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July 14, 2024
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Gulfstream obtained FAA and EASA approval for a software fix for the G500 and G600 aircraft that limited operations to low wind conditions after an Airworthiness Directive was issued last May. This approval removes the operating restrictions on the aircraft and restores normal operations. Since the AD, operations were restricted to wind speeds under 15 knots and a maximum gust speed of 5 knots, severely impacting the use of the aircraft.

When the AD was published in May, Gulfstream indicated that it would have a fix by September, and met its target. However, to meet that target, Gulfstream shifted resources from the G700 and G800 programs to the software update, which resulted in a six-month delay for those programs.  The G700 will enter service before year-end 2023 and the G800 in early 2024.

Approximately 20 of the 170 aircraft in service have already received the software update, and the vast majority of the fleet is expected to be completed by the end of the month. All of the 170 aircraft impacted have already been scheduled for the software installation according to Gulfstream. The process for the update and the associated paperwork takes less than one day at Gulfstream service centers in Singapore, Basel, or Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

The original AD resulted from hard landings caused by a software glitch in the angle of attack software that overreacted to wind gusts in the landing configuration. After those incidents, the FAA and other regulators limited the operation of the aircraft, including prohibiting landings when wind gusts exceeded 5 knots and when winds were greater than 15 knots.

Gulfstream is resuming shipments of new G500/G600 aircraft that were deferred during the second quarter and will deliver four previously scheduled G500/G600 aircraft in September.  Normal deliveries are expected to resume in the fourth quarter.

author avatar
Ernest Arvai
President AirInsight Group LLC

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