AD Sets Life Limit For Moravan/Zlin Airframe

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An FAA Airworthiness Directive issued on Monday affirms a fact that pilots have long suspected: having a wing (or two) separate from the airplane in flight would be a bad thing. This AD affects (Moravan) Model Z-242L aircraft, which are built in the Czech Republic. It beefs up a prior AD that restricted Acrobatic and Utility category operations and required replacement of the wings after a certain operational time. This week's AD maintains those restrictions, but also will incorporate the aerobatic frequency and life limit the airplane, instead of just the wings, in order to prevent fatigue cracking. Such failure could result in a wing separating from the airplane with consequent loss of airplane control, the FAA says. The AD takes effect today. Comments are accepted via e-mail until July 7 at 9-ACE-7-Docket@faa.gov. Comments sent electronically must contain "Docket No. 2003-CE-24-AD" in the subject line.