Another Fatal Zodiac Breakup

A Nov. 6 fatal accident near Agnos, Arkansas, further mars the record of the Zodiac CH601XL light sport aircraft. The type has been cited for possible problems with its controls that could lead to aerodynamic flutter and in-flight breakup. Six previous in-flight breakups have led the Experimental Aircraft Association to urge operators of the type to voluntarily ground their aircraft until recommendations from the kit designer have been complied with. In the most recent accident, both wings separated from the fuselage and the pilot was killed. The National Transportation Safety Board had urged the FAA to ground the CH601XL, and earlier this month, the EAA issued its recommendation that owners voluntarily wait for a fix before flying their aircraft.