Aviation safety issues and actions

Use of eddy current inspection for airworthiness directive AD/PZL/5

Issue number: AO-2013-187-SI-03
Who it affects: All operators of M18 aircraft that have had their M18s inspected using the eddy current procedure QP.00.36 (EC)
Issue owner: Aviation NDT Services Pty Ltd
Transport function: Aviation: General aviation
Background: Investigation Report AO-2013-187
Issue release date: 15 February 2016
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the actions taken by CASA address the safety risk associated with this issue.

Safety issue description

The eddy current inspection used on VH-TZJ, and other M18 aircraft, had not been approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority as an alternate means of compliance to airworthiness directive AD/PZL/5. This exposed those aircraft to an inspection method that was potentially ineffective at detecting cracks in the wing attachment fittings.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2013-187-NSA-050
Action organisation: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Date: 15 February 2016
Action status: Closed

On 15 November 2013, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued an amendment to airworthiness directive AD/PZL/5, revoking the approval for the eddy current procedure to be used for M18 wing joint inspections. It also added a 100‑hourly visual inspection, and additional wing-off inspections in M18 aircraft every 2,500 hours. CASA also issued a direction to all registered operators of M18 aircraft in Australia that the aircraft could be flown after compliance with the amended AD.

On 22 November 2013, CASA issued AD/PZL/5 Amendment 2, to additionally require:

  • completion of magnetic particle inspections on M18 aircraft with less than 2,500 hours’ time in service
  • allow the use of CASA-approved alternative magnetic particle inspection methods
  • reduce the complexity of the AD
  • make corrections to reference documents.
Last update 15 February 2016