FAA Issues AD for B-17 Wing Inspection: Ensuring Airworthiness and Safety

FAA Issues AD for B-17 Wing Inspection: Ensuring Airworthiness and Safety

Title: FAA Mandates Extensive Inspections and Potential Repairs for Wing Attachments on Airworthy Aircraft

As anticipated, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) necessitating a comprehensive inspection of wing attachment assemblies on all currently operational aircraft. The FAA advises that an eddy current inspection of bolt holes within the wing structure represents the most efficient approach, estimating a time frame of approximately 25 hours for completion. In the event of any identified issues, repairs will be imperative, potentially incurring significant costs.

The FAA's attention was drawn to the matter when a vigilant pilot conducting a pre-flight walkaround discovered a concerning two-inch gap between the left wing and the fuselage of a B-17 aircraft. In response to this incident, the AD was formulated based on a report indicating a complete separation of the left front spar lower fitting at the wing-to-fuselage joint, coupled with the discovery of a cracked equivalent joint on the airplane's right side. The AD stipulates mandatory inspections of the wing terminal-to-spar chord joints and, if necessary, mandates the execution of appropriate repairs.

This proactive directive from the FAA aims to ensure the utmost safety and integrity of wing attachments across the aviation industry. By undertaking these meticulous inspections and, if needed, subsequent repairs, potential risks can be identified and mitigated effectively, safeguarding both pilots and passengers.
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