Update on Blanik ADs and Manfacturer Bulletins
The continuing airworthiness issues, manufacturer’s (LET / Aircraft Industries) Mandatory Bulletins, European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) Airworthiness Directives and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ADs are of concern to SSA as well as to the owners and operators of the affected L-13 and L-13A Blaniks. It is likely that most of the Blanik fleet in the United States and around the world will be affected and/or grounded before the manufacturer and the European agencies issue appropriate methods to inspect and modify the aircraft to prevent recurrence of the problems that have led to structural failure and death.
The SSA has worked with FAA since the beginning of the current problems and has attempted to offer suggested resolutions to the FAA, For the moment, there is little the SSA can do to directly impact the situation.
At this point the manufacturer and EASA have not developed or approved an effective inspection or modification program to ensure safe continued flight of the affected aircraft.
However, the FAA’s latest AD states that the flight-hour record-keeping requirements of the manufacturer do not apply to American operators and that the FAA will review Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC’s) presented to them. These statements are encouraging for American operators.
SSA does not have the expertise to engineer solutions, but some of our members may. SSA encourages qualified members who work on aircraft inspection and repair methods to contact Greg Davison, Aerospace Engineer at FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate in Kansas City at (816) 329-4130. Also please send copies of correspondence with the FAA to SSA and we will summarize and publish relevant information about the situation on this page on a regular basis.
SSA will also use this page to publish other written reports of developments or offers of assistance. In particular, FAA is working on an informational statement that it hopes to forward to SSA for publication in the next few days. At the moment SSA believes that acting as an information clearinghouse is its most appropriate course of action while it encourages its members and the owners / operators of Blaniks to work together to develop technical solutions.
Finally, SSA also believes that owners and operators of affected Blaniks should make the manufacturer (LET / Aircraft Industries) and its American representative (Blanik America) aware of their concerns and the need for their help and timely solutions. Meanwhile, owners with valid questions and suggestions continue to be invited to contact the FAA as stated in the ADs.
SSA Airworthiness Certification Committee