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Information about dimpled hole cracking reported on some laser cut parts

Update: June 17, 2024

Published: Laser Cut Parts Reference Library page

Laser Cut Parts List updated to R8 (link)

  • Reclassified some parts from “Replacement Recommended” to “Acceptable for Use” after further engineering review


Update: January 8, 2024

Laser Cut Parts List updated to R7.2 (link)

  • Clarifications of the parts classification Status Key (R7)
  • RV-12iS Empennage Part Classification Revisions (R7)
  • Corrected missing Flap and Aileron components in the RV-14 Wing Section (R7.1)
  • Corrected missing components in the RV-8 Fuselage Section (R7.2)
  • Added revision level and date to each section (R7.2)

Update: November 10, 2023

Laser Cut Parts List updated; Service Letter SL-00091 published

Van’s Aircraft has published an updated Laser Cut Parts List (R6), which reflects further analysis on parts manufacturing dates and reclassifies certain parts.

  • Part classifications have been developed through an analysis of the airworthiness and service life of these parts. A summary of this investigation, “Laser-Cut Parts Engineering Evaluation,” is available on the Van’s Aircraft website.
  • As of R6 of this document the “First Date in Inventory” has been updated to a highly conservative date that represents the first point in time that a Laser-cutting vendor was directed to make that specific part number. This date is before parts made it to the shelf. With certainty, for any given part number, a kit packed before this date contains a punched version of that part. After this date there is a possibility that a part is laser cut.
  • A handful of parts were removed from the list because after further analysis, it was determined that those parts were not delivered as laser-cut.
  • The list has been re-sorted and is now displayed as earliest to latest date.
  • For kits assembled as quickbuild kits or to the quickbuild stage, or beyond, Van’s is evaluating and will be providing alternate means of repair where disassembly is impractical or overly burdensome.

Service Letter SL-00091 has been published. It refers the reader to the updated Laser-Cut Parts List as well as the Laser-Cut Parts Engineering Evaluation document, and addresses the use and inspection of these parts.

In addition, the team at Van’s Aircraft is completing customer specific laser cut parts lists for each individual kit based on the date each kit was crated (and when the quickbuild kit was assembled). These will be communicated directly to individual customers in the near future. Van’s will communicate additional information about the laser cut parts replacement program when these customer-specific lists are delivered.

Update: November 5, 2023

Coming Soon: Refined Laser Cut Parts Lists

During the Van’s Aircraft internal assessment process, which runs through mid-November, we are in the process of refining the laser-cut parts list, to deliver a definitive list for each individual customer that includes only those laser-cut parts that are in scope for the customer’s specific kits/orders based on the date each was packed/crated.

Our updated lists and communications will cover: all affected kits including quick builds, laser-cut parts that shipped as kit backorders, and laser-cut parts that were shipped in replacement parts orders.

We will be communicating these refined lists to customers in the next few weeks. We’ve disabled access to the portal while we prepare the updated/refined data and customer lists.

You’ll hear from us again soon. Thank you.

Update: October 8, 2023

Engineering Assessment document updated – Added additional clarifying information and illustrative test sample photos to the “Accelerated Life Testing” section of the document.

Also, we realize that things are not moving as quickly as you or any of us here at Van’s would like. We are using all of our available resources to thoroughly identify and determine the full scope of potentially impacted customers and to plan accordingly. We are also assessing the time required to produce punched parts for those who want to go that route. At the same time, we are working to create instructions for the removal/replacement process to be used by our assembly teams and builders in the field. Of course, we remain engaged in extensive analysis, testing, and engineering reviews, examining which parts need to be removed/replaced and how to accomplish this in the fastest way possible.  We can assure you that our teams are working through this issue as quickly as we can. We expect to have more information to provide soon, but don’t want to make firm timeline commitments without sufficient confidence in those timelines. Please understand that this is a difficult, complex issue to resolve and plan for – and it’s very important to us to get it right for you. We will share more updates and plans as soon as we have them ready to go. Thank you.

Update: September 26, 2023

Laser Cut Parts List updated (corrects certain initial part availability dates)

Update:  September 25, 2023

Van’s has published new and updated documents (linked below) for customers with kits that potentially include laser-cut parts. In addition, customers whose kits are in-scope will receive an email on Tuesday morning with a link to the new web portal, where they can select requested replacement parts.

Included in the below documents is a new engineering assessment report, which we encourage customers to read in full. In that document, we describe the work we have done and the results of testing and assessment performed by the Van’s engineering team and a contracted third-party testing company. All laser-cut parts have been classified either as “Recommended for Replacement” or “Acceptable for Use.” Those parts classified as Acceptable for Use are functionally equivalent to punched parts and can be used in an aircraft. Any parts classified as Recommended for Replacement should be replaced or addressed as discussed in the engineering assessment document.

The status of each part is displayed in the updated Laser-Cut Parts List document, as well as the new web portal’s parts list.

Van’s has conducted a detailed review of documentation for kits that were shipped to customers, and has identified more than 1,000 kits where we initially told customers their kits may contain laser-cut parts, but which we have now determined do not contain laser-cut parts. We will be contacting these customers on Tuesday to update them regarding the status change for those kits.

Links to the updated and new documents:

The information selected by customers on the web portal will inform us as we assess production planning needs. Van’s will update delivery timelines and other parts-related information, and communicate such to customers, over time.

This is a costly and time-consuming situation for Van’s Aircraft that will take some time to work through. We certainly also understand that this situation is time-consuming and inconvenient for our builders. To sustain the company, Van’s must produce and ship new kits and parts while simultaneously producing and shipping replacement parts. The amount of work and time involved in resolving this issue will depend greatly on how our customers adopt and implement the classifications and recommendations documented in the Van’s engineering assessment document, simply because the number of parts requested by customers will primarily define the actual production volume and timelines for those parts.

Thank you everyone for your help and patience. We look forward to working with you through parts production and replacement.

[previous updates]

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