Thu, May 14, 2009
In-flight Break Ups Continue To Draw International
Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority,
Thursday, issued an updated AWB on the Zenair CH 601XL, in
response to the number of accidents reported over the past few
years as well as the increased scrutiny brought to the
aircraft by the NTSB.
1. Applicability: All Zenair Zodiac CH 601XL
(ULM and amateur built/experimental models).
2. Purpose: The purpose of this bulletin is to
advise the owners, operators and maintainers of any Zodiac CH 601XL
aircraft to check the manufacturer’s current listing of
continuing airworthiness documents for their aircraft and to
maintain their aircraft to the most recent maintenance data.
3. Background: There have been four accidents
in the United States and two in Europe in which a CH 601XL broke-up
in flight killing the occupants on board. The National Transport
Safety Board (NTSB) has investigated the US accidents and cited
flutter as a possible cause. The details of the investigation and
Safety Recommendations can be found in NTSB Safety Recommendations
A-09-30 (Urgent) through -37.
Zenair Europe has advised the European National Aviation
Authorities that they will be conducting comprehensive
independently-verified tests to demonstrate that the CH 601XL is
airworthy. (Zenair letter dated 26 February, 2009). They have also
released Service Bulletin ZE-2008-01 to advise maintainers of the
CH 601XL of the need to maintain the appropriate control cable
4. Recommendations: CASA recommends that all
operators and maintainers --
- Ensure the maintenance data for the Zenair CH 601XL is current
and the aircraft is maintained to this data.
- Ensure that the control cables are maintained to the required
- Monitor other sources of in-service information for the CH
601XL aircraft, such as the Recreational Aviation Australia
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