MAKE CHAPTER 288 YOUR AVIATION HOME! E-AB, TYPE CERTIFIED, VINTAGE, WARBIRD, ETC.
MAKE CHAPTER 288 YOUR AVIATION HOME! E-AB, TYPE CERTIFIED, VINTAGE, WARBIRD, ETC.
UPDATED FEB 22, 2023
(Repeated from HOME PAGE)
Emergency AD Grounds 2000+ New and Rebuilt Continental Engines
The FAA has issued an emergency (direct-to-final-rule) Airworthiness Directive AD 2023-04-08 affecting all Continental 360-, 470-, 520-, 550-, and GTSIO-520 engines whose crankshaft assemblies were manufactured, installed or repaired on or after June 1, 2021. This AD mandates an inspection of the counterweight retaining rings (circlips) tto ensure that they are fully seated. The inspection involves removing one, two or three cylinders from the right side of the engine (depending on engine model) and checking each of the circlips with a special measuring tool. An estimated 2,176 crankshaft assemblies are affected, of which an estimated 1,632 are installed in aircraft of US registry.
This AD was triggered by reports of two ground engine seizures and one in-flight loss of oil pressure, all traced to improper installation of the circlips during manufacture by Continental Motors. Continental recently issued a Mandatory Service Bulletin MSB23-01 on this subject, but the AD is considerably more restrictive than the MSB in that it does not exempt engines with more than 200 hours time-in-service and requires compliance before further flight (although it does allow for ferry permits if the oil filter is cut open and no significant metal is found).
The good news is that Continental will be paying for these inspections under warranty. The bad news is that owners may have a difficult time getting these inspections on their maintenance shop's schedule, since most shops seem to be booked up for months in advance.
Cirrus Aircraft's SR22 and SR22T models manufactured between June 1, 2021, and Feb. 7, 2023, have been grounded, with the company saying in an email to owners and operators that Continental Aerospace informed them about a potential issue affecting the aircrafts' engines. The email also noted that "Continental is pro-actively working with the [Federal Aviation Administration] as a standard protocol for a situation of this nature."
Continental issued a more detailed statement two days after Cirrus Aircraft sent a notice to Cirrus SR22 and SR22T owners (shared on social media) advising them on February 8 that the company had "just been informed by Continental of an issue that affects the engines that power both our SR22 and SR22T. While we are still working with Continental to determine the scope of the issue and specific serial number range of affected aircraft, we are proactively making the decision—out of an abundance of caution—to pause all internal Cirrus Aircraft company flight operations on SR22s and SR22Ts manufactured and issued a Certificate of Airworthiness from June 1, 2021, through February 7, 2023."
Continental's follow-up, attributed to an unnamed company representative, provided the first specific information about the cause of concern, extending from production engines to replacement crankshafts:
"Continental has identified a potential safety of flight issue for aircraft equipped with Continental 360, 470, 520, [and] 550 series engines and replacement crankshaft assemblies. Consequently, Continental is preemptively advising that an inspection should be performed to confirm that the crankshaft counterweight retaining ring was properly installed in new and rebuilt engines assembled between June 1, 2021, and February 7, 2023. This advice also applies to replacement crankshaft assemblies manufactured between June 1, 2021, through February 7, 2023.
"Continental proactively recommends that all flights powered by the aforementioned engines with less than 200 operating hours be limited to 5 additional flight hours with the essential crew to position the aircraft at a maintenance facility. To further clarify, Continental engines with over 200 hours may continue normal flight operations. A service bulletin with affected serial numbers will be forthcoming."
Cirrus reported on February 8 that it continues to operate SR20s without restriction, but the SR22 models are subject to a "pause" that includes all flight operations.
Cirrus reported on February 8 that it continues to operate SR20s without restriction, but the SR22 models are subject to a "pause" that includes all flight operations.
"Even though we are in the very early stages of working with Continental to gather more information, we wanted to proactively reach out to you now to let you know the decision we have made regarding flight operations for our company-owned and operated aircraft."
A Cirrus dealer reached by phone, Kenny Scherado, president of Lone Mountain Aviation in Las Vegas, said the issue has not led to an engine failure.
"They found it during an inspection," Scherado said. About 700 aircraft were affected, FlightGlobal reported, though the exact number of aircraft is not likely to be known until Continental determines the specific serial numbers involved.
FAA officials told the media the agency is aware of the situation, though no immediate action was taken by the agency.
