U.S. and European civil aviation authorities have issued new airworthiness directives (ADs) for the inspection and possible repair or replacement of the Sikorsky S-92A’s main gearbox. The updated ADs build on 2009 directives and mandate action on a new gearbox design that was supposed to solve the problem, at least temporarily.
Hartzell Propeller has received an FAA type certificate for its new advanced-composite ASC-II four-blade propeller. It is the company’s first
ASC-II propeller developed for turboprop aircraft.
Hartzell developed its first composite blade in 1978 principally out of aramid fiber. According to the company, it was the first composite propeller ever certified by the FAA.
Under new final rules issued by the FAA, all transport-category (Part 25) aircraft certified henceforth will have to meet requirements “to prevent catastrophic failure due to widespread fatigue damage throughout the operational life.” The rule also applies to existing Part 25 aircraft operated under Part 121 and 129 regulations with an mtow of more than 75,000 pounds.
Carpet manufacturer Tai Ping has launched the Vestige Collection, which consists of 21 designs that have been recolored for the aviation market. The hand-tufted carpets are made of New Zealand wool and silk, with jute and flax as accents, and are offered in golden browns, ecru, bronze and gray-blues. New York-based Tai Ping is exhibiting here at Booth No. 3241.
Mid-Continent Instruments has received an approved model list (AML) supplemental type certificate (STC) from the FAA for its MD835 lithium emergency power supply. The award is the first FAA Part 23 approval for a lithium nanophosphate battery through the AML STC process. Thirty aircraft are included in the STC, including the King Air 90, 200 and 300 series, Beech 1900, Beech Premier and Cessna Citation 501, 525A/B.
Bell 206L-3, Abilene, Texas, March 29, 2009–The NTSB determined the fatigue crack in the trailing edge of a main rotor blade was caused by interconnected porosity and resulting corrosion resulting from an undetected manufacturing defect. During a post-flight inspection following a flight in turbulence, the pilot noted the crack in the blade.
The FAA has become sufficiently concerned about maintenance technician fatigue to take proactive measures to educate the maintenance community. The agency’s maintenance fatigue Web site (https://hfskyway.faa.gov/HFSkyway/FatigueTool.aspx) provides information on fatigue issues and tools to help technicians and management address fatigue risk.
There are “tens of thousands of aging military aircraft” flying with the world’s air forces and many of those aircraft are more than 25 years old, according to Rob McDonald, ASIS marketing director. “Many of these fleets are set to be still flying in 20 years or more, with some aircraft, such as the USAF KC-135 tankers, topping 80 years old before the last aircraft is withdrawn from service,” he said.
With military aircraft are working harder and longer, the task of managing their service life safely and cost efficiently is becoming ever more critical. This has prompted Ultra Electronics Controls to conceive the ASIS aircraft structural integrity system, providing an innovative approach to monitoring and maintaining them.
While it seems that most of the focus on fatigue issues is on pilots, the FAA is concerned about maintenance technician fatigue and has taken steps to educate the maintenance community. One excellent resource is the agency’s maintenance fatigue Web site, which offers information on fatigue issues and tools to help technicians and company leadership manage fatigue risk.