The US Federal Aviation Administration has grounded the Beech T-34 Mentor fleet to inspect for wing structure cracking following a fatal accident on 7 December near Montgomery, Texas, when an Texas Air Aces-operated aircraft crashed, killing a pilot and a student performing upset recovery training. It was the third crash of the 1950s-era military trainer in five years caused by a wing break-up in flight.

The investigation determined there was a failure of the left wing centre section, and found "visual evidence" of further structural fatigue on aircraft remnants at the crash site. The section failure occurred 100mm (4in) inboard of the forward wing attachment fitting.

An emergency airworthiness directive instructs T-34 operators to inspect wing structures and fix any cracks.

Texas Air Aces also suffered a fatal accident in November 2003 involving a wing break-up.

Source: Flight International