Are any Mallards still flying in the US?

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Re: Are any Mallards still flying in the US?

Postby MrWidgeon » Wed May 23, 2012 6:58 am

No problem there Jr.
The Mallard is basically restricted from commercial operation in the US now and the survivors have to undergo a special annual inspection & review to remain airworthy.

Here's the gist of the deal as outlined by the head of he Mallard Owners group in his own words :

"The AD was an attempt to cast the Mallard as an aging aircraft suffering from metal fatigue".

"We (the Mallard Owners) fought that all the way up to Jim Ballough (Director of the FAAs Flight Standards Service), the heads of the three directorates, with the assistance of an previous administrator and the chief scientific adviser for DT (Department of Transportation). I was party to the investigation to the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). We showed that the accident resulted from severe and improperly repaired corrosion, with no effect of metal fatigue. The three Mallards that never operated in salt water were perfect. Every Mallard that worked in the ocean had severe corrosion, and had either been rebuilt with new center sections, was repaired or parked/scrapped".

"With the problem taken care of, it's understandable that the FAA did not want to turn over any old rocks by rewriting a new AD" (This answers the question, albeit poorly, of why there was no update to the AD notice).

"The Grumman Mallard Owners' Association and our DERs (Designated Engineering Representatives) spent more than a year developing an AMOC (Alternative Method Of Compliance) to the Mallard AD, working with the FAA (Federal Aeronautics Administration) in Fort Worth and with the Transport Directorate in Seattle. The AMOC consisted of visual and NDT (Non Destructive Testing) inspections, The Mallards that passed inspection received a letter from the FAA releasing them for fight. Each year flying Mallards report their flight hours and receive authorization for another year. "

I still haven't found out if the AMOC applies to only piston Mallards or if Turbine Mallards are included, I suspect they are included.

So while my timing was off, (I thought they were flying again in a few months not over a year) I was correct in that they were flying again.
If I find out any more I'll pass it along.

Bill
In water flying attitude is everything
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