Troubles Again Lower Eclipse 500 Ceiling

FAA issues second AD related to surging.


The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive reducing the Eclipse EA500's maximum ceiling to 30,000 feet after several reported instances of engine surging. This is the second time the FAA has sought to lower the Eclipse 500's ceiling because of problems with the airplane's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F-A engines. A 2008 AD reduced the Eclipse 500's maximum ceiling to 37,000 feet after hard carbon buildup on static vanes were found to have caused the surging. Since the issuance of the original AD, engine surge problems have been reported six more times at altitudes below 37,000 feet, with four of the events occurring within a two-week period, according to the FAA. This most recent AD takes affect on March 21 and requires Eclipse 500 operators to note the change in the limitations section of the airplane flight manual. The FAA said the carbon buildup problem could cause a loss of power in one or both engines. Pratt & Whitney Canada is investigating the issue as it seeks to eliminate the surge problems and convince the FAA to lift the altitude restriction. The AD affects the entire fleet of 259 EA500s that fly with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F-A engines.