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Zenair Zodiac CH601 XL (microlight) banned

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Zenair Zodiac CH601 XL (microlight) banned

Old 24th Oct 2008, 15:34
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Zenair Zodiac CH601 XL (microlight) banned

This plane has been banned in Holland with immediate effect.

In September one of them crashed in Holland killing 2 people on board.

Investigation by the Dutch authorities has revealed that the wing can fold back spontaneously in flight


Inspectie houdt twaalf sportvliegtuigjes aan de grond - Inspectie Verkeer en Waterstaat
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Old 24th Oct 2008, 16:01
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When you say banned, does that mean they are all grounded? Cannot be purchased/imported? (or both). This dramatic action is taken because of one accident resulting from the failure of a structure which was amature built?

I test flew the very first 601. faults? a few.... fault in structural design? I'm not so quick to jump to a conclusion...

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Old 24th Oct 2008, 16:04
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"banned" is probably the incorrect word.

According to the article, the 12 Dutch-registered Zodiacs have been grounded with immediate effect pending an investigation into its structural strength. Apparently, under normal flight loads the wings can fold.

But you can, PROBABLY, still fly a non-Dutch registered Zodiac in the Netherlands. Legally, that is. Not that it would make the Dutch authorities happy of course, but if your CofA (or Permit) is valid and all other directives from the state of registry have been complied with, there's not much the Dutch authorities can do about it under ICAO regulations.

Also, I don't see any indication that you cannot sell/buy/import/export a Zodiac at this point in time.
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Old 24th Oct 2008, 16:15
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According to the press release, there have been 7 other fatal accidents, some due to the wing folding. I guess you can count yourself lucky!
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Old 24th Oct 2008, 16:59
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Yes, I count myself lucky, it was about 25 years ago, and only a few flights.

Shortly after my final flight, it when to Oshkosh for the show. The pilot flying it lost the entire canopy a few thousand feet over Lake Michigan, along with everything else in the cockpit that was not bolted down. The rest of the flight was not pleasant for him. He did prove though, that a Z601 can be flown with no canopy!
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Old 20th Nov 2008, 12:45
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It's a few weeks now since the 601XL ( 560kg version, not microlight ) was grounded in the UK due to potential aileron flutter.
Rumour now has it that the problem may be connected to wing fixing failure but nothing has been officially announced.
This only affects the 601XL and not the earlier 601 variants.
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Old 15th Apr 2009, 15:33
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More information crossed my path today...

In an unusual move on Tuesday, the NTSB issued an "urgent safety recommendation" asking the FAA to prohibit further flight of the Zodiac CH-601XL, a light sport aircraft that has been involved in six in-flight structural breakups since 2006. The airplane is designed by Zenair. The board cited four accidents in the U.S. and two in Europe in which a CH-601XL broke up in-flight, killing a total of 10 people. According to the NTSB, there is a problem with the airplane design that makes it susceptible to aerodynamic flutter -- a phenomenon in which the control surfaces of the airplane can suddenly vibrate, and if unmitigated, can lead to catastrophic structural failure. The CH-601XL was certified as an LSA in 2005. The NTSB wants the fleet grounded until the FAA can determine that the problem has been solved. "The NTSB does not often recommend that all airplanes of a particular type be prohibited from further flight," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker. "In this case, we believe such action will save lives. Unless the safety issues with this particular Zodiac model are addressed, we are likely to see more accidents in which pilots and passengers are killed in airplanes that they believed were safe to fly." [more] The NTSB also found the stick force gradient was not uniform, and was lesser at high Gs, which could make the airplane susceptible to over-control by the pilot, which could lead to over-stressing the design limits and lead to in-flight structural failure. The board also made several requests of ASTM International, the entity that provides the design standards for light sport aircraft. NTSB says ASTM should add requirements to ensure the standards for LSAs reduce the potential for aerodynamic flutter to occur, develop standards on stick-force characteristics that minimize the possibility inadvertent over-controlling by the pilot, and ensure standards for LSAs result in accurate airspeed indications and appropriate documentation in new airplane pilot operating handbooks. More...
FAA RESPONDS TO ZODIAC CONCERNS
The FAA is already looking into concerns about all versions of the Zodiac aircraft, which were raised at an industry meeting back in February, FAA spokeswoman Laura J. Brown told AVweb on Tuesday, but she added that the agency has no immediate plans to call for the airplanes to be grounded. "The manufacturer already has told owners to check the aileron control cable tensions," she said. The FAA has formed a special review team with members from the FAA and the industry to investigate the problem. Brown added that the FAA has told the ASTM that it should conduct a review of its LSA standards regarding aerodynamic flutter. More...
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Old 15th Apr 2009, 16:16
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This is the most obvious UK fatal accident in the type.

G
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Old 15th Apr 2009, 17:36
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Wrong type I'm afraid.

The 601UL/HD has a completely different wing to the xl which has a tapered and much thinnner wing. But it certainly illustrates that exploring the edge of the envelope whether intentionally or not is a risky business.
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Old 20th Nov 2011, 21:41
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Zodiac groundings

In reply to the previous post the zodiac 601xl was grounded yes but this is a totally different aircraft to earlier zodiac 601 aircraft that had the following model numbers hds hd ul the wing on the xl attaches at the fuselage whilst the earlier ones have seven foot fixed section that runs through the fuselage and the outboard section bolts to that with a gull like appearance
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Old 21st Nov 2011, 08:39
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Not sure why this thread has surfaced again.

The UK xls were cleared to fly almost 2 years ago following the LAA being involved in clearing some structural modifications to beef up the centre section, balance the ailerons and some ther minor changes (trimmer etc).
Zenair later came out with a more thorough re-design which beefed up the main spar, rear spar, centre section etc. The various European regulatory authorities took various bits of these modifications and made them compulsory. So there is little commonality in the modifications required aparet from the aileron balanacing.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 22:10
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A long dead thread that is revived by this:

Zenair Zodiac CH601 UL Microlight aircraft- spares or repair | eBay

Given the list of declared deficiencies and the type's history I'd say the starting price was a little high!
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 22:34
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But have you looked at who's selling it?
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 07:22
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Leicestershire Police.

Drugs gang who smuggled 1.7million of cocaine into Britain hidden in the wings of a plane are jailed for 38 years | Mail Online

It is 16 kilos overweight, so might be worth more than 12000.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 08:20
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Bit disappointing to see the damage it has sustained whilst 'being looked after by Leceistershire police'. With that sort of care of what must undoubtedly been material evidence it is surprising they didn't get off!
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 09:37
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Was the report of G-CBAP canopy loss & FL at Glaisnock in the Sun on Feb 19th true,doesn't appear to be noted elsewhere ?
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 13:02
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Ha! I remember that Zenair, I did some test flying on it a few years ago. They were arrested at the edge of my garden!
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 03:42
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G-CBAP was in all the Scottish press.

Yes, canopy loss followed by FL.
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 14:12
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P.A.T testing will be completed on all electrical items requiring this test prior to sale.


That will make it better then....In the same category as kettles and toasters.
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 07:15
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