Grounded Mallards Raise Aging Aircraft Issues

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Six months after a Mallard seaplane broke up in flight near Miami, Fla., the fleet of 34 is still grounded. The FAA had planned to have an approved method of inspection for possible wing cracks in place by Feb. 15, but that hasn't happened, The Associated Press reported over the weekend. "We are waiting to figure out if there's a way to do the inspections without tearing the airplane to pieces," FAA spokesman Les Dorr told the AP. The Grumman G-73T Turbo Mallard seaplane that crashed shortly after takeoff in December was operated by Chalk's Ocean Airways. All 20 people on board were killed. Meanwhile, the NTSB said on Tuesday it will release a series of factual reports about the crash today. The information being released will include investigative group factual reports, interview summaries, a cockpit voice recorder report, and other documents from the investigation. Analysis of the accident, along with conclusions and a determination of probable cause, will come at a later date.