European safety regulators have ordered checks on seven new ATR 72-500 turboprops that may have been fitted with faulty rudder-pedal rods.

The problem, caused by a manufacturing error, was detected after pre-departure flight-control checks on two ATR 72s resulted in rudder pedals sticking after their rods broke.

In an emergency airworthiness directive the European Aviation Safety Agency says that most of the rods in the affected pedal assemblies have been checked.

But seven in-service aircraft have been identified as potentially having had the faulty rods installed. The aircraft are serial numbers 886, 897, 901, 902, 903, 904 and 906.

Two have been delivered to Vietnam Airlines, another to its affiliate Cambodia Angkor Air, and two others to Air Algerie. MASwings and Canary Islands carrier NAYSA operate the remaining two.

EASA has ordered inspections of the four rudder-pedal rods which, it says, may have been manufactured with diameters narrower than required.

Air Algerie ATR 72-500
 © ATR
Air Algerie has received two potentially affected ATR 72-500s

Source: Flight International