FAA Orders Wing Inspections After Florida Seaplane Crash

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday ordered owners and operators of the model of seaplane that crashed off Miami Beach last week to conduct detailed inspections of their planes’ wings.

Although it has not been determined what caused the fatal Chalk’s Ocean Airways crash on Dec. 19, investigators said they found a fatigue crack on the main structural part of the wing that separated from the fuselage before the plane plummeted into the ocean.

Such damage “will likely lead to wing failure,” the FAA order said. “This condition, if not corrected, could result in structural failure of the wing and loss of control of the airplane.”

The directive involves Frakes Aviation Model G-73 series planes and other G-73 planes that have been converted to turbine engines. The planes, including the one that crashed, originally were made by Grumman and are also known as Gulfstream American G-73s.

The mandatory inspections apply to 41 planes around the world, 37 of them in the U.S.


Chalk’s, which has four G-73s remaining, is the only commercial air carrier using them. None of the G-73 seaplanes will be allowed to fly until they comply with the inspections.