Falcon 7X Trim Runaway Update - Details of Wild Ride Emerge

Wild ride story told; fix in the works.

Falcon 7x

Falcon 7x

Falcon 7XDassault

Dassault Falcon Jet has released new information about the trim runaway incident last week that precipitated the grounding of the fleet of the company's flagship Falcon 7X tri-jets.

The airplane — Falcon declined to identify the operator — was on its way in to Malaysia descending through 12,000 feet when the airplane began an uncommanded climb. The pilots were not able to resume control of the airplane until it had climbed to 22,000 feet, a Dassault spokesman told Flying. The crew declared an emergency and then was able to make an uneventful landing in Malaysia.

It is the only reported instance of such a flight control issue in a Falcon 7X — the worldwide fleet of 7Xs has accumulated more than 75,000 flight hours.

Upon learning of the incident, Dassault took quick action, asking EASA for an immediate grounding of the fleet, which it received. The FAA followed suit shortly thereafter. If not counteracted in a timely fashion, a trim runaway can result in a catastrophic loss of control.

The affected components were immediately taken to a Dassault test lab outside of Paris, where they are being examined to learn of the cause of the flight control issue, which it hopes to discover soon.

If and when it does, the company will issue a service bulletin to repair the problem. EASA and the FAA have agreed to grant 7X operators ferry permits so they can fly their airplanes back to their home base or to a service facility, where it will undergo the service bulletin once that procedure has been developed and approved.