Important Fleet Advisory:

FAA Airworthiness Directive AD 2011-07-13 was issued 04 April 2011.
Please consult our “Support” page for further information.

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27 Sep 2011: Many are asking about FAA approval of a terminating action for AD 2011-07-13.  Please open and read my status briefing.
Although some of the below information has gone stale, I will leave it all up for now.

We are caught up with the spar backlog, having shipped 137.  At the peak, I believe about 125 Commanders were grounded waiting on Aerodyme for spars.  That did not feel good, so we are very relieved to have now filled all your orders.  We also think that all inoculation kits orders for installation with new new spars have been shipped, leaving about 30 pending orders to be filled that are for kits ordered for preventative installation on existing uncracked spars.  We hope to catch that backlog with the next two weeks.  We have also re-sparred approximately 30 elevators and are continuing to process those as they arrive.  Our method is different, superior, and more expensive that having spars replaced in the field.  It is generally not feasible for a shop to design and build the custom process tools and fixtures we use at Aerodyme.

16 July 2011: Sorry, no update here for so long... we have been very busy with the approvals and manufacturing ramps for spars, hinge kits, and now other key tail components turning up worn all over the fleet.  We have shipped over 80 spars and are close to catching up with the order backlog.  We have competed our first three elevator re-spars using our custom process which avoids opening any skin to rib rivets except for the outboard aft rib, avoids all bucking (everything is hand squeezed), uses all solid rivets except six mandatory CherryMax locations by OEM design.  The outboard hinge inoculation kits are now ramping into production, having received PMA approval through the FAA Boston ACO, and installation approval by the FAA Wichita ACO (required due to the AD), and should start shipping this month.

22 May 2011: Reports to the FAA have remained consistent, with approximately 60% of 114/A having cracks, 10% of 112/A/B/TC/TCA, and 0% of 114B/TC/115.  Many of you were postponing inspection until the FAA makes further determinations, but please keep in mind this is somewhat self-defeating because it is not reasonable to expect the FAA to make further determinations until the mandatory inspection results have been submitted on a significant portion of the fleet.  I understand we are now at about 150 reports filed.

FAA-PMA Spars Now Available
Call 802-264-6400

Problem-Solving Fittings
Special Pre-Buy Pricing for 1st 100 Orders
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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.

Serviceable Elevators:

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.

Other Parts:

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:

FAA AD 2011-07-13

AD 2011-07-13 re Elevator Spars

AMOC for AD2011-07-13

AMOC for AD2011-07-13

AMOC Appendix A Revision 1

AMOC Appendix A Revision 2

The AMOC allows for inspection by borescope without removing the elevator from the airplane, and without removing the elevator end rib, provided that the equipment meets certain minimum specifications and that no signs of trouble are seen with the borescope.  Refer to the AMOC Appendix A Revision 1 above for a listing of acceptable scopes.  I purchased the Hawkeye PS17-NVK and am happy with it.  If you choose to use the AMOC procedure and see signs of trouble with the borescope and need to revert to the AD procedure, please use caution when removing and re-installing the elevator end rib.  A loose rib may aggravate your problems.  Our suggestions are offered below:

AC11 Tail Parts Availability

AC11 Tail Parts

Updated

Suggestions & Information
End-Rib Re-Installation

CherryMax Instructions

New

Synopsis of Aerodyme Method
for
Spar Replacement

FAA Approval of Aerodyme Spars
for AD 2011-07-13 Compliance

FAA Confirmation of Acceptable Means
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