General Aviation. Direct & Unfiltered.

Tecnam: A Note To Our Customers: No Worries With Our LSA

The recent NTSB recommendation [] to ground the Zodiac CH-601XL LSA should be of no concern to owners of Tecnam Light Sport Aircraft, says the importer, CEO of Tecnam Aircraft, Lynne Birmingham (CFI-I).

“All Tecnam aircraft are tested to meet the CS-VLA standards, which are equivalent to the FAA’s Part 23 full certification regs,” she said, in response to reporters’ questions following the NTSB’s recommendation that the FAA ground the 601XL for a possible design flaw that can lead to flutter and in-flight breakup. [This has been the cause of six in-flight breakups that resulted in ten deaths since 2006, in the 601XL, according to published reports. The FAA, for its part, notes that the 601XL’s manufacturer has already told its customers to check the aileron cable tension, the suspected gateway to this particular flutter. Birmingham notes that all Tecnam aircraft have push tube activated ailerons.]

Birmingham stresses that all Tecnam LSA meet the much-higher certification standards imposed by the European body, which is “virtually the same” as the FAA’s Part 23 requirements for “certified” aircraft. [Light Sport Aircraft in the USA are not tested by the FAA or any other governmental body; they must only meet industry consensus standards.] Other concerns raised by the NTSB (stick forces, airspeed indication accuracy, etc.) are already covered by the Tecnam aircraft, through their certification to CS-VLA (previously known as JAR-VLA).

“The bottom line is that Tecnam products meet the flight and certification standards applied to certified aircraft in the USA,” Birmingham said. “Aside from some detail changes [the brand of the wheels’ brake systems, for instance – and brakes have nothing to do with flight characteristics] for economic (rather than performance) reasons, the Tecnam line meets all the FAA’s specifications. We want the media to know this, and we especially want our customers to know this: Tecnam Light Sport Aircraft are designed and built to the highest standards.”

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Media Contact: Lynne Birmingham, CEO Phone:770.309.4155 Fax: 770.971.7937 (direct email)