Tue, Dec 12, 2006
Thermawing System May Short-Circuit
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Australia's Civil
Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have issued airworthiness
directives calling for the immediate deactivation of anti-icing
systems installed on some Lancair Columbia (shown below) and
Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing 400-series aircraft.
The AD's state the Kelly Aerospace Thermal Systems Thermawing
Deice System installed on those aircraft could short-circuit where
the deice heater connects to the copper lightning protection mesh
embedded in the aircraft's composite structure.
CASA states incidents have occurred in the field where such
electrical shorts have caused burning of the wings and horizontal
stabilizer. The agency says those burns could damage the structural
integrity of those surfaces.
The short circuit is caused by insufficient removal of copper
mesh when the deice heater connectors were installed.
Both directives call for the
system to be deactivated, and a placard placed in the cockpit
labeled "DEICE SYSTEM INOPERABLE" to discourage pilots from
entering conditions where they would use the system.
Columbia markets the anti-icing system as E-Vade.
Aero-News has been in touch with Columbia Aircraft,
who is working on the issue in concert with Kelly Aerospace, the
vendor who builds the Therma Wing system. Columbia notes that they
are referenced in the title of the AD only because the Therma Wing
kits are not serialized as the FAA requires for tracking purposes
and to date, they have only been installed on Columbia Aircraft
(which thereby become the serialized tracking element). Columbia
also notes that, "naturally we regret the inconvenience to our
customers but we feel confident that Kelly Aerospace will have a
solution published quickly."
ANN will update the progress of this matter as
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