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Old 03-09-2023, 04:24 PM
SC flyer SC flyer is offline
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: Clemson, SC
Posts: 2
Default Rub Marks on Rudder. An issue?

Ladies and Gents of the Forum, I am an experienced pilot but brand new to the RV world. I need the benefit of your wisdom and experience. I was recently looking at an RV-6A which I'm considering purchasing. There are distinct rub marks on both sides of the rudder, at the top, partly on the fiberglass and partly on the metal, where it has rubbed the edge of the vertical stabilizer. The rub marks are visible on both sides of the rudder but are more pronounced on the right. I will attempt to upload of a couple of photos.

Any idea why this is happening? Can it be fixed? How much of a deterrent should that be to purchase on an otherwise really nice airplane?

Thanks in advance for your help?
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Old 03-09-2023, 04:38 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,390

It may be that the rod end bearings for the rudder need to be adjusted in order to move the rudder back slightly from the vertical stabilizer. The rudder would need to be removed but this is fairly easy to do.
Also check the rudder stops and measure the deflection to ensure it is correct per the specs in the manual.
I'm sure that others will join in advising to get an overall pre-buy inspection by someone experienced in RVs.
Paul vS (yes I'm also a Van)
Building RV-6A #22320 O-320 FP. Airframe structure 95% complete, now working on integration, plumbing and wiring.
Flying my Aeroprakt A-22 STOL and the aero club's RV-9A while I build
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Old 03-09-2023, 04:52 PM
terrye terrye is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 1,052
Default Rub Marks on Rudder. An issue?

Also check the bottom of the rudder to make sure it wasn't caught in high wind without control locks. Lots of RVs have had the rudder contact the elevators in this situation. Move the rudder to full deflection (both directions) and see how close the elevator is throughout its travel. Look for contact marks on the rudder skin.
Terry Edwards
RV-9A (Fuselage)
2022/2023 VAF Contribution Sent
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Old 03-09-2023, 05:01 PM
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Flyhud Flyhud is offline
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Burleson, TX
Posts: 196

Most of the vertical stab tips Iíve seen are tips are trimmed at an angle on the trailing edge to prevent this.
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RV-6A/O-320 /FP/refurb in progress.
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Old 03-10-2023, 10:05 AM
John Tierney John Tierney is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vonore, TN
Posts: 635

Does the rudder scrape against the vertical stab when turned by hand?
If not, I wonder if somebody tried to install a form of gust lock between the two, and that material rubbed.
John Tierney
Vonore, TN
RV-7A - N777JT Flying
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Old 03-10-2023, 10:28 AM
D-Dubya D-Dubya is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 268

Most anything can be fixed, but it needs to be done in accordance with accepted practices. And I wholeheartedly agree that you should get somebody with RV knowledge and experience to do a thorough pre-buy. