Grumman Owners & Pilots Association

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Rear Bulkhead Cracks

 During a routine inspection, maintenance personnel found cracked and deformed structure in the aft fuselage area including horizontal stabilizer forward spar attachment structure, spar support angles, and stiffeners.  The AYA working with the FAA and True Flight Aerospace was instrumental in the issuance of Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE-09-37 After the original issuance of this SAIB on July 1, 2009, a second airplane was found to have damage in this area which prompted True Flight Aerospace (the Type Certificate holder) to issue Critical Service Bulletin SB-192, dated August 20, 2009 and the revision of the SAIB to CE-09-37R1 which includes reference to SB-192. 

Both SB-192 and the SAIB contain one major error: Only the AA5 is listed when both really should apply to the entire AA5 and AG5 series.

The fact that there had been no reported accidents due to the cracking aided in the FAA decision not to issue an Airworthiness Directive (AD) but to make it an SAIB.  SB-192 can be found on the GOPA Website Member Menu under Maintenance Files.  It contains detailed inspection and repair information.

This is another example of how you’re Type Club, the GOPA (formerly AYA) works for you – researching aircraft problems and working with the TC holder and the FAA to provide critical maintenance information to you and your mechanic.


GOPA and the FAA/Aileron Oscillation in the Rain Aileron AD

In 1979 due to aileron oscillation found in a few AA5 series aircraft, the FAA issued AD 79-16-05 which required the trailing edge of the ailerons to be “chopped”.  A groundswell of complaint quickly arose from the field about the handling qualities and the looks of the “chopped” ailerons. This became so strong that Gulfstream American issued an Alternate Method of Compliance (AMOC) which was incorporated into AD 79-22-04 (terminating AD 79-16-05).  This returned the bulk of the fleet to where it had been before and left us with repetitive 100-hour aileron inspections.

For over 20 years, during annual inspection(100 hour intervals), removal of the ailerons from the aircraft for inspection was mandated.  This was a tedious, time-consuming task.  Fast forward 27 years to 2006.  The AYA Technical Action Committee headed by Jeff Simon concluded a long standing project to have the AD rescinded or the inspection interval extended. Ultimately the FAA was convinced to accept the solution that if one could show the plane had correctly contoured ailerons from the factory or through replacement of the aileron(s) with serviceable parts, the repetitive inspections could be discontinued.

A letter was issued by the FAA approving an AMOC which requires a final inspection of the ailerons and aileron system coupled with a measurement process to determine that the ailerons were properly contoured.  Upon completion of this, the repetitive inspection requirement and AD 79-22-04 are terminated.  AYA has provided the required measuring tools to mechanics for use in compliance with the AMOC and still has some available. Since the AMOC was issued via a letter and not a new AD, many mechanics have been unaware of it and are still performing the 100 hour inspection.

This is an example of how you’re Type Club, the GOPA (formerly AYA) works for you – providing relief from onerous FAA requirements when possible and providing much-needed information to you and your mechanic.



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