Introduction of a new oil sump assy. for ROTAX® Engine Type 914 (Series)
ATA System: 78-00-00 Exhaust and Turbocharger
Garmin has received FAA approval for its software update and service bulletin to correct a previously reported possible runaway trim issue with its popular GFC 500 autopilot. In December, the FAA alerted GFC 500 operators who have the optional GSA 28 pitch trim installed of the possible problem, which could lead to loss of control. Software updates to accommodate installations involving Garmin GI 275 instruments are expected within weeks, according to Garmin.
An Expert Introduction to Airworthiness Directives
FAA ADs are ‘legally enforceable rules’ that every pilot should pay attention to.
By Richard Scarbrough (from Flying Magazine)
September 15, 2022
There is no escaping the airworthiness directive. If you are associated with aircraft in any manner, it will affect you. Sam pulls the white plastic lid off his cup of coffee, and the aromatic vapors hit him with full force. As is customary, he will gripe about the quality of FBO breakroom coffee but drink it anyway. It continues to baffle him how some of the younger staff stops at that Java ‘n Juice boutique joint, plunk down seven bucks for a mocha-jingo-whatever, and then leave it half consumed all around the hangar. Not him, only strong black coffee in Styrofoam cups will do. As maintenance manager, he needs the caffeine to face the daily tasks before him. He hears the owner, Ms. Chambers, coming down the hall; her unmistakable heels clack on the ceramic tile floor. She finds him leaning against the breakroom doorframe and says, “I need to see you in my office, please.” Great, what now? Slowly making his way upstairs, he finds his boss pacing behind her large desk and pressing her fingers to her lips in deep thought. He sits and crosses his legs.
“The FSDO called. They may want to stop by and talk to us,” she finally says. “There has been an incident.” A Beechcraft Baron had an engine shutdown in flight after coming out of a competing repair station across the field. The magnetos seized, and the engine lost the ignition spark. Thankfully, the pilot could feather the prop and get the aircraft to an airport, landing safely. After inspecting the logbooks, it appeared that the shop returning the airplane to service missed an airworthiness directive (AD). With concern on her face, the owner looks at her maintenance manager and says, “How can you be sure we catch all the ADs and that nothing slips through the cracks?” He can tell she’s serious. Sitting upright in the chair, Sam leans forward on his elbows and returns a confident look to his boss. “Because I make it mission critical that every applicable AD gets actioned,” he says. “Diane, I have staked my entire career on it.”
The 30,000-Foot View
Please permit me a bit of housekeeping before we get too deep into today’s lesson. This column introduces some of you to aircraft maintenance theories, practices, and techniques. It is a 30,000-foot view of a shop, hangar, and line operations. Others who have worked in the business for a long time may also benefit from these discussions by refreshing their skills, recalling similar experiences, or even learning a new trick or two. See “continuous improvement” in the policies and procedure handbook. Many of the topics may be familiar to you, and some you could be seeing for the first time.
There is usually more to the story. With each article, I provide links to enable you to take a deeper dive into the content I present here. Please take the time to click them and glance over the material. It is an excellent backup to our discussion. Again, we are here to chat about aircraft maintenance. This space is a discussion, not a one-sided conversation. If you have questions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, now, let’s return to your regularly scheduled programming.
Three Types of ADs
The FAA issues ADs whenever there is an unsafe condition with an aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance. The three types of ADs are:
1. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), followed by a Final Rule
2. Final Rule; Request for Comments
And yes, everything we discuss in “Maintaining Your Airplane” is grounded in the federal aviation regulations (FARs). I bet you are dying to know which one covers airworthiness directives. The section of the Code of Federal Regulations that encompasses the FARs in question is none other than Title 14 / Chapter I / Subchapter C / Part 39. Would you like to know what it says? A summary: “FAA’s airworthiness directives are legally enforceable rules.”
ADs are constantly in the news. Earlier this year, FLYING’s technical editor Meg Godlewski penned a piece concerning vintage Piper models. Just last month, editor-in-chief Julie Boatman made everyone aware that the FAA has opened the comment period on a nose-gear AD for the Tecnam P2006T. There is no escaping the airworthiness directive. If you are associated with aircraft in any manner—new or old—it will affect you.
An Art Form
Diane had good reason to be concerned. Researching, pulling, and clearing ADs is somewhat of an art form. The FAA decommissioned the Regulatory and Guidance Library (RGL) on August 16, 2022. The information transitioned to the new web space Dynamic Regulatory System (DRS), which includes access to ADs. I will reserve judgment for now, but please try it out and let me know your thoughts.
