Pitot AD In Works For Eclipse 500

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The FAA this week is expected to issue the first Airworthiness Directive (AD) for the Eclipse 500 that will temporarily limit all flights in the very light jets to day visual flight rules to ensure flight conditions that do not allow the moisture in the pitot/AOA system to freeze. Eclipse says it has developed a solution to the problem but doesn't expect it to be certified by the FAA until the middle of next month. The fix includes changes to the internal pitot tubing routing to "provide positive drainage to a low point in the system," and Eclipse plans to begin retrofitting the entire fleet immediately after certification via a Service Bulletin. According to Eclipse, the AD limitations are more restrictive than the previous FAA-approved restriction, which required aircraft operations to be temporarily restrained to flights in visual meteorological conditions with an Eclipse company pilot or Eclipse-trained mentor pilot on board. "As always, our primary concern is for the safety of our customers, and the integrity of all Eclipse 500 aircraft," Eclipse President and CEO Vern Raburn said in a letter to customers. "We are working diligently to remove this limitation and resume complete flight operations as fast as physically possible."