I have good news for all Australian owners of A22L (450 kilo MTOW limit) Foxbats!
With the new RAAus MARAP system (Modification and Repair Approval Process), a review to increase the gross weight limit (sometimes called the maximum take-off weight (MTOW)) of RAAUS registered Aeroprakt A22L Foxbat aircraft from 450 kilograms (472.5 kilograms if a ballistic rescue system is fitted) to 525 kilograms has been conducted and now approved.
During the review of the A22L for an increase up to the 525 kilograms MTOW there is a small ‘G’ limit penalty: the maximum limits are reduced from +4G and -2G to +3.6G and -1.8G respectively. In effect, this means you need to observe manoeuvring and rough air limits closely to ensure you do not exceed these lower limits.
No structural or other changes are required to the aircraft.
To obtain the increased weight limit on your A22L aircraft, please contact the technical team at RAAus – phone number 02 6280 4700 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org – and request the necessary documentation. This includes a supplementary page for your pilot manual and an entry to the manual revisions page.
RAAus will make a charge for this service but I’m sure you’ll find the extra – legal – 75 kilograms well worth it!
Please note, this increase is not relevant to the Aeroprakt A22LS Foxbat, which already has a gross weight limit of 600 kilos and ‘G’ limits of +4 -2
Example of cable damage
Following two rudder cable breakages on A22LS aircraft, the Aeroprakt factory has issued a safety alert covering all A22 and A22L aircraft with over 500 hours engine running time and all A22LS and A22L2 aircraft over 5 years old or over 500 hours engine running time.
The alert requires an urgent check of both left and right rudder cables to ensure there is no wear or fraying of the cables, particularly close to the pulley guides. If any wear is seen or broken strands are found, the rudder cables must be replaced.
Click here to download a copy of the alert for A22 and A22L aircraft.
Click here to download a copy of the alert for A22LS and A22L2 aircraft.
Australian owners should contact Foxbat Australia for more information or replacement cables. Owners in other countries should contact their local dealer for support.
Aeroprakt has issued a safety bulletin covering the door latches on A32 Vixxen aircraft, serial numbers 02-28. Compliance with this bulletin is required before the next flight of the aircraft.
Click here or on the drawing above for a copy of the bulletin: SA-A32-03 Door Latches
Rotax has issued a new mandatory service bulletin covering their oil filters – SB-912-071.
Due to a manufacturing deviation, the sealer gasket on the oil filter may leak, causing possible loss of oil pressure and oil.
If your 912ULS engine number is within the series from S/N 9 569 542 up to S/N 9 569 782 inclusive, or you have service replaced your oil filter since June 2017, you need to check the filter. If it has a green mark in the specified location, the filter is OK. If not, check for leakage and if any is seen, the filter must be replaced immediately. Even if there is no visible leak, the filter must also be replaced immediately on listed engines.
If there is no green mark on the filter, no leakage and the engine is not listed, the filter should be replaced within 25 engine running hours or within 200 days from 01 November 2017, whichever occurs sooner.
Here is a link to the service bulletin which gives full details: SB-912-071
Here is a link to the listed 912UL & 912ULS engines affected: SB-912-071UL
Rotax has issued an urgent and mandatory service bulletin on their 912/914 series engines. It applies to a limited selection of engines built between June 2016 and October 2017 – check your Foxbat/Vixxen 912ULS engine number against the list below to see if you are affected.
(A) from S/N 6 785 971 up to S/N 6 786 198 inclusive
(B) from S/N 6 786 501 up to S/N 6 787 000 inclusive
(C) from S/N 9 569 001 up to S/N 9 569 690 inclusive
(D) from S/N 9 569 693 up to S/N 9 569 702 inclusive
PLUS S/N 9 569 823
Rotax reports that deviations in the manufacturing process of the valve push-rod assembly may cause partial wear on the rocker arm ball socket. This wear could lead to a rocker arm cracking/fracture which in consequence may lead to a malfunction of the valve train. Possible effects are rough engine running or an unusual engine operating behaviour.
The bulletin requires the removal of the rocker covers of affected engines and an inspection – and if needed, replacement – of the valve pushrods.
In simple terms, if the pushrod ends are a silver-ish colour, they are OK. If they are black they will need to be replaced.
Time frame for completion of the bulletin is:
– either at the next scheduled service
– or if a scheduled service is not due, within the next 25 hours of engine running time
– or if 25 hours running time is not completed, by 30 April 2018 at the latest
Here are links to the Bulletins:
What needs to be done: https://legacy.rotaxowner.com/si_tb_info/serviceb/sb-912-070.pdf
Which engines are affected: https://legacy.rotaxowner.com/si_tb_info/serviceb/sb-912-070ul.pdf
If you believe your engine is affected, please contact Bert Flood Imports, the Australia Rotax engine agent, for more information.
Bert Flood Imports phone number is: 03 9735 5655
With Aeroprakt factory approval, we have developed a kit of tie-down attachments for A22LS and A32 aircraft. This is available as a retro-fit kit or as an installed option on new aircraft.
The kit consists of all the parts you need to add a tie-down point to the top end of each wing-strut and to the tail of the aircraft. There are full fitting instructions and also a copy of the factory Letter of Approval, which you’ll need, to keep the aircraft legally an S-LSA. Please note – non-approved changes to LSA planes mean they revert to ‘Experimental’ LSA – meaning you cannot use them for flight training and/or hire.
The photo here shows one of the strut rings but click here to take you to the Foxbat photo gallery where there are some bigger, higher resolution photos.
We are also developing a nose wheel tie down plate for use if you have to park your aircraft outside for more than a night or two – watch this space!
Cost of the retro-fit tie-down rings kit is A$295 including GST and postage inside Australia. As a fitted option on new aircraft, the price is A$335 including GST.
NB: this kit is not suitable for A22L aircraft.
Please contact Foxbat Australia at email@example.com if you wish to order a kit.
UPDATE – by popular demand, the Weight & Balance calculators now enable fuel to be entered in litres – the calculator will work out the fuel weight and give you a gross weight and CofG as before. Hope you find that more useful.
We have developed a simple MS Excel spreadsheet to enable A22 and A32 owners to calculate easily their weight and balance before flight. For ease of use, all cells except the fuel volume in litres and weight values for the basic empty aircraft, pilot, passenger and baggage have been locked,
All you need to do is enter the fuel in litres and kilogram weight figures for your aircraft and the sheet will calculate your gross weight and the CofG position for you.
If all is within limits, the gross weight and CofG figures stay green. If they are outside limits, they turn red.
Please email me if you want a copy for your A22/A32Weight & Balance calculator – please specify if you want an A22L Foxbat, A22LS Foxbat, A22LS Kelpie or A32 Vixxen sheet as they are all slightly different.