I received these from the chief scientist at the NTSB responsible for investigating recent 601XL crashes and flutter incidents.

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Ralph - You're right about the lack of tension numbers in the plans. What I did this past weekend was put the controls through the limitations of quadrant travel. The result was with controls in neutral position there was a slight amount of slack most in the elevator down control cable. I find the extreme of a right downward turn is where the cable reaches its outer limits (not likely you would ever make that kind of turn). I adjusted the elevator up control cable just to where the horn touches the aileron travel stop (right aileron); it is at its full tension when it hits the stop. - Chris
Try this in your grumman, dead stick. Flys like a rock does'nt it. Dead stick a 601XL and one can fly circles around the towering smoke from your crash site on the way down. There is an old saying about your make, "Grumman are not flying if they are not running". The early trainers were so very bad on approach and very under powered. For another thing, the round spar gas tanks allowed for fuel to shift while in slow flight during pattern turns. So when they spun in, the fuel lines in the cabin broke on impact and you burned.
Flutter happens in any a/c when builders build badly or/and pilots fly off of the flight envolope. Both varibles that Zenith and kit producers cannot control. Nothing insures control once the a/c is broken. That is why they are placard "Experimental". You have choices in America. Don't fly in a/c you do not trust, do not fly with pilots you do not trust and do not fly w/ builders you do not trust. But do not trust big / more government to exercise good judgement for you. Fly free and do not tread on me.
I own a 601XL Quick build w/ 320 hours on it. I have never had flutter in any of my controls, ever. I did adjust my tension as the Eurpean/Zenair AD recommended it to be adjusted long ago. The varibles that Zenith cannot control is how pilots fly the a/c and how they maintain it. With over 6000 serial numbers out there, the stress test for Zenith is better than compared to most factory built a/c.
You guys would have grounded the Wright Brothers and stopped Lindbergh from flying the Atlantic. The bottom line is that it is experimental for a reason. The builders are barred from maintaining all other aircraft for a reason. I very sorry you lost a friend in a air accident. However, do not take my right to flight away from me because of this accident. Why do you think so many kits are availuable in America? Why do you think the aircraft industry is so strong and great in America? It is because you have a "CHOICE".
Do not get into a experimantal a/c you you doubt the pilot, the builder or the design. But do not shoot everybody else down because you lost a friend. Superman fail off a horse & broke his neck, should we shot the horse. Fly free but do not tread on me. The Zenith Zodiac 601XL is a great a/c. Keep this chatter up and you may get your wish, everybody grounded. No airplanes, no horses, & no freedom..........
Mark - Great point. - Chris


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