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FAA requests user input on V-band coupling failuresFAA requests user input on V-band coupling failures

An FAA/industry working group examining the safety issue of V-band coupling failures on turbocharged reciprocating engines has asked the public to assist the effort by providing information about their experiences with the turbocharger exhaust pipe interface.

According to an airworthiness concern sheet (ACS) issued Nov. 22, V-band coupling failures affect fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and can lead to “engine bay in-flight fires, smoke/fumes in the cockpit, and engine power loss.”

The problems are not unique to any specific brand of engine and “continue to result in incidents and accidents” despite numerous attempts to correct the problem. A May 2016 accident linked to this cause resulted in four fatalities, according to the ACS.

Information is requested within 90 days of the ACS issue date.

“The working group is looking at this airworthiness concern from a comprehensive perspective to develop safety enhancing corrective actions. We seek your assistance in obtaining in-service data to help drive corrective action decisions,” the document says.

The ACS requests specific information on 14 detailed aspects of V-band couplings, including V-band inspection procedures and criteria, observation and replacement of components, aircraft data, and recommendations for corrective action. It also invites aircraft operators to send along any removed turbocharger or exhaust pipe couplings that may be available.

Responses to the ACS may be emailed to FAA Aerospace Engineer David Hirt. Please send any available removed turbocharger exhaust pipe couplings to Jeff Janusz, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office; 1801 Airport Road, Room 100; Wichita, KS 67209.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: FAA Information and Services, Ownership, Safety and Education

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