CAAC issues airworthiness directives on MA60s

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The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has issued three airworthiness directives concerning the MA60, grounding 15 examples of the type.

The directives call for a revision of the MA60 flight manual to include the replacement of the front landing gear’s lock-up and lock-down parts on MA60s which have accumulated 6,400 or more take-offs and landings. The CAAC also wants all MA60 operators to inspect the aircraft’s landing gear indicators.

The 15 grounded aircraft belong to Chinese operators Okay Airways and Joy Air, as well as operators in the Philippines, Laos, Zimbabwe and Bolivia.

The CAAC adds that it would issue more directives, if necessary, following the conclusion of its investigation.

The regulatory actions come after Chinese manufacturer Xian Aircraft called for the grounding of the entire fleet of MA60s in China, following the malfunction of an Okay Airways MA60’s landing gear indicator on 25 February. Xian Aircraft had also deployed teams to conduct inspections of foreign operators’ fleets.

In the Okay Airways’ incident, pilots had encountered problems with the turboprop’s landing gear indicator. While the crew had lowered the aircraft’s landing gear, this was not shown on the indicator, leading to confusion about whether the landing gear was actually down.