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.
Fatal accidents in experimental aircraft jumped about 25 percent last year compared with the previous year, and EAA says “focused efforts to enhance safety even further remain essential.” In a news release, the organization says the 56 fatal accidents in the year ending Sept. 30, 2022, was up from 42 in the previous 12 months. That’s still less than the historical average but it’s not to be taken lightly, says Sean Elliott, EAA’s VP of advocacy and safety.
“The fatal accident totals, for both amateur-builts and experimental aircraft overall, remain 30 to 35 percent below where they were just a decade ago, including when looking at the three-year rolling average on which the FAA bases its annual not-to-exceed number,” said Elliott. “While that’s good news, we never want to see an annual increase in the totals. That’s a reminder that we all must continue to work to make safety the top priority even with the small numbers we see each year.”
Of the 56 fatals, 39 were in amateur-built aircraft and EAA said the increase mirrors the increase in general aviation activity as the COVID pandemic eased. Elliot said homebuilts crash mostly for the same reasons that certified aircraft crash and not usually because they’re homebuilts. “It shows that the accidents overwhelmingly do not occur because a pilot is flying an amateur-built or experimental aircraft, but because of factors relating to pilot decision making or flight procedures,” said Elliot. “Those are areas where EAA safety programs and resources can make a difference.”
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 issued an Airworthiness Concern Sheet (ACS) following up on a 2020 Airworthiness Directive (AD 2020-16-11) on Continental IO-500-series engines. The Oct. 25 ACS seeks input from operators on their experience with the effectiveness of compliance with the AD.
According to the ACS, “AD 2020-26-16 was issued as a terminating action; however, the FAA has received multiple reports from the field of cracked cylinders despite prior compliance with AD 2020-16-11. The FAA is concerned that the corrective action contained within AD 2020-16-11 is not sufficiently resolving the issue, so the FAA needs additional input from the field in order to better understand whether any additional actions are necessary at this time.”
The FAA asked, “Do you have (or did you have) a Continental GTSIO-520-C, D, H, K, L, M, N; IO-550-G, N, P, R; IOF550-N, P, R; TSIO-520-BE; TSIO-550-A, B, C, E, G, K, N and TSIOF-550-D, J, K, P engine with an affected cylinder(s) (whether the cylinder(s) is AD 2020-16-11 compliant or not)?” The agency then asked affected operators to report their aircraft type, engine model and the cylinder serial numbers “for each affected cylinder.” Operators are asked to respond within 30 days.
It's the only two-mode vehicle, says Alef Aeronautics, that handles the road like an automobile and hovers like an eVTOL. Commuters, imagine the possibilities.
Alef’s electric Model A, priced at around $300,000, will be the only road-certified flying car that can do vertical takeoff and landings like electric-powered eVTOLs, including the Joby S4, Lilium Jet and Vertical Aerospace VX4.
Santa Clara, California-based Alef recently introduced its two-passenger Model A, saying it would be on “pre-sale” for a deposit of $1,500 in the first quarter of next year. The company says the first deliveries will happen in the fourth quarter of 2025.
Tier 1 Engineering announced that it has successfully completed an airport-to-airport flight with its all-electric helicopter design. The aircraft, a modified Robinson R44, flew between California’s Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport (TRM) and Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) on Saturday. The company is calling the trip “the first helicopter flight between airfields solely by electric power.”
“Progress in the development of all-electric propulsion is similar to other periods of significant advance in aviation,” said Tier 1 Engineering President Glen Dromgoole. “The first aircraft flew short distances, and many people were afraid to ride in the new flying machines. At the start of the Jet Age, there was widespread skepticism about the commercial viability of the turbine engine. Today’s historic flight demonstrates the potential of all-electric rotorcraft and we are thrilled by this achievement.”
Tier 1 Engineering reported that the flight was conducted in collaboration with medical research and development company Lung Biotechnology. The aircraft that flew on Saturday is Tier 1’s third-generation “e-R44,” which the company says was designed to “deliver manufactured organs for transplant” by Lung Biotechnology parent company United Therapeutics. According to Tier 1, the model uses quick-swap battery technology that allows battery packs to be changed in 15 minutes.
Dear Colleague / Friend
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina is where the Wright Brothers first flew a powered aircraft on December 17, 1903. The pilot was Orville Wright.
A 21st century tribute to this monumental achievement has outstanding local support and is now being proposed in Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers’ Tribute Museum, Science Center & Outer Banks Observatory will be the world’s largest museum dedicated to the achievements of the Wright Brothers.
Please offer your support with our initial GoFundMe seed funds campaign by clicking on the link for more information:
CEO & CFO
NJ Office: 973-694-1280
The Wright Experience, Inc. is excited to be a part of a new Wright Brothers Tribute Museum proposed for the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The museum and observatory will house our collection of reproduction Wright gliders and fliers, offering a dynamic and educational experience for students and visitors of all ages.
As a fellow aviation enthusiast, I hope you will consider supporting the launch of this project through a Go Fund Me campaign detailed below.
