Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
The Commission recommends that the Director of Civil Aviation as a matter of urgency alerts all pilots and operators using the Fletcher FU24-954 aircraft for parachuting operations that when loaded with 6 or more passengers it is possible for the aircraft CG to be aft of the allowable limit, and that this could result in control difficulties, and that parachutists should be seated in the forward cabin area, preferably restrained to prevent them inadvertently moving rearward.
Reply Text
As we have already advised the Commission, the CAA issued Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) DCA/FU24/179 on 11 September 2010, to address the safety issues that you identify in your letter. The AD was sent immediately to all operators of Fletcher series aircraft conducting parachute operations. We accept that this is based on information gained early in the investigation and the issue of the AD should be considered to be immediate interim action pending completion of your investigation.
AD DCA/FU24/179 Parachuting Operations – Limitation and C of C Determination requires;
1. Amendment of the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) to restrict maximum occupancy of the cabin aft of F.S 118.84 to six persons. This may be accomplished by inserting a copy of the AD into the AFM adjacent to the applicable supplement for parachuting operations.
2. No parachuting operation is to be conducted with any number of occupants, unless for each individual flight:
a. A weight and balance calculation is performed to establish that the aircraft Centre of Gravity will remain within AFM limits for the duration of the flight, and
b. The calculation uses actual weights for all occupants and their equipment, and
c. The calculation accounts for the positions of all occupants. The occupants’ positions shall be taken as the most aft positions that result from the rearmost members of the group sitting against the aft cabin wall and subsequent occupants located immediately forward of them, unless a means of restraint is provided to prevent the occupants moving rearwards from their normal position, and
d. A record of the Centre of Gravity determination is kept for each parachuting operation.
The effective date of the AD is 11 September 2010 and compliance with 1 and 2 above is required before further parachute-drop operations and before every parachute-drop operation, respectively.
Related Investigation(s)