How accurate should airworthiness directives be? Before you answer that question, let me give you an example of an actual AD applicable to the Airbus A318/319/320/321 and then you can decide whether the information provided is sufficient for a mechanic to perform the required maintenance properly. I know you’re not all mechanics, but I don’t think you need to be one to see the problem.
As expected, the FAA has published an Airworthiness Directive for 800-series Hawkers equipped with Aviation Partners (API) winglets.
The FAA has proposed an Airworthiness Directive for the Eurocopter AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2 and EC225LP. It requires inspecting the intermediate gearbox (IGB) fairing for a crack and inspecting the IGB fairing gutter, if installed, for a crack, separation or interference.
The FAA is proposing to supersede an airworthiness directive for the Sikorsky S-64E (type certificate currently held by Erickson Air-Crane). It requires inspecting and reworking the main gearbox second-stage lower planetary plate.
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.
In a Service Bulletin issued May 3, winglet manufacturer Aviation Partners (API) instructed operators with winglet-equipped 800-series Hawkers modified by STC#ST01411SE to reduce maximum permissible altitude to 34,000 feet. “Several instances of aileron/wing oscillations have been reported on the Hawker 800 [series],” the company said. “Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.”
Despite a number of recent fatal accidents involving post-crash fires blamed on the Robinson R44’s vulnerable aluminum fuel tanks, and despite the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) publishing an airworthiness directive demanding replacement with improved flexible bladder versions, many operators have failed to comply.
The FAA has issued a final rule superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for all Pilatus PC-12s, PC-12/45s, PC-12/47s and PC-12/47Es. Since the issuance of AD 2009-14-13 Pilatus has issued revisions to the limitations section of the airplane maintenance manual to include an inspection of the wing main spar fastener holes at rib six for cracks. The action was prompted by a crack found on one wing, and a more restrictive airworthiness limitation was introduced in that manual.
The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive for the Robinson R22, R22 Alpha, R22 Beta, R22 Mariner, R44 and R44 II with certain main rotor blades. The existing AD currently requires inspecting each blade at the skin-to-spar line for debonding, corrosion, a separation, a gap or a dent and replacing any damaged blade with an airworthy blade.
The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive for the Bell 212 and adopting requirements for Bell 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B and 210 helicopters with certain part-numbered main rotor hub inboard strap fittings. The AD requires magnetic particle inspection of the fittings for a crack, and if a crack exists, replacing the fittings with airworthy fittings.