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Sensor malfunction prompts emergency recall from Duluth aircraft manufacturer

The Cirrus Vision SF50 jet returns to the hanger after a demonstration flight at the Inside Cirrus Event at the Rochester Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring the immediate replacement of an angle-of-attack sensor on the Cirrus Vision SF50 jet, made in Duluth.

The FAA said the directive “was prompted by Cirrus reporting three incidents” where the stall warning and protection system or electronic stability and protection inappropriately engaged in proper flight. The first incident occurred in November 2018 and the latest occurred earlier this month.

In light of the malfunctions, the FAA is requiring the replacement of the angle-of-attack sensor on all Cirrus jets to be replaced before further flight, essentially grounding the aircraft until the repair can be made. However, if necessary, pilots may obtain a special flight permit to get the jet to a service location where the sensor can be replaced.

The directive said: “The noted condition presents an immediate danger to pilots and passenger of Cirrus Design Corp. Model SF50 airplanes because an uncommanded pitch down may be difficult to recover from in some flight regimes with potential fatal consequences.”

Cirrus and Aerosonic, the manufacturer of the faulty sensor, say they have identified the problem and are ready to address it.

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