My thoughts re AD 2011-07-13 as follows:
1. Those aircraft already known to have cracked elevators will need replacement spars, now available from Aerodyme.
2. Everyone else has a flying budget of 5 hours, that started Monday, April 4, until the AD inspection is required. Figure 2 hours of labor using the COG AMOC.
3. Before you decide to keep flying off your 5 hours, please take a quick look around your fittings in case you have a bad crack.
4. It may NOT be possible to “write off” the AD as already accomplished by having done the COG visual and borescoping because the AD explicitly sets certain minimum specifications for the inspection equipment..
5. There are NO approved repair procedures for cracked elevators except for replacement of the spars.
Spars and Fittings:
1. Those airplanes found free of cracks can keep flying, for now.
2. On May 6, the FAA issued PMA for replacement spars: Aerodyme p/n 44211-RE9 that replaces 44211-9 LH Spar, and Aerodyme p/n 44211-RE10 that replaces 44211-10 RH Spar, and issued approval for the Aerodyme spars to be used for compliance with AD 2011-07-13. Last week, we shipped the first five spars for installation reports. The feedback has been good so we will now continue with shipments, hoping to catch up with the backlog by first week June. Nearly 100 spars have been reserved. The reservation list continues to grow by several spars each day, so please call us as soon as you know you need one, or both.
3. Aerodyme, Associated Aero of Bethany, OK, and Aircraft Servicing (Channel Islands, UK) are taking reservations for elevator repairs.
4. In regard to the spars, I am now focusing on the procedure, trying to squeeze out labor and increase quality. We have designed and are building a full custom workstation and investing in specialized tooling. Some of these “tricks” will require a supporting repair report which we will include with each spar sale at no extra change. This process design work will be shared openly with AAS and ASG so as to be of maximum benefit to the fleet.
5. With the the spars now approved, our certification emphasis has shifted to the new fittings. We are in the final stages of FAA review, and I expect approval in early June We are now accepting orders for the fitting kits at a special pre-buy price, see link above. Production of those can spool up quite quickly so I think we catch up with that reservation list in June. The fittings may be approved and become installable BEFORE the FAA has reach final conclusions, but nonetheless it is important to install them onto original uncracked, and new PMA, spars as soon as possible.
6. Our technical strategy to get maximum relief for the fleet is to install new fittings on specimen CRACKED spars and demonstrate on a stress and shake table that the cracks have stopped propagating. Thus, the FAA would have reasonable basis for accepting the fittings a full and terminating action for the AD.
7. This is all incredibly expensive and time consuming. I can’t do it without your support. Martine and I very much appreciate the calls of support from so many of you, and the reservations being made for spars and fittings.
There are a few serviceable spare elevators in the world, but beware they are NOT all interchangeable. For the 114’s, the break is at s/n 14150. You need stay on the same side of that break line. I have two elevators coming in and have been advised of a few others. These need to be reserved for cases of dire need, not just an urge to fly.
Since the elevators need to be pulled off the airplane for the inspection, many of you will want new bushings and bearings for the re-installation, and some of you will need new fittings or oversized bearings. Martine and I are working very hard to keep ahead of the demand curve. Our parts are properly engineered and come with FAA-approval paperwork. Please consult the “Tail Parts” list below for complete briefing on part numbers and availability of approved parts. This is not the time or place to install unapproved parts.
I have posted some information in relation to re-installation of the end ribs, if removed. See below.
Other information, posted earlier, is below the following document links: