Key Points:

  • After instances of jamming during cruise end, Airbus A220 operators are directed to conduct specific lubrication operations on the horizontal stabiliser trim actuator.

  • The investigation has pinpointed water intrusion in the actuator’s ballscrew assembly, leading to the malfunction.

  • Airbus's Canadian unit has introduced an enhanced lubrication technique and reduced the time interval for lubrication to avert the risks of ballscrew water accumulation and potential jamming.

Transport Canada directs Airbus A220 operators

OTTOWA — Transport Canada, the country's aviation regulatory body, has issued a directive to all Airbus A220 operators. This follows incidents where the horizontal stabiliser trim actuator jammed as flights approached the end of their cruising phase.

Root of the Problem

Water Intrusion:After an in-depth review of these jamming events, the culprit has been identified as water seeping into the ballscrew assembly of the actuator. Once inside, the water, subjected to freezing temperatures, has been leading to the jamming of the actuator. This has subsequently resulted in a compromised pitch-trim capability, a situation that can pose serious operational challenges.

Airbus's Solution to the Issue

In response to this discovery, Airbus's Canadian sector has stepped up with a two-fold remedy. They have devised a superior lubrication method, which is more effective against the threats posed by water buildup within the ballscrew. Additionally, the frequency for lubrication has been shortened. This dual approach is aimed at minimizing the chance of water retention within the ballscrew, thereby reducing the likelihood of it causing any jamming.

Transport Canada’s Guidelines for A220 Operators

Taking this matter seriously, Transport Canada is laying down clear guidelines for Airbus A220 operators. Specifically for the A220-100s and -300s models, the regulatory body is mandating the execution of the initial lubrication operations within a span of 1,100 hours from the date of this directive. Subsequent lubrications are to be carried out at intervals that do not exceed 1,000 hours or a 12-month period, whichever comes first.