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Embraer readies fixes and upgrades for Phenom 100 fleet

Some Embraer Phenom 100 owners can expect a flurry of activity with their aircraft in the next few months as the manufacturer corrects some in-service anomalies or upgrades the twin-engine very light jet. As of 25 November, Embraer had delivered 61 Phenom 100s to 45 customers in six countries.

The Brazilian airframer is providing free parts and labour for a service bulletin that will correct a February-issued airworthiness directive requiring operators to land using intermediate flap settings, adding about 5kt (9km/h) extra speed to touchdown speed.

The fix involves installing a new stall warning protection computer with updated logic that assigns a particular stall speed buffer for each flap setting to be used in icing conditions or for when a flap system failure is detected.

Concerns over the earlier logic centred on the possibility that it would cause the aircraft's stick pusher to activate during a go-around as pilots retracted the flaps from full (36°) to the mid-point setting of 26° per procedure. Embraer says the retrofit campaign, which will allow operators to again use full flaps for landings, is already under way. Production line installations started with serial number 54.

A different operational constraint linked to the Eaton Aerospace-developed flap system will also be removed in the coming months.

Currently, Embraer is advising operators to pull a circuit breaker on engine start-up to avoid the possibility of a "flaps not available" message if a low-voltage condition occurs - an error that causes flap system rigging data to be lost. The company says a service bulletin to install a new flap system control unit is scheduled for release early in the new year, after which "a retrofit campaign will start immediately" to eliminate the need to pull the breaker.

Another retrofit campaign will begin in January when the company begins replacing passenger seats free of charge. Embraer expects to complete the non-mandatory upgrade, which calls for replacing the original Aviointeriors seats with DeCrane Aerospace-designed seats by year's end with aircraft serviced in the order that they were delivered. The new seats provide more aisle room while correcting problems with the arm rest and fold-over on existing models.

Other upgrades on tap next year include datalink, in-flight phone service, synthetic vision, electronic checklists and collision avoidance (TCAS 1), and a belted toilet seat.

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