EAA Warbirds of America, NATA Survey Gathers Critical T-6 Fleet Information

    June 20, 2005 - As North American T-6/SNJ/Harvard aircraft owners and operators conduct mandatory wing inspections required by FAA’s Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2005-12-51, EAA Warbirds of America and North American Trainer Association (NATA) are working together to find the best solutions that will result in allowing the fleet to safely resume operations. Paul Redlich, NATA Board member, and Rick Siegfried, EAA Warbirds Safety Chairman, have created a questionnaire for fleet owners/operators to complete after their aircraft inspections.

    This questionnaire, located on the EAA Warbirds of America website at www.eaa.org/survey/warbirdsnata.htm, aims to provide hard data to the FAA so it has a better, more accurate understanding of the fleet’s condition.

    It is important to share these inspection findings if we want to paint a true picture of the situation that arose from May’s tragic SNJ accident in Florida. The FAA requires owners to complete a Wing Attachment Angle Inspection Report and return it to them. NATA and EAA Warbirds of America ask that you also promptly complete their online questionnaire, which they will evaluate to get a better understanding of the fleet’s condition. The goal is to more effectively represent the operators and make sure that these aircraft are maintained to the highest level of safety.

    There is also a critical need to compile data to quantify what is found during aircraft inspections so operators can understand the scope and frequency of inspections under a more permanent AD, should one be issued.

    FAA’s Emergency AD is based on an inspection procedure initiated by the South African Air Force (SAAF) following a 1975 accident. NATA and EAA are attempting to obtain SAAF’s data following implementation of the Service Instructions in 1975. We do know that after complying with the Service Instructions, the SAAF did not suffer another airframe loss due to wing failure.



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