ROCHESTER, Wisconsin — American Champion Aircraft Corporation (ACA) has released an updated wing design for new-production Super Decathlon and Xtreme Decathlons in response to an airworthiness directive affecting aircraft with a new-style aileron first delivered in 2012.
Also released was a wing reinforcement retrofit kit for aircraft already in the field.
American Champion is providing the parts free of charge for the aircraft that have been delivered; a special discounted installation rate will also be available for aircraft that return to the factory. All new aircraft will be delivered with the reinforcements installed.“We want to thank all of our customers who have waited while we completed extensive engineering and testing to address the reinforcements needed,” said Jerry Mehlhaff Jr., vice president of engineering. “We understand that the time required to analyze the problem and create a solution was frustrating for our owners, but we knew we needed to get this right. It wasn’t good enough to develop a quick fix that would require limitations or that we felt wouldn’t deliver an experience worthy of our name. While it took us a hard few months, we’re proud to say this is the strongest Decathlon wing ever built.”
Super Decathlon and Xtreme Decathlon aircraft with the exposed balance aileron will need to have the aileron hinge area inspected according to AD 2017-07-10.
Decathlon family aircraft (model 8KCAB) equipped with spades are not affected, though inspections are recommended on an annual basis, company officials noted.
Owners and maintenance providers can check to see if their airplane is one of the 61 serial numbers affected by referencing Service Letter 442, available on the American Champion website.