Airlines to update E195-E2 software after A220 engine issues

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Operators of the Embraer 195-E2 were instructed to upgrade the airliner’s engine-control software following multiple Airbus A220 engine failures. The two aircraft are both powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, with enough commonality between the E2’s PW1900G and the A220’s PW1500G to warrant concern.

In total, three instances of Swiss A220 engine failures were reported: one in July, one in September, and one in October 2019. On February 12, 2020, a brand-new AirBaltic A220 also suffered a mid-air engine failure, forcing a diversion. 

Both Swiss and Korean Air grounded their fleets of the Airbus A220 to undergo inspection as requested by U.S. engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.

Transport Canada, the Canadian civil aviation authority, has issued an emergency airworthiness directive to reduce the engine thrust of the Airbus A220 aircraft under certain conditions after several engine incidents were reported. 

In April 2020, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) in which it said the cause of the failures was narrowed down to an acoustic resonance phenomenon at high engine speeds, which caused damage to the rotor 1 of the low-pressure compressor. As a corrective measure, the FAA ordered a replacement of the electronic engine control software.

Despite no report of engine failures, the E195-E2 followed the same path. In July 2020, the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) ordered operators of the aircraft to limit thrust on flights above 33,000 feet. 

On March 24, 2021, the ANAC issued a new AD ordering for the electronic engine-control software to be updated to version or later in the next 12 months. After the software update, the thrust limit can be removed. It is considered a provisional action, and the ANAC may consider other mandatory actions later, depending on the evolution of the investigations regarding the PW1500G failures.

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Clement Charpentreau
Editor-in-chief[br][br] Clement joined the AeroTime editorial team in 2018 after honing his journalism skills in newsrooms across France. Clement has a particular interest in the role of the aviation industry in international relations. He reports mainly on developments in defense and security technology, and aviation safety. Clement is based in Vilnius, Lithuania.
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