In late November, the Experimental Aircraft Association posted an online survey for Zenith Zodiac builders and owners asking about the recent FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB). According to the EAA, there were 450 responses.Of those, 90% identified themselves as the builder, and 80% said they were building from a kit. (Interestingly, four respondents said they were not sure.) Some 94% had already read the FAAs SAIB and 86% said they had read the Zenith-issued Safety Alert and Safety Directive materials. The vast majority (88%) had not performed modifications to address the flutter issue, and of those who had, the dominant response was to deal with cable tension. On December 29, Zeniths own demonstrator had received the full complement of modifications and was once again flying. In the EAA survey, 84% reported that they would incorporate the Zenith directives for structural and control system modifications; 5%, or 19 respondents, said they would not make the modifications. Most, 86%, said they would perform the modifications themselves.While the initial impression was that a fleet of Zodiacs would be grounded, its interesting to note that 49% of the respondents had not yet finished their aircraft but indicated they would incorporate the changes. Some 133 aircraft, 31% of the respondents, were going to be voluntarily grounded until the modifications could be made. Twelve respondents said they would do nothing, 13 said they would ground the airplane until I better understand the issues, and some 36 respondents fell into the other category. According to EAA, the majority of the respondents to the other category are planning to sell their plane…Some respondents were critical of the FAA for either taking too long to act or rushing to judgment, but 65% were either satisfied or very satisfied with Zeniths reaction to the crisis.See the results of the survey.
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