The FAA also allows you to sign up for a subscription to ADs and other airworthiness information. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) tracks and distributes ADs as well, such as the one covering certain Continental magnetos: AD 2022-16-03.
The FAA is not the sole source when pulling ADs. A service like Tdata.com can help you stay abreast of them as well. President/CEO Jim Thomas states that his product references applicable service bulletins to streamline the action of clearing ADs. That certainly could have helped the maintenance provider across the field. Let’s check with Diane and Sam and see what they found out.
Missing a Service Bulletin?
So, what caused all the drama earlier? A neighboring maintenance provider serviced a Beechcraft Baron equipped with IO-550-C powerplants and a Continental ignition system. During the visit, they missed Continental Critical Service Bulletin CSB673C. Missing a service bulletin is not good, especially when that CSB becomes an AD. According to Continental Aerospace CSB673C, “The supplier of Continental Part No. 10-400561, Bearing, Roller, has identified one lot of the roller bearings was delivered to Continental with a light corrosion preventive lubricant rather than the specified translucent white grease. Affected magnetos assembled without the properly lubricated roller bearing have a potential to overheat, causing accelerated wear in the contact and cam follower.” That would not be fun if a magneto overheats in flight. The feds felt that the Continental Aero CSB addressing the magneto bearing situation was dire enough to issue an AD. On July 29, 2022, AD 2022-16-03, Project Identifier AD-2022-00614-E, went live on the Federal Register. The AD became effective on August 15, 2022. My Tdata subscription alerted me to this AD on July 28, 2022, the day before the notice went live.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to ADs. Please join me in sending a big thank you to our fictional characters, Sam and Diane, for being good sports about the FSDO calling. A visit from the FAA is nothing to be scared of if you are all squared away. Keep abreast of airworthiness directives, and manage your business—or your airplane—accordingly.
About the Author: Richard Scarbrough
Richard is a US Navy Veteran, A&P Mechanic, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate. His experience ranges from general and corporate aviation to helicopters, business jets, and commercial airliners. Former owner of a 145 repair station, he's currently a Technical Analyst for a major airline and MRO in Atlanta, Georgia. Send your thoughts and questions to: email@example.com.
After reading the previous article, do you think ADs Apply to Homebuilts? Yes or No? Because you have an E-AB aircraft and you don't think you need to comply AD's you just might be wrong. Please read this article from Kitplanes Magazine. It's an excellent analysis of what needs to be considered.
Among the many effects of the supply chain problems in the summer of 2022, aviation discovered that it was having a difficult time functioning without a simple commodity—the oil filter. Lycoming and Continental engines everywhere needed spin-on, disposable oil filters to keep flying, and the supply was extremely limited. KITPLANES research found that Champion had effectively stopped production—though it is now ramping back up—while Tempest was going at their normal production rate and trying mightily to increase it to meet demand. But Tempest simply couldn’t double its production overnight, so suppliers’ shelves emptied as aircraft owners quickly bought up every filter they could find. Remember the toilet paper shortages in the early days of COVID? Yeah, it was sort of like that.
Click below to read the entire article
The FAA has signed supplemental type certificates to allow General Aviation Modifications Inc.’s 100-octane unleaded fuel (G100UL) to be used in every general spark-ignition engine and every airframe powered by those engines. The move was hailed by the GA industry as a major step in the transition to an unleaded future. The FAA’s approval of the use of G100UL fuel in all piston aircraft directly addresses the industry's long-standing goal of finding unleaded solutions that can be used for the entire GA piston fleet.
“Congratulations to GAMI on this achievement, which is another initial step toward a goal we all want – an unleaded fuel for general aviation,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board. “This is a significant accomplishment that opens the door to the hard work that remains to create a commercial pathway and acceptance across the broad spectrum of GA aircraft.”
In 2021 the FAA approved STCs for GAMI covering a smaller number of Cessna 172 engines and airframes, and then expanded those STC approved model list (AML) to include essentially all lower-compression engines. Though that was seen as an encouraging step forward in the years-long path to supply unleaded aviation fuel to the piston aircraft fleet, the STC’s did not include aircraft needing the higher-octane fuel that accounts for approximately two-thirds of avgas consumption. Today’s announcement by the FAA addresses the needs of those higher-compression engines.
GAMI co-founder George Braly said, “This is a big day for the industry. It means that for a lot of our general aviation communities, and especially for a high fraction on the West Coast, relief is on the way. And it means that our industry will be able to go into the future and prosper, and provide the essential infrastructure for this country for everything from Angel Flights to critical training of our future airline pilots.”
