We have received the following statement from Sukhoi Civil aircraft after our article on the grounding of the SuperJet SSJ100 by the Russian authorities.
As part of a routine inspection of an SSJ in Russia, a defect was detected in an element of the tail stabilizer in an area not critical to the aircraft operation. The element has a multi-level redundancy system and was designed with a stability margin far exceeding its service loads.
The element was designed and tested in accordance with the Russian and European airworthiness requirements of IAC AR (Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register) Type Certificate and its validation by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).
SCAC together with operators is performing inspections of the SSJ100 fleet in operation; a Technical Decision on Continued Airworthiness of SSJ100 Aircraft was issued.
More information about the FATA Airworthiness Directive dated 23/12/2016
Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency has issued an Airworthiness Directive to inspect the total fleet of Sukhoi Supperjet 100 (SSJ 100) regional jets after the cracks in the lugs of the stabilizer upper and lower bracket attachment bands were detected during a planned inspection of the aircraft with tail number RA-89010 operated by Russia’s IrAero airline. The AD orders detailed inspection of the relevant units on all aircraft of the type in the presence of OEM’s experts, as follows from EASA’s official website.
The inspection results are to be submitted to FATA. The authority has also ordered the stabilizer joints to be inspected during each daily check (DY-check). The operators are also obliged to weekly perform instrument inspection of the stabilizer joint straps and bracket attachment and ground the aircraft should the defect be found.
SCAC said it has already started checking the SSJ 100 fleet in operation and issued a technical solution for continued airworthiness of the aircraft. “In case such defects are detected they will be rectified in the shortest time. SCAC has all of the necessary designer, production and technical resources for that,” the OEM assured in an official statement. The inspection does not require grounding of the entire fleet.
The manufacturer also emphasized that the defect is “not critical to the aircraft operation.” The joint has a multi-level redundancy system and was designed with a stability margin far exceeding its service loads, SCAC assured without providing any additional details.
The defect has been found on six aircraft. According to TASS newswire, Russia’s largest SSJ 100 operator Aeroflot has conducted the inspections, but the airline refused to comment on the results. Yamal Airlines has not detected any defects on its aircraft, according to Interfax, and its aircraft continue flying. IrAero said it would not provide any information until they receive an official conclusion from SCAC.
The inspection results will be examined by jointly by SCAC and FATA, after which all operators will receive additional recommendations for prevention of the defect. Any necessary repairs will be done by the OEM as warranty service.
As of mid-November there are 85 SSJ 100s in service with 12 operators in Russia, Central Europe, Central America and South-East Asia.