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FUEL TANK DRAINS


johnm
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FUEL TANK DRAINS

 

I need more tecnam chatter

 

If you read the AD / AN forum it says fit fuel drains to wing tanks - per revison 1 and 2a - where do you find these bits of paper ?

 

What is entailed, how much bother and time involved ?

 

thanks for any advice

 

JM

 

__________________

 

john m

 

 

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John

 

I just rang Bruce Stark to find out for you but he is in Italy and leaving there today. However, I have asked that he check here on Sat when he arrives back to see it this has been suitably answered for you from other channels and if not then to respond with an answer for you.

 

 

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John and Ian,

 

Thank you for drawing this issue to my attention. The Airworthiness Notice (AN) issued by RA-Aus gave the impression that TECNAM was advising all TECNAM owners to install fuel tank drains. This is definitely not the case and the AN will be withdrawn by RA-Aus

 

A little bit of history is in order!

 

Where an aircraft has an Ultra Light Type Certificate, RA-Aus through its delegation from CASA assumes responsibility for the ongoing airworthiness of the aircraft. This is usually done in conjunction with the manufacturer but from time to time RA-Aus will issue an AN independant of the manufacturer if urgency is required. To date RA-Aus have not issued any blanket approvals in writing regarding the fitting of fuel tank drains to Tecnam ultralights. Structural modifications, unapproved by Tecnam or RA Aus are in breach of the UL Type Certificate and could invalidate factory built status. This would prevent the aircraft being used for flight training for example.

 

Under LSA regulations the manufacturer self certifies against one major airworthiness standard. Some of the options are the Australian 101.55, British BCARS or the American ASTM's. As the greatest growth market is in the USA, TECNAM along with most manufacturers certify conformity with the ASTM's. Each aircraft model is then subjected to a FAA approval process before being allowed to be sold in the USA.

 

All TECNAM aircraft models sold as LSA in Australia have conformity with the ASTM's and have passed through the FAA approval process.

 

As the manufacturer is responsible for the ongoing airworthiness, it is illegal for anyone to modify a production built LSA aircraft without approval from the manufacturer. As such an unapproved modification invalidates the factory warranty and LSA Airworthiness Certificate and unless the factory issues approval for the modification, the aircraft must be re certified as LSA Experimental.

 

As Tecnam's airworthiness representative in Australia, I have become aware of the illegal modifications. Steps were taken to achieve factory approval and legitimise the illegally modified aircraft. This approval was received from Tecnam and passed onto the LAME concerned who now becomes the approval holder. This approval restores the Production LSA status of the aircraft and the Type Certificate status of the UL aircraft.

 

There is no requirement for TECNAM owners to install fuel tank drains in their aircraft. This is optional and the details of modification approved by TECNAM can be obtained by contacting your Tecnam State distributors or myself who will put you in touch with the approval holder.

 

Again I emphasise that TECNAM, (along with Evektor, Jabiru, Foxbat, Lightwing Speed and many others), complies with the ASTM conformity process and has undergone a stringent FAA approval which is recognised by CASA and RA-Aus.

 

We are grateful to TECNAM for approving the fuel drain modification. Without it a number of owners would be facing "19" UL registration or LSA "EXPERIMENTAL" recertification.

 

Those owners who have had their aircraft modified in any way anywhere in Australia should contact the LAME or Level 2 Maintenance person concerned and ensure that full details of the TECNAM factory (or RA-Aus for UL models) approval are included in their airframe log book.

 

The fuel drain approval is dated 19 September 2008 and is referenced TECNAM Number 001 Revision 2a. (Only P92 Echo Super UL aircraft had TECNAM approval prior to this date).

 

While those involved assure me that they are motivated by reasons of safety and I now accept this, all importers, manfacturers and regulators must maintain the integrity of the LSA regulations.

 

Personally, I think that tank fuel drains are a good idea and as a result of our visit to the Tecnam factory last week, we will shortly see fuel tank drains as an option on new UL and LSA aircraft.

 

Regards

 

Bruce Stark

 

TECNAM Australia

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Personally, I think that tank fuel drains are a good idea and as a result of our visit to the Tecnam factory last week, we will shortly see fuel tank drains as an option on new UL and LSA aircraft.

 

Regards

 

Bruce Stark

 

TECNAM Australia

 

Thanks Bruce

 

You state above that they are optional - in the interim I'll take the 'not installed option'

 

JM

 

 

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