Sukhoi Civil Aircraft company (SCAC) reported the completion of checking the entire Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft fleet for cracks in the stabilizer attachment bands.
The manufacturer did not disclose the number of aircraft that were found defective, but promised that the replacement of the units on such aircraft will be completed before the end of January. The unit replacement works are carried out by SCAC technical specialists.
With reference to the stabilizer’s issue of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, the manufacturer would like to clarify the following:
- The stabilizer’s repair is not complicated technically and it is not related to design solutions.
- All the airplanes can be fixed on ground with no need of transferring the aircraft back to the manufacturer’s base.
- The repair works are currently in progress. By the end of January the problem will be fully resolved – as stated by SCAC earlier.
- At the moment only 16 SSJ100 are under repair. Therefore, more than 80% of the SSJ100 fleet worldwide is in operation.
- This issue does not affect the manufacturer’s plans and deliveries. Furthermore, the possibility of additional problems with the stabilizer in the new aircraft is excluded.
It was reported earlier that the problem in the stabilizer attachment bands had been found at least with two Russian carriers: IrAero and Aeroflot. Later, Reuters reported that potential problems had been found with 11 aircraft of the Mexican Interjet, half of its fleet. As a result, the Mexican airline had its flights delayed, which is especially crucial during high Christmas season.
On December 23 Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency demanded to check all SSJ 100 aircraft, after cracks had been found in the lugs of the stabilizer upper and lower bracket attachment bands. The issue was discovered during a routine inspection of IrAero aircraft.
In general, after analyzing the total SSJ 100 fleet check results SCAC concluded that the defect in stabilizer attachment bands is not systematic. In addition, the examination confirmed that it is not critical, because the unit has a multi-level redundancy system and a margin of safety, with the durability twice the operating load. As part of the further work the manufacturer has promised to upgrade the unit, thus avoiding the occurrence of a similar defect.
Further on the stabilizer hinge bracket mounting inspection should be carried out during daily maintenance (DY-check). In addition, the airlines will have to check the condition of lugs of the upper and lower bracket attachment bands on a weekly basis. In case of cracks detection in these parts it is necessary to suspend the aircraft operation.
Since the beginning of SSJ 100 commercial operation in 2011 the customers received more than 100 new aircraft. As of mid-November 85 aircraft of the type are in operation. Beside Aeroflot, IrAero and Interjet these aircraft are operated by Gazpromavia, Yakutia, Yamal and the Irish CityJet. Moreover VIP-version of the aircraft are used by RusJet, Thai Air Force, the Russian Emergencies Ministry, the Border Service of Kazakhstan and Rossiya government squadron.