Braly thanked the GA community for its support through this long process. “Without it we couldn’t have gotten this done,” he said. GAMI’s Braly has said that Ann Arbor, Michigan-based fuel supplier AvFuel is standing by to manage the logistics and distribution of G100UL, and said he is open to partnerships. “Our arrangement is that any qualified refiner or blender of existing aviation fuels will be eligible to produce and sell it subject to the quality assurance requirements that the FAA has approved,” he said.
The timing for when G100UL will reach airports is still uncertain. “It’s going to take a while to manage the infrastructure including manufacturing and distribution," Braly said. The supply chain “is still a very wounded infrastructure and that’s not going to make the process any easier, but we have a handle on how to do this, and with the support of the major players I think we can do that. It’s going to be limited to begin with, but it can be ramped up rapidly,” he said.
Pelton noted that certain regions, such as the West Coast, are priorities to receive approval as soon as practical. Some California municipalities, for instance, prematurely banned the sale of leaded avgas and threatened a safe and smart transition to unleaded. “There is a process in place for a safe transition to unleaded fuel for the GA fleet,” Pelton said. “Let’s keep forging ahead on that path in a unified fashion, rather than a patchwork of local ordinances that will only set political hurdles in front of the ultimate goal.”
While the cost of the fuel has not been determined, Braly said the small batch production process that will initially mark the arrival of G100UL at airports means that the fuel will cost slightly more than leaded avgas. “Small volume batches cost money,” he said. “Until we can get [production] revved up that we’re making millions of gallons at a time, there will be an incremental cost," he said.
“It’s not going to be unreasonable,” Braly added. “Pilots in America will not be paying what they’re paying for avgas in Europe today.” Owners can also expect to see engines that operate more efficiently. “I think the days of cleaning spark plugs every 50 hours are going to be behind us for good,” Braly said.
Swift Fuels Inc., an Indiana based company, has received FAA approval for its 94-octane unleaded fuel, and has expanded its distribution, particularly to the West Coast. Swift Fuels’ 94-octane fuel meets some, but not all, of the demand of aircraft with lower-compression engines. The company is developing a 100R unleaded fuel with more than 10 percent renewable content.
In addition, two fuel candidates are currently in the EAGLE/PAFI testing process.
All fuel manufacturers continue to be encouraged to follow through with their own formulations, Pelton said. “Innovation and multiple options have always been a key to ultimate success, so we welcome any and all ideas to bring unleaded fuel to the marketplace for general aviation.”
More than a half-century ago, Boeing unveiled the 747, a massive and striking airplane that captured the public imagination and brought air travel to the masses. The jet has been a workhorse since, ferrying passengers and cargo around the world. But its days are numbered: On Tuesday, Boeing plans to hand over the last 747 it will ever make.
With a distinctive hump, the 747, nicknamed the “Queen of the Skies,” is perhaps the most widely recognizable commercial airplane ever built. The plane transformed air travel and became a symbol of American ingenuity. It could still be flying decades from now, a longevity that aviation historians said was testament to the work that engineers, designers and others put into repeatedly remaking the airplane.
“It’s one of the great ones,” said Shea Oakley, who runs an aviation history consulting firm and is a former executive director of the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey. “If you had to make a list of the 10 most important airplanes ever built since the Wright Flyer, the 747 needs to be on that list. It was a quantum leap.”
Established in 1980 by German aerobatic pilot Walter Extra as a means by which to design and develop his own airplanes, the EXTRA Aircraft company—EXTRA Flugzeugbau by its German moniker—has since grown into one of the world’s premier makers of aerobatic aircraft.
EXTRA’s aircraft line-up comprises the EXTRA 330 SC, a single seat, low-wing, conventional (taildragger) landing-gear, aerobatic monoplane possessed of the sort of aerobatic performance that won world championships in 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017; the EXTRA 330 LX, a two-seat, tandem arrangement, low-wing, conventional landing-gear, aerobatic monoplane eminently suited to both aerobatic competition and dual instruction; the EXTRA 330, a slick, two-seat, glass-panel machine that EXTRA rightfully touts as The Aerobatic Tourer; the EXTRA 330 LP, a two-seat, tandem arrangement, low-wing aerobatic monoplane that’s slightly less aggressive than the LX; and the EXTRA NG, the company’s next generation aerobatic aircraft and heir-apparent to EXTRA’s legacy competition aircraft.
