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Aileron hinge AD ordered for some DecathlonsAileron hinge AD ordered for some Decathlons

The FAA has adopted an airworthiness directive (AD) affecting some American Champion Aircraft Corp. Model 8KCAB airplanes prohibiting aerobatic flight and requiring inspection of aileron hinge rib and support structures. The AD was implemented in response to an event in which a pilot experienced a stuck aileron in flight.

An airworthiness directive affecting some Decathlon airplanes prohibits aerobatic flight and requires inspection of aileron hinge rib and support structures. Image from American Champion Aircraft Corp. Service Letter 442.

The AD took effect April 12, requiring “fabrication and installation of a placard to prohibit aerobatic flight, inspection of the aileron hinge rib and support,” and reporting of inspection results to the FAA.

The AD pertains to Model 8KCAB airplanes certificated in any category with serial numbers 1116-2012 through 1120-2012, and 1122-2012 and up; and any Model 8KCAB airplane equipped with part number 4-2142 exposed balance ailerons, it says.

It adopts, with several differences, an inspection procedure described in American Champion Aircraft Corp.’s Service Letter 442.

In establishing the AD, the FAA cited an event in which the pilot of an 8KCAB “reported a stuck aileron during some phases of flight.”

The pilot was able to free the aileron and land. “Upon inspection, the operator found cracked structure around several of the aileron hinges,” the AD says, noting that the condition “could result in failure of the aileron support structure; leading to excessive deflection, binding of the control surface, and potential loss of control.”

The AD requires that before further flight after the effective date, affected aircraft must have a placard that says “aerobatic flight prohibited” fabricated and installed on the instrument panel.

Within the next 10 hours time-in-service after April 12, the aileron hinge rib and support must be inspected.

If no cracks are found during the inspection, the placard prohibiting aerobatic flight can be removed.

If the inspection reveals cracks, “no further flight is permitted until an FAA-approved repair for this AD has been accomplished. There is currently no fix for airplanes with cracks in this area so such airplanes could not be operated until a repair that was FAA-approved specifically for the AD is incorporated.”

Inspection results must be reported to the FAA within 10 days after the inspection as provided in the AD.

The FAA will accept comments on the AD until May 30 online, by fax (202/493-2251) or by mail to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

Please include the docket number FAA-2017-0283 and directorate identifier 2017-CE-009-AD at the beginning of your comments.


Topics: Aircraft Regulation, Airworthiness Directives

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