Emergency AD issued on T-34 Aircraft

    FAA grounds fleet

    The FAA late on Friday December 10 grounded the entire T-34 fleet as a result of an in-flight wing failure earlier this week. However, the Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) does provide for the return/position of the affected aircraft to its home base or to a maintenance facility. The aircraft being returned/positioned will have several limitations including no aerobatic maneuvers, day VFR operations, or G loads greater than –0, and +2.5.

    The aircraft, which had the wing failure this week, was in compliance with the existing wing spar AD 2001-13-18 R1. The FAA investigation revealed that the left wing center section failed 4 inches inboard of the forward wing attach fitting. In addition, the FAA found visual evidence of fatigue at other locations not currently covered by AD 2001-13-18 R1.

    The T-34 aircraft has had several wing failures in recent years, which resulted in several wing spar airworthiness directives. EAA has worked closely with the FAA on these past airworthiness directives as well as with the T-34 Association. Because of this past close working relationship and proven technical expertise, the NTSB has included an engineer representing the T-34 Association as a party of the investigation into this weeks accident.

    EAA and the EAA Warbirds of America will continue to support the T-34 Association, owners and the FAA as this investigation continues and as a more permanent solution to the wing failure issue is developed.



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