The Certification of the CRJ 1000 and its Continuing Airworthiness
Recently the CRJ1000 (CL-600-2E25 model) NextGen airliner was certified through the extensive efforts of both Bombardier Aerospace, the manufacturer, and the National Aircraft Certification Branch (NAC), a component of Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA).
The CRJ1000 aeroplane is approximately 128 feet in length, 10 feet longer than its predecessor the CRJ900, with an increased payload of an additional 3000 pounds. This aeroplane introduces a completely new “command by wire” rudder system, larger wing and landing gear along with a more powerful CF34-8C5A1 engine.
With this aeroplane’s introduction into service, the Continuing Airworthiness Division (CAW) within the NAC branch, is given the responsibility of regulatory oversight and the development of any necessary corrective action to ensure its continued safe operation.
When a new aeroplane model of any sort is first operated in its environment, the “bugs, quirks and unpredictable’s” come to surface, for no design can be perfectly constructed to accommodate all possible scenarios. As these discrepancies or in-service problems “come to surface” and are revealed to the maintenance/ operator world, it is not only essential, but a regulatory requirement that safety related defects be reported to the CAW group in Transport Canada through a Service Difficulty Report (SDR). These reports from you, the operator and maintainer, provides CAW the necessary defect information and background knowledge to approach the Type Certificate Holder (TCH) for any necessary corrective action. The TCH of the aeroplane is responsible to mitigate safety related defects and malfunctions as identified in your SDR.
Another function of CAW when addressing safety related defects is the responsibility and requirement to issue immediate world fleet wide action in the form of an Airworthiness Directive (AD). Last year for 2010, CAW produced and issued 38 ADs to address safety related events of Canadian type certified aeroplanes and reviewed 718 foreign ADs for applicability.
It is not uncommon in reply to an aeroplane incident, intensive cooperative discussions between the responsible TCH, CAW and often enough a foreign governing authority occur to define the root cause. The corrective action may consist of a world fleet wide one-time and repeat inspection supported through the instructions of a Service Bulletin (SB) from the TCH and mandated by an AD.
To conclude, the design, manufacturing and continuous operations of an aeroplane is a long and at times arduous affair. From the moment the initial concept and design is presented to Transport Canada Civil Aviation through the lifetime service for all Canadian Type Certified aeroplanes, NAC’s involvement is there continuous until the type certificates retirement.
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