Today the NTSB issued an "urgent" safety recommendation, asking the FAA to immediately ground all Zodiac CH-601XL aircraft. The reason: their wings tend to fall off. So far, six have broken up in flight, causing 10 fatalities. The NTSB suspects that the design of the aircraft induces "flutter"– an aerodynamic phenomenon that can destroy an aircraft in seconds. This short NASA video depicts flutter nearly destroying the tail on a Piper Twin Comanche.
Will the FAA act on this recommendation or, like it has with regard to so many other NTSB recommendations, simply ignore it? I’m betting that this is one the FAA will act on. As I’ve noted before, the FAA has been under increasing fire for sitting on NTSB recommendations while lives are lost. The FAA will see Zodiac’s manufacturer as an easy target and move against it — if for no other reason than to quiet its critics.