EAA Survey of Zenith Owners Published
December 30, 2009—Between November 25-30, EAA surveyed Zenith 601 XL and 650 owners to gauge their awareness of the special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) issued by the FAA, their awareness of the service directive/safety alert issued by AMD, and their intent to comply with both. EAA identified 165 owners of the 601 XL or the 650 within its database and sent survey invitations by e-mail.
The data clearly shows that owners/builders of the 601 XL and 650 are aware of the SAIB issued by the FAA and the safety alert/safety directive issued by AMD. Eighty-four percent of respondents are planning on incorporating the AMD safety directive into their Zodiac. Respondents commented that the FAA has not released any factual data regarding its tests and that of the designer. Two-thirds of respondents would either like more factual data to understand the issue or do not believe the FAA has identified a factual issue.
The survey indicates that the homebuilt community is proactive about safety and self-regulates when needed. Although not regulated to comply with the safety directive, nearly all of the respondents are currently taking action to address the safety concern with a large majority voluntarily grounding their aircraft.EAA recommends releasing the testing data so all members of the 601 community will be aware and convinced of any possible design flaw in the 601. The safety of the pilots, their passengers, and persons and property on the ground is dependent upon this information being made available.