FAA grounds the Cirrus VisionJet over 'angle of attack' sensor issues

KANSAS CITY, Mo., - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced last week that it had issued an emergency airworthiness directive after Cirrus Design Corporation reported three incidents involving the stall warning and protection system in its VisionJet aircraft. The aircraft are required to be grounded until the angle of attack (AOA) sensors are replaced. The Cirrus VisionJet is a single-engine private jet.

Apr 22nd, 2019
FAA grounds the Cirrus VisionJet over 'angle of attack' sensor issues
FAA grounds the Cirrus VisionJet over 'angle of attack' sensor issues
KANSAS CITY, Mo., - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced last week that it had issued an emergency airworthiness directive after Cirrus Design Corporation reported three incidents involving the stall warning and protection system in its VisionJet aircraft. The aircraft are required to be grounded until the angle of attack (AOA) sensors are replaced. The Cirrus VisionJet is a single-engine private jet.

"The noted condition presents an immediate danger to pilots and passengers of Cirrus Design Corporation Model SF50 airplanes because an uncommanded pitch down may be difficult to recover from in some flight regimes with potentially fatal consequences," the FAA said in the directive.

While no accidents involving any of 99 aircraft in operation in the United States have been reported, Cirrus noted that in each incident, aircraft systems attempted to pitch the nose of the plane down while warning the pilot of an impending stall. Pilots in each incident landed safely after following emergency procedures.

The FAA noted that the AOA issue in the Cirrus jet is different than what occurred with the Boeing 737 MAX jet. While both aircraft had its systems report the possibility of a stall and the lowering of the nose, the FAA noted that the issues are "unrelated."

Speaking to Business Insider, an FAA spokesperson said, "Cirrus has developed an FAA-approved corrective action and revised emergency procedures in the airplane flight manual. This problem involves different AOA sensors from those used on the Boeing 737 MAX. The Cirrus ESP system is unrelated to the 737 MAX Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System. The ESP assists the pilots but does not take control and can be overridden with control inputs."

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