Glad to hear from you if you'd like to know more.
All the best,
The Wright Experience, Inc
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.
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.
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University says that industry contacts are getting even hungrier for additional maintenance personnel, to the point that seemingly nothing is off the table, from higher salaries and bonuses to free tools and chests.
In an event hosting professionals at the school’s David B. O’Maley College of Business last spring, attending executives repeatedly brought up the dearth of qualified technicians as a continuing bugbear for them all. It’s a problem that has grown particularly acute following the 2020 economic shakeup, the result of a conflux of lockdowns, economic uncertainty, and irregular student recruiting as schools sought to comply with local regulations across the country. The interruption led to a drop in incoming students to the training pipeline that took even more vital candidates that were already aerospace in general. Steve Boecker, exec in Delta TechOps’ Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul division, painted a very rosy picture for those willing to join the industry.
“For those of you who want to become an aircraft maintenance technician, and you’re qualified and certified, you can almost name your price.” He’s far from the only one sounding the alarm. The US Bureau of Labor sees spry growth in the sector, with aviation maintenance careers expected to grow by 11% to the overall trend of 8% in the country overall. That growth means some fine opportunities for those interested in coming aboard. Rick Hale, chairman of Winner Aviation Corporation, told attendees last spring that techs will even find themselves courted by prospective employers.
“We’ve had to get pretty creative in how we go after them. The segment is offering a lot of perks right now to students just coming out of school, with signing bonuses, tool chests, tools, and other training perks being offered.” Embry Riddle echoed the sentiment, and associate professor Charles Horning says today’s graduates face a very accommodating job field, with a lot more to choose from compared to earlier classes. In years prior many graduating students of the Aviation Maintenance Science program were faced with a choice between traditional air carriers or general aviation.
Now, thanks in some small part to the varied happenings of 2020, graduates have a field full of options, from corporate aviation, uncrewed systems, and even the burgeoning space industry.
Horning says they’re ready for the recent FAA AMT training changes, too. Schools will soon be able to use more simulation-based tools like virtual reality, augmented imagery, and digital training tools to give students a wider breadth of experience at a much lower cost. All of these avenues open up that can enhance the student’s understanding of a subject and help them to grasp that material faster,” he said. “With the new FAA rules, we’re going to have a lot more freedom in choosing the correct mode of learning delivery. Students today have so many opportunities, it’s just phenomenal.”
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
THE SONEX TWO SEAT JET PROTOTYPE
Sonex is pleased to announce major progress in the development of a 2-place variant of the popular SubSonex Personal Jet! SubSonex JSX-2T is designed to be the lowest cost jet trainer ever! It will be a perfect trainer for the single-place JSX-2,and for those who want to share the unique experience of jet-powered flight in a light aircraft. Construction of the SubSonex JSX-2T prototype is well-underway, and the aircraft was on-display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022
THE NEW VAN'S RV-15 is airborne!
It's in the flight test phase and according to Van's, you can't buy it just yet, however, it was on display at Oshkosh!
To see a short test flight video by Van's, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sHK-B230sY
To see a an excellent review video by AOPA/Van's, click here:
To see a review of it by an amateur 'youtuber', click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z16eGH83CmI
Some factual questions answered by Van's about the above review:
Trapeze ropes in cockpit:
"The rope pull handles are test aircraft feature only, to enable emergency door jettison if needed."
"The fuel tank in the cabin is only for the test airplane. Certain prototype aircraft design considerations are there to enable us to make engineering changes and adjustments (keep in mind, this is an engineering test prototype airplane), easily change configurations in weight/balance, loading, etc."
"No, not yet. This is the engineering prototype, from which we develop the kit airplane. We will take orders once we know when kits can be delivered. That takes some time."
"..... There are some features you just can't see (we can talk about those at OSH), and a couple things you mentioned were not quite correct...
Early flight - not the first flight.
Very close on your the take-off roll estimation. Yes - Flaps were up.
Prop correction: Hartzell prop. Big one. Constant Speed.
Fairings come later. This is a test prototype.
Push rod controls. Standard Van's style design.
Trapeze handles are in fact for emergency door jettison. Good catch!
The pilot definitely works for Van's. Great guy, and accomplished test pilot.
Softie is actually a parachute brand. :)
Correct on the in-airframe latching mechanism.
Again, keep in mind that everything is an engineering prototype design at this point.
The fuel tank in the right seat area is for the test article airplane. Flexibility in test loading, engineering changes, etc."
Another New Entry into the Experimental Aircraft Community
The ScaleBirds P-36 Radial-Engined Replica Is Flying
You can learn more about this beautiful bird at their website BUT CAUTION - Their website is NOT secure: http://scalebirds.com
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.
GAMI, the balanced fuel injector people who are also Tornado Alley Turbo and who have been doing the heavy lifting of developing an unleaded, drop-in replacement for 100LL avgas for over a decade, just announced the FAA has approved an STC for burning GAMI’s G100UL fuel in a range of Lycoming-powered Cessnas.