In autumn 2022, EXTRA founder and CEO Walter Extra announced the formation of EXTRA Aircraft USA LP. The facility will be based at the DeLand Airport (DED) in DeLand, Florida, and provide factory-authorized parts and maintenance support to all North American EXTRA aircraft owners. Additionally, the entirety of new EXTRA aircraft bound for North America will be received at DeLand and verified fit for delivery by factory-trained and authorized staff.
Mr. Extra remarks: “I am very pleased to continue our success in the USA and announce this new EXTRA facility for our North American customers. We will provide AOG and complete spares support from DeLand backed up by the factory in Germany. We will also grow our service offerings for scheduled maintenance, such as annual inspections and the one-thousand-hour inspection, as well as unscheduled maintenance.”
Duncan Koerbel, a veteran aerospace executive who’s logged approximately one-thousand hours in EXTRA aircraft, will serve as the general manager of EXTRA Aircraft USA. Mr. Koerbel will work closely with Eric Extra, manager of maintenance; and Marcus Extra, manager of production, to establish the new factory-direct model and position it to support the North American EXTRA fleet well into the future.
Marcus Extra notes: “We have an excellent order backlog and continue to be pleased with the demand for our new NG as well as the 330SC, which was just flown to its eighth world championship in Poland. This arrangement will allow us to be even closer to our customers.”
Eric Extra added: “We have initially leased hangar facilities in DeLand but are exploring a purpose-built option for the long-term future. Marcus and I are excited to continue to grow the company our father founded forty-years ago.”
EXTRA’s USA facility will commence operations in late 2022.
Care and feeding of the only things between you and the ground.
While generally round and black in color, that’s almost all the characteristics aircraft tires have in common with their automotive siblings. In fact, a major difference is the construction and materials used in their manufacture. Aircraft tires and tubes primarily incorporate natural rubber while automotive tires use synthetic compounds extensively. Aircraft tires are designed for a very specific job and are part of the landing gear system on almost every aircraft.
Credit to AvWeb for this excellent article
Rotax Unveils 24-Volt 915 iS/C 141-Hp, 183-pound Engine Now Offers Power, Charging for Everything Under the Sun Foreshadowed earlier this year, Rotax has unveiled the 24-volt version of their 915 IS/c engine, delivering up to 800 watts for a range of aircraft configurations. A standby in the experimental and sport plane world, Rotax took everything users love about 915 IS and added the power needed to run a full suite of power-hungry, high performance avionics and charging systems. The 24-volt system is available for new Rotax 915 iS/c engines, both certified and ASTM-compliant. Now, users can implement a variety of aircraft board systems, digital displays, glass cockpits, synthetic vision, and more with plenty of overhead to charge trinkets, EFBs, and phones along the way. The new 915 iS/c C24 delivers up to 800 watts from its extra light converter. Rotax designed the 915 for light weight, compact utility, with lighter cabling throughout the power delivery system to minimize weight as much as possible. That performance doesn't come alone, with 141 peak horsepower on tab from the turbocharged, 1352-cc engine. The 915 only weighs 184 pounds, with about 15 pounds added for the engine suspension frame, alternator, and fuel pump assembly. The 915 boasts the best of both worlds, giving power and performance while being an affordable, reliable powerplant for any light aircraft. The 915 has a maximum operating altitude of 23,000 feet, with a time between overhaul of 1,200 hours. Its electronic engine management system, electric starter, and redundant fuel injection all add additional levels of reliability and stability in ownership, adding an economy mode and simplifying the ownership process. This year, Rotax has also announced an extended warranty program, now offering coverage up to 5 years on all engine components with the R.E.S.T. extension. Thanks to Propwash for this article.
Following a request from EAA and AOPA, the FAA has released a policy that will make it easier for some owners of experimental aircraft to obtain special flight permits (SFPs) for their airplanes in order to reposition them for condition inspections.
The advent of the FAA's shift to an electronic airworthiness certification process can be daunting, but it need not be! DAR Arnold Holmes, our "local" DAR can explain what you need to get your aircraft certified. Arnold Holmes is a Private pilot, an A&P Mechanic with Inspection Authorization (IA), and a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR). He is a member of EAA and has over 25 years in aviation. Arnold runs DAR-Certification Services at the Leesburg Airport.
Check out his website at https://dar-certification.com.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Superior Air Parts, Inc. (SAP) Model IO-360-series and O-360-series reciprocating engines and certain Lycoming Engines (Lycoming) Model AEIO-360-, IO-360-, and O-360-series reciprocating engines with a certain SAP crankshaft assembly installed.