EAA Recommends Grounding Zodiacs Until Fixed
The FAA's special review of the Zodiac CH601XL and CH650 has implicated "several areas of concern" within the aircrafts' design that may couple with operational aspects to cause in-flight structural failures. EAA is now urging operators to not fly the aircraft until operators comply with a forthcoming Safety Directive/Safety Alert from the Zodiac's manufacturer. The FAA determined that stick force characteristics, airspeed calibration, structural stability, wing structure and flutter all conspire to the detriment of the design's overall safety. The agency studied five in-flight structural failures in the U.S. involving two S-LSA aircraft, one E-LSA experimental, and two experimental Zodiacs.
For more information the FAA is asking operators to contact either Wes Ryan at the FAA Small Airplane Directorate (firstname.lastname@example.org); Zenith Aircraft Company (Zenithair.com); or AMD, which manufactures the S-LSA version, at Newplane.com.