FAA Proposes AD for V-band on Turbocharged Engines
The FAA late last month issued a proposed airworthiness directive (AD) affecting turbocharged Lycoming and Continental engines with certain v-band couplings installed. According to the proposed AD, the action was prompted by reports of multiple failures of spot welds at the connection between the tailpipe and turbocharger exhaust housing flange. If adopted, the AD would require a life limit of 500 hours, and an annual condition inspection. The part in question is found on Twin Commander models 500, 500A, 500B, 500S, 500U, 560A, 560E, and 685. According to Twin Commander Technical Service Manager David Allison, this part is a known area of concern, and Twin Commander Factory Authorized Service Centers know to check the v-band clamp as part of any regular inspection. The proposed AD is open for comment until November 4.
Grabbe Receives FAA’s Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award
Mike Grabbe, the veteran Twin Commander technician and training expert, was recently awarded the FAA’s Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award in recognition of more than 50 years of excellence in aircraft maintenance.
Grabbe is Eagle Creek Aviation’s maintenance quality and safety manager, and is a renowned expert in Twin Commander systems, troubleshooting, and maintenance. He teaches the Twin Commander factory authorized training course for technicians in Eagle Creek Aviation’s facility near Indianapolis, and has been doing so for more than 20 years.
Grabbe’s career began in 1970 at a small shop in Maine after he earned a degree in aviation maintenance. “Mike Grabbe has been an invaluable asset for our aircraft maintenance operations over the past two decades,” said Scott Dillon, president of Eagle Creek Aviation. “His extensive experience, technical knowledge, and leadership in quality assurance and training have contributed to our success as an award-winning MRO. We are proud of his accomplishment of more than 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession and are fortunate to have him on our team.”
Air Journey Offering Excess Liability Insurance for Europe
Flying to Europe has long presented a vexing insurance problem. Europe, including Greenland and Iceland, requires liability insurance amounts from $11 million, upwards of $25 million, depending on the aircraft type. One would think this excess liability request would be a simple call to your insurance broker, but most owners are met with hurdles or enormous cost.
This increased insurance requirement, directed by the European Union, dates back to the early 2000s. The EU imposes the amount depending on the weight of the aircraft. Airplanes weighing up to 13,230 pounds must be insured to the tune of $7 million SDR, the equivalent to roughly $11 million today.
Knowing what a challenge it is to obtain the additional insurance, tour company Air Journey is now offering the Air Journey Club. Interested parties need to become a member of the Air Journey Club (annual dues of $1,750 per member, of which $1,000 can be used as a credit towards a group-guided Air Journey or split into two installments of $500 towards Air Journey’s Concierge Services; among other benefits). As a member of the Air Journey Club, members will gain access to third party coverage providing excess liability insurance worldwide, with the exception of the USA, Canada, and countries subject to the Kiln Geographic Areas Exclusion Clause. The Kiln Geographic Areas Exclusion Clause refers to, in short, a list of countries that if operated in would be a breach of United Nations sanctions or countries with a history of political unrest.
For simple reference, pricing for the Air Journey Club plan is a set amount based on the type of aircraft by weight class and the length of time needed for coverage:
Aircraft with liability insurance requirements of $11M USD:
• $2,500 premium: 1 to 15 days of coverage
• $3,500 premium: 16 to 30 days of coverage
• $6,000 premium: up to 75 days of coverage
Name That Model
Shorter propellers. Eyebrow windows. A slightly shorter wing. These are just a few of the clues that can help identify the type of Twin Commander in this great black and white photo. Is it an early 690, or maybe a 680?