Aviation safety issues and actions

Dromader weight and balance

Issue number: AO-2011-082-SI-01
Who it affects: Operators of PZL Mielec M18 Dromader aircraft using STC SVA521
Issue owner: Owner of the supplemental type certificate
Transport function: Aviation: General aviation
Background: Investigation Report AO-2011-082
Issue release date: 08 June 2012
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the actions taken and proposed by CASA and owner/developer of the STC will, when complete, adequately address the safety issue.

Safety issue description

The aircraft's centre of gravity varied significantly with hopper weight and could exceed both the forward and aft limits at different times during a flight.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2011-082-NSA-014
Action organisation: Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Date: 15 March 2012
Action status: Closed

On 6 December 2011, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau advised the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of the potential for excessive movement of the aircraft’s centre of gravity (c.g.) as the payload in the hopper is dumped or dispensed.

The ATSB also brought the safety issue to the attention of the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia on 16 December 2011.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the actions taken and proposed by the ATSB, CASA and STC holder will adequately address the safety issue.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2011-082-NSA-015
Action organisation: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Date: 15 March 2012
Action status: Closed
On 22 December 2011, CASA distributed a letter to operators of the M18, M18A, and M18B Dromader advising of the potential unusual movement of the aircraft’s c.g. as the payload in the hopper is dumped or dispensed. The letter also advised operators to assess the weight and balance of their aircraft, develop new loading systems if necessary, and ensure that all pilots are familiar with the aircraft loading systems and the potential for c.g. variation.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the actions taken and proposed by the ATSB, CASA and STC holder will adequately address the safety issue.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2011-082-NSA-016
Action organisation: Rebel Ag
Date: 15 March 2012
Action status: Closed

On 12 January 2012, the holder of the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) permitting operations up to 6,600 kg take-off weight advised the ATSB that the design would be reviewed to assess and address any excessive c.g. variation that may occur as the result of hopper payload and fuel usage during a flight.

In addition, they planned to advise all operators using the STC of the potential for excessive c.g. variation.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the actions taken and proposed by the ATSB, CASA and STC holder will adequately address the safety issue.

Last update 07 March 2014