The FAA has issued Information for Operators (InFo) 19009 to advise pilots and maintenance personnel of the potential for damaging angle of attack (AOA) sensors on aircraft. Based on continued airworthiness activity on multiple foreign and domestic large transport aircraft and small general aviation aircraft, the FAA has determined it is necessary to advise operators of the importance of performing proper operations and maintenance on AOA sensors.
“It is imperative that all operators are aware of the criticality of AOA sensors and the potential for damage during normal operations, maintenance, and any other procedures around an aircraft where damage to an AOA sensor could occur,” the FAA cautioned. “Operators can find the requirements for maintaining this component in the instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA).”
In addition, all pertinent personnel “should review current procedures identified in their appropriate operational, maintenance, or servicing manuals. The review should ensure that the manual adequately identifies all aspects and appropriate policies/procedures around AOA sensors.”
The most recent serious issue involving a malfunctioning AOA sensor concerned those on the Cirrus SF-50 Vision. Three in-flight incidents of uncommanded engagement of the single-engine jet’s stall warning and/or stability protection systems caused by the AOA sensor prompted the FAA in April to temporarily ground the fleet. In June, the FAA published a new AD mandating replacement of the aircraft’s AOA sensors with improved ones.