The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) to operators of Socata TBM 700s following the rupture of a bolt attaching the actuator hinge axle on the nose landing gear (NLG) of the single engine turboprop.
"The results of the technical investigations carried out by Socata revealed that this rupture could have been caused by the installation of a bolt bearing an incorrect part number during overhaul of the NLG," said EASA. "This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to partial disengagement of the actuator hinge axle on the aircraft's NLG", resulting in its collapse, and possibly leading to structural damage, the agency added.
To address this condition, Socata has issued a service bulletin - SB 70-194-32 - showing how to repetitively check the bolt attaching the actuator hinge axle on the NLG and how to replace the bolt attaching the actuator hinge axle with a correct bolt.
"This AD requires repetitive checks of potentially affected NLGs and replacement of the bolt attaching the actuator hinge axle with a serviceable bolt.
"This AD also prohibits installation on any aeroplane of a potentially affected NLG, unless the bolt attaching the actuator hinge axle has been replaced with a serviceable bolt and the NLG has been marked with a green varnish line," said EASA.