After EASA Director Ky “demotion” of FAA TC credibility- what do the recent Citation and King Air actions tell us

EASA cert like reading tea leaves
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Consequence of the MAX 8, Ky suspicious of FAA TCs

Not clear what that means

Two Textron TCs before EASA- tea leaves to be read?

EASA executive director Patrick Ky announced, somewhat equivocally,  EASA’s intent to  move away from the established practice of relying on the FAA for the certification of U.S. aircraft and products, and said it will assert a more independent role in clearing their airworthiness. The complete, still ambiguous, quote is here:

Patrick Ky quote



With the Ky TC statement of US aircraft as a background and with EASA’s opaque (at least to this America) certification website, clarification of what standards and how long the process will take must resort to the ancient art of tasseography[1] or the reading of tea leaves.

Two recent certification actions by EASA constitute the first tea leaves to be read—the Cessna Citation Longitude in July and the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and King Air 260 in September.

Now the reason for the tasseography (and this may actually be the result of poor research skills), the record of when the TC validation papers were filed by Textron with EASA for the Longitude and for the King Air 360/360ER/260 can not be found. What EASA required from the FAA TC holder in terms of additional data and/or testing? Were additional terms or limitations imposed on the aircrafts operational capabilities? Were any requirements unexpected?

tea leave reading chart

The FAA’s inspection of the clean sheet Longitude was exceptionally thorough given its new design:  “completed nearly 6,000 hours of flight time, as well as 11,000 test points. During the certification process, the 3,500-nm-range Longitude also flew a 31,000-nm world tour.” The new King Air turboprops were introduced in 2020, with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER achieving U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification in October 2020 and the King Air 260 in March 2021.





Cessna Citation Longitude achieves EASA certification




Textron Aviation today announced its flagship Cessna Citation Longitude super-midsize business jet achieved certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), clearing the way for customer deliveries to begin in the region.

The Cessna Citation Longitude super-midsize business jet is designed, produced and delivered by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company…

The largest jet in the Cessna Citation lineup, the Longitude was designed with business and return on investment at the forefront, with the lowest direct operating cost of any super-midsize jet.

“The Longitude’s versatility has already enabled its utilization in multiple fields, from air ambulance to flight inspections,” added Perry.

“We have one specially configured aircraft set to be delivered later this year, outfitted with flight inspection equipment to perform critical verification of navigation aids.”

Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER And 260 Aircraft Achieve EASA Certification

European Deliveries Underway



Textron Aviation has recorded a major milestone with its newest twin-turboprop models, the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and King Air 260, as both aircraft achieved European Aviation Safety Agency type certification. Deliveries to customers throughout the region will begin.

“EASA certification begins a whole new era for the Beechcraft King Air in Europe,” said Tom Perry, vice president of Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“The King Air has been the turboprop of choice throughout this region for more than five decades, and the new 260 and 360 will build on that legendary reputation. We have incorporated innovative and next generation technologies that enhance the flying experience for an already proven aircraft.”

Half of the European King Air fleet are owned and operated in France, Germany and the UK. There are more than 460 King Air turboprops across Europe.

Flights in a typical King Air 360 with four passengers and pilot, can travel comfortably from London to Athens or Frankfurt to Moscow without refueling, with a maximum range of 1,806 nautical miles. The King Air 260 can travel from Rome to Madrid or Paris to Stockholm without refueling with a maximum range of 1,720 nautical miles.

The King Air 360/360ER turboprop features the Innovative Solutions & Support ThrustSense Autothrottle, a digital pressurization controller in the cockpit, an addition which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent.

The aircraft also has a lower cabin altitude at the aircraft’s certified ceiling of 35,000 feet, providing greater comfort for passengers, especially during longer flights.

Announced in 2020, the new King Air turboprops were introduced, achieving FAA certification in late 2020 and early 2021.

[1] Tea leaf reading is an ancient practice of interpreting patterns made by tea leaves in the cup. This idiom is colloquially defined as Predicting the future from small signs


EASA organization


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