber “fuel caution” light.
Emergency airworthiness directive
The FAA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring the 73 U.S.-based AgustaWestland AW139s to refrain from flying into known icing and to leave the helicopter’s electrothermal rotorcraft icing protection system (Rips) switched off. The limitation stems from a fire on one AW139 believed to have started with a malfunction caused by improper insulation on a rotor electrical cable. The system was certified by Goodrich (now United Technologies Aerospace Services) in 2010. The AD became effective on October 16.
Eurocopter has issued another emergency Service Bulletin and the EASA has published another emergency Airworthiness Directive for the EC225 and AS332L2 Super Pumas, this time centering on a life-raft housing. During an EC225 delivery flight, a sponson life-raft ejectable cowling was lost. It was caused by the incorrect positioning of a locking system during cowling installation. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to the in-flight hazardous inflation of the life raft, according to the EASA.
The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive–2013-14-51–relating to the GE90-110B1 and -115B, which power aircraft such as the Boeing 777-200LR and 777 freighter. The July 12 AD was prompted by a report of the additional failure of a transfer gearbox assembly (TGB) radial gearshaft, outside the suspect population identified in AD 2013-10-52, which resulted in an in-flight shutdown.
The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive–2013-10-52–for GE90-110B1 and GE90-115B engines on May 16 after two reports of transfer gearbox assembly (TGB) failures prompted in-flight engine shutdowns. Investigations revealed the cause as TGB radial gear cracking and separation. The AD prohibits the operation of any aircraft with either engine installed five days after receipt of the directive.
Since when is an Emergency AD used to ground an aircraft fleet, as it has been in the case of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner? First off, let me be clear that if anything good can be said of the Boeing Dreamliner nightmare it’s that no one had to die before the FAA would take definitive action to ground the 787 until its battery fire problems could be investigated properly.
Text of the statement released by the FAA late today.
The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an emergency airworthiness directive December 4 for the angle of attack (AOA) probes of both the Airbus A330 and A340. The AD, which became effective December 6, results from an incident in which an A330 in the climb experienced a blockage of all AOA probes, leading to autopilot disconnection and activation of the alpha (angle of attack) protection system when Mach number increased.