View Full Version : Airborne Vacuum Pumps Required To Be Removed From Service

Homer Landreth
03-20-2008, 11:41 PM
ALL Airborne Vacuum pumps must be removed from service immediately. Go to the Home page for a URL to click on to take you to a copy of the Service Letter

03-21-2008, 06:19 AM
I got that letter from Parker yesterday, I haven't even bothered to check my pump yet, its probably the Parker/Airborne....

03-21-2008, 08:28 AM
As usual the user pays the bill for all work?

03-21-2008, 09:21 AM

Gilbert Pierce
03-21-2008, 11:01 AM
Actually I believe if you read the NTSB report there nothing wrong with the pump. The NTSB blamed it on the pilot.

NTSB Identification: CHI01MA011.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 16, 2000 in HILLSBORO, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 6/5/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 335, registration: N8354N
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
The board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/publictn.htm

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's failure to control the airplane while maneuvering because of spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident were the failure of the airplane's primary attitude indicator and the adverse weather conditions, including turbulence.

Homer Landreth
03-21-2008, 12:09 PM
Gilbert is correct, but now the rest of the story that really P***es you off it this. There was no vacuum system failure, the vacuum pumps were found to have been serviceable and operable at impact, and there was strong indication that there was no attitude indicator failure. The fault assigned to the vacuum pump was determined by (as I understand it and has been explained to me) the jury who were convinced by the lawyers that since this accident was the same as others where the vacuum pump did fail, that it "COULD HAVE HAPPENED" therefore fault was found and liability was assigned to Parker/Airborne. So 6 years ago Airborne simply said we aren't going to expose ourselves to that kind of liability (Crap) any more so they stopped making them and said that any in service were to be removed and thrown away in 6 years. So, now we see that happening, and its anniversary date has come and coincidentally, right after we see Marvel pulling the plug on carbureators again to eliminate liability exposure. (Harrumpf, Harrumpf, Ahem, Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, don't be swayed by the fact that the planes carbureator has worked perfectly since the 1940s! We have proven to you that it is a piece of junk that is improperly designed, poorly manufactured, and is the reason that in the middle of a blinding rainstorm after a microburst that this plane flipped over and injured our insured.) Don't product liability Lawyers provide a valuable service to society?(NOT) :mad:

03-22-2008, 06:06 AM
Therefore Homer, we don't need to duplicate accident investigation by a govt agency, the trial lawyers will figure it out........ :)

03-22-2008, 07:24 AM
ALL Airborne Vacuum pumps must be removed from service immediately. Go to the Home page for a URL to click on to take you to a copy of the Service Letter

For part 91 ops, isn't the only player that can MANDATE that the pump be removed from service is the FAA?

03-22-2008, 08:36 AM
Mike, not really, and it is kind of a circuitous path. The part has a Type Design Specification approved by the FAA. The manufacturer certifies his type design with a time limitation, and as such it becomes a life limited part. In accordance with FAR 43-10 there are definitions that determine the Life Status of a Life Limited Part. If the part has exceeded the time specified in the Type Design, then the part is no longer in compliance with the Type Design and in accordance with the FAR 43 Inspection requirements, any Item exceeding its life limit specification hence no longer a Type Design compliant part is required to be removed from the plane. So technically, and I am sure the Lawyers lick their chops on this one, it is the manufacturer that is directing the removal via his Type Design Specifications. (Manufacturers have "Deeper Pockets" than mechanics and inspectors).

Kenneth Aasand
03-23-2008, 08:38 AM
Also look at Rapco's web site for a reply to Airbornes service letter. Do not be confused by an airborne part number with a RA in front of it. I guess that airborne has the 215CCW type model numbers and Rapco has the RA215CCW type. Am I correct ?

03-23-2008, 09:52 AM
That is True.
RAPCO Press Release is at http://www.rapcoinc.com/pdf/Press%20Release%20Service%20Bulletin%2072.pdf

03-24-2008, 07:48 PM
There's a bit more to this. The only "life limit" acknowledged by the FAA are the airworthiness limitations for any type certificated product. Although the manufacturer may decide to impose a limit on the useful life of his part, that limit only has to be adhered to if it listed in the FAA approved limitations section of the aircraft, engine or propeller (the only three type certificated products in the USA). If the part is not listed in this section, it fall into the category of parts that can be used until the owner wants to change them. This is particularly true for Part 91 owners. Part 135/125/121 operators generally face stiffer requirements in following manufacturer's recommendations for "mandatory" limitations.

All that being said, if someone wants to continue using a pump past the manufacturer's "mandatory" replacement time, and if it fails, you will need a very pricey lawyer to win any insurance money.