The first AD issued in July was a result of a January 19, 2021, accident in which a True Flight Holdings LLC Model AA–5 airplane, better known as a Grumman American AA–5, crashed when its “outboard elevator attach bracket on the horizontal stabilizer detached.” This caused a loss of elevator control and significantly damaged the aircraft.
The AA–5A and AA–5B models were not included in the first AD, but the FAA seeks to include these models in the proposed AD because the “airplanes are similar in design and are constructed using a metal-to-metal bonding process.” Aircraft aging could “compromise the structural integrity of some of the bond joints” and cause the skin to delaminate from the aircraft’s structure. The proposed AD would affect the AOPA Sweepstakes Grumman Tiger aircraft. If the AD becomes a final rule, AOPA will comply with all aspects of the AD to have the sweepstakes aircraft inspected and repaired as necessary.
The AD would require the inspection of the wings, stabilizers, and aft fuselage every 12 months to check for “bondline separation, corrosion, and previous repair” and take corrective action before flying. The first inspection must be done within 100 hours time in service or within 12 months, whichever comes first, after the effective date of the AD, should it become a final rule without changes to those intervals. Pilots would not be able to get a special flight permit to ferry their aircraft.
The FAA estimates that the expanded AD would affect 2,466 aircraft in the U.S. registry and cost $680 per inspection. The first AD affected only 1,113 aircraft in the U.S. registry.
Comments should be submitted to the FAA by January 18; details for submitting electronically or via mail are in the proposal.
AOPA is seeking feedback from type clubs and aircraft owners. To share your insights, contact our Pilot Information Center.