Dassault begins probe into Falcon 7X fault as fleet grounding continues

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Dassault has begun a probe into the cause of a pitch trim failure on one of its Falcon 7X business jets that has led to the grounding of the 112-strong 7X fleet.

Despite the fact that the aircraft landed safely, at Dassault's suggestion, the European Aviation Safety Agency issued an emergency airworthiness directive on 26 May.

The manufacturer said: "On Wednesday, 25 May 2011 a Falcon 7X experienced a pitch trim event during descent. The crew successfully recovered the aircraft to a stable flight profile and performed an uneventful landing.

"Dassault Falcon's preliminary analysis of information downloaded from its quick access recorder and the fault history database confirms the event, but did not enable us to determine its origin.

"Dassault has dispatched a team of experts to research the cause and to create a solution, both of which will require further investigation. Out of an abundance of caution, Dassault has contacted the EASA to request that Falcon 7X operations be temporarily suspended as of 10:00 on 26 May."

According to Dassault, the Falcon 7X fleet of 112 aircraft has accumulated more than 75,000 flight hours. It added: "This is the first event of this nature that has been reported since the aircraft entered service in 2007. Determining the cause of the incident and finding a solution is obviously our utmost priority."