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True Flight published SB195A, you can obtain a copy here- https://trueflightaerospace.com/sb-195/ or the three files combined into one pdf here.
The executive summary is that the revised SB-195 "A" removes the requirement to rivet all bondlines of the vertical stabilizer if delamination is found on the horizontal stabilizer. It still requires the riveting of the outboard rib and trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizers, but NOT the riveting of all stabilizer bondlines. So overall, this version of SB-195 A reduces the requirements to a much more realistic and focused repair, when necessary.
TRUE FLIGHT IS WORKING ON A REVISION TO THIS SB.
True Flight has issued SB 195 to require inspection of our aircraft for delamination. You can find Service Bulletin 195 here:
SB 195 will most likely become mandatory by the issuance of an Airworthiness Directive in the not distant future.
Inspection of all AA1, AA-1A, AA-1B, AA-1C and AA5 aircraft is required within the next 25 hours, time in service. All AA-5A, and AA-5B aircraft must be inspected within 100 hours, time in service.
There's been a lot of concern recently about the recent FAA NOTC regarding the failure of the horizontal stab on a Traveler and the likely AD resulting. Much of this concern has revolved around the apparent lack of involvement of Grumman experts in the process. In fact, True Flight has been directly ad deeply involved all along and was already preparing a Service Bulletin on the problem when that notice was released by the FAA.
True Flight has been consulting Grumman experts including David Fletcher, Gary Vogt, and John Sjaardema. GOPA Tech Director John Cotter is now involved, too.
As background, this all started with this accident:
GOPA Tech Director John Cotter contacted the investigating FSDO within days of the accident, requesting any and all additional information. He then wrote the Elevator Failure article which was published in the March-April Star Magazine:
One issue which has led to some confusion is that the FSDO Inspector who sent out the NOTC is only the person investigating the accident, not the person developing the AD; that is being done by the Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) in conjunction with True Flight. However, FAA rules on AD development prohibit sharing most information with the public until the AD is completed. This has resulted in some confusion about who's doing what, but we hope this message will alleviate some concerns.
The problem which led to the Traveler accident appears to be the delamination of the skin of the horizontal stab from the outboard rib to which the outboard elevator hinge plate is attached, resulting in failure of the rib and loss of elevator control. This design is common to all AA-1x's and the AA-5, but completely different in the AA-5A/B, where the bracket is attached to the aft spar, not the outboard rib. You can see this part in the relevant Maintenance and Parts Manuals. The delamination was a result of a number of factors resulting in corrosion inside the bonded joint. Note this was a '72 Traveler, so the "purple passion" glue used in 1975 was not involved. This progressive delamination could have been detected by routine "tap test" of the bonded seam as called for in the 100-hour/annual checklist for all our aircraft, but which may be getting skimped on by some people.
So, the first lesson learned is to be diligent about doing that tap test at every inspection.
Also, it appears that a contributing factor was the freezing and melting of water which had intruded into the rib/skin joint while temperatures were going up and down above/below freezing. So while we know not everyone can keep their plane hangared, to the max extent possible, do try to keep your plane dry and out of the elements.
At this time, the FAA and True Flight are working on final wording of an SB to check for these issues. Much will be taken from the old SB125A on delamination repairs, but updated and expanded, with improved guidance on the conduct of tap tests. The AD will likely make the SB mandatory, probably with a "100 hours or next annual" completion time. As to what the SB will say, the following is preliminary, but should be close to the final.
The SB will have two parts - one that is more general and include the Cheetah and Tiger, and likely be a "next 100 hours or next annual, whichever comes first."
The second part will be more focused on one-time inspection of the tail of all AA1s and Travelers. It will also be more urgent (likely within 20 hrs) to allow owners to get the plane to a suitable shop for the inspection.
It's not certain whether any required inspection will require removal of the stab tip for more direct examination, or whether tap testing/visual inspection will be sufficient. If your plane is clean with little to no corrosion the only ongoing inspection will be the one prescribed in the first part of the service bulletin - i.e. annual tap test which is, of course, already part of the annual inspection. If corrosion or delamination is found, mitigating steps will be prescribed. The mitigating steps are not yet decided. They could include some upgrade to the rib/skin attachment, but whether that will be necessary and what that might involve is still under discussion. True Flight is working directly with the ACO on these issues.
The one thing which IS certain is something we all should already know - that the tap test of the bondlines at each 100-hour/annual inspection as listed in the Maintenance Manuals for all our planes (not just the
AA-1x/AA-5) is critical. There is little doubt in the minds of the experts that had the accident airplane been tap-tested, the delamination would have been detected well before it failed. Every one of you flying an AA-1x or AA-5 should be tap-testing that seam before your next flight and obtaining appropriate assistance from a mechanic who knows Grummans if you don't like what you hear. For you Cheetah/Tiger folks, the design of your horizontal stab/elevator attachment is totally different (the bracket is attached directly to the spar by four screws, not by two screws to the rib), so a failure mode would be different, but that's no reason not to tap-test your tail along the skin/aft spar bondline before your next flight.
Elevator Failure, 1972 Grumman Traveler
As many of you are aware, a 1972 AA5’s elevator attachment system failed in flight. While there is significant damage to the aircraft, neither occupant is known to have suffered any injury. I would consider elevator detachment a “fail fatal” failure mode, so the two individuals are very lucky.
Please see complete article here:
Elevator Failure Feb 7.pdf
GOPA Scholarship Fundraiser a Success!
On behalf of the GOPA Scholarship Committee, I am so pleased to report that we sold 185 T-shirts and raised $2660! Thank you so much to all of you who purchased shirts and made additional donations. We well surpassed our goal!
A huge thank you to GOPA member Dennis Oparowski who came to me with this idea and liaised with Custom Ink. He believed in it from the very beginning, designed the shirt with Custom Ink and has organized a great fundraiser for the scholarship fund.
I look forward to seeing the T-shirts worn proudly at the GOPA convention in September and I’m sure they will be worn at many other flying events throughout the year!
Thank you for supporting youth in aviation.
Pat Metz, Director, GOPA Scholarship Fund
IT’S TIME! THE GOPA SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER LINK IS LIVE!
Support the GOPA Scholarship fund by purchasing one of these great T-Shirts just by clicking on the link below:
Short sleeve, long sleeve, and a variety of sizes for you to choose!
These would make great gifts, fun items for giveaways/draws, to donate to local EAA, air cadets programs, local fly-in draws, or other aviation events. Our goal is to sell 150 T-Shirts.
Our members have provided over $93,000 since 2002 to over 50 young aviators. Let’s keep it going!
For more information about the GOPA Scholarship, please visit www.grummanpilots.org/scholarship
Tom Dyer is taking over as the Director for the Pacific region. He can be reached at email@example.com
Thanks for stepping up Tom.
The 2021 GOPA Convention has been moved from Fredericksburg, Texas, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the week of September 20. Details will be updated in the Events section as they become available.
AOPA have chosen a Grumman Tiger as their Sweepstakes give away this time. Details can be seen here. GOPA will be donating a one year membership to the new owner and has been helping out as needed.
All the back issues of the Star and Newsletters that I have access to are now online in the Members Area. There are some interesting reads from back in the day. Login to enjoy.
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