US FAA adds new steps to CRJ flap AD

Washington DC
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US FAA officials are proposing that operators of 684 Bombardier CRJ100/200 jets in the US provide simulator training covering reduced- or zero-flap landings for pilots and perform several additional maintenance actions within two years as part of a new comprehensive Airworthiness Directive (AD) related to the aircraft’s flap system failures in cold weather.

Included are steps previously mandated in a mid-August AD on the flaps, calling on operators to update flight manuals and operations and training procedures to deal with potential flap failures and to clean and lubricate the flexible shafts that drive the flaps as well as perform a detailed inspection of the actuator connector sealant bead for signs of damage or delamination.

The ADs are aimed at stemming a large number of stuck flap incidents that have been linked to cold weather operations with the Canadian-made twinjets before the next winter season sets in.

Under the proposed rule, pilots must receive initial simulator training for reduced- or zero-flap landings by 30 November 2008, and must receive recurrent training at least yearly after that.

Additional mechanical tasks include performing a pressure test of the flexible drive shaft in the flap mechanism to check for leaks within two years or 4,000 flight hours after the AD is approved. Operators within two years of the AD will also have to perform a low-temperature torque test of the flap actuators.