The Dassault Falcon 7X fleet, grounded since 26 May awaiting rectification of a technical fault, has been cleared to resume passenger operations by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The manufacturer said it expects the entire 112-strong fleet to be modified and airborne again by "early July".

Dassault Aviation said that the first 7X with an EASA-approved modification to its pitch trim system has "returned to operational status". The manufacturer added: "This follows an intensive effort by Dassault to create a solution that addresses a pitch trim incident experienced by a Falcon 7X on 25 May."

The airframer explained that the modification kit adds additional layers of protection to the Falcon 7X horizontal stabiliser pitch trim control system. After a series of tests had satisfied Dassault that it met requirements, the equipment went into production and was shipped to approved service facilities. The brief delay since then was because, in parallel, the modification had to be reviewed by EASA and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

On 15 June EASA approved the modification. Yesterday it released a new airworthiness directive that allows the aircraft to resume flights with passengers. Dassault said the FAA is expected to issue a similar decision shortly.

The manufacturer has been "in almost daily contact" with Falcon 7X operators, providing step-by-step progress reports on the situation since the company's advice to EASA and the FAA led to the emergency airworthiness directive on 26 May suspending passenger operations.

This followed a 25 May incident where a Falcon 7X experienced a pitch trim malfunction during descent. The crew successfully recovered the aircraft to a stable flight profile and landed safely.

Source: Flight International