AD NUMBER: 2007-13-11
MANUFACTURER: Eclipse Aviation
SUBJECT: Airworthiness Directive 2007-13-11 SUMMARY: The FAA is
adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Eclipse
Aviation Corporation (Eclipse) Model EA500 airplanes. This AD
requires you to incorporate information into the Limitations
section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) that will require
operation only in day visualflight rules (VFR), allow only a VFR
flight plan, and maintain operation with two pilots. This AD is
being issued because of three instances of loss of primary airspeed
indication due to freezing condensation within the pitot system.
The loss of air pressure in the pitot system could cause the stall
warning to become unreliable and the stick pusher, overspeed
warning, and autopilot to not function. The concern is heightened
by the aerodynamic characteristics of the Eclipse Model EA500
airplane, which relies on the stall warning and the stick pusher to
alert the pilot prior to the loss of aircraft control. The standby
airspeed is reliable and not affected by this failure mode.
Atemporary AFM revision prohibits operation in instrument
meteorological conditions (IMC), requires two pilots, and limits
the airspeed and altitude envelope if the event occurs in flight.
The AFM limitations and FAA operational rules allow Model EA500
flight crews to file an instrumentflight rule (IFR) flight plan
even though the airplane is not approved for flight in IMC. This
potentially causes an undue workload burden and confusion when the
pilot has to refuse any instructions that take them into IMC. We
are issuing this AD to prevent an unsafe condition whenAir Traffic
Control's (ATC's) ability to maintain traffic separation is
compromised because anairplane on an IFR flight plan cannot accept
a flight plan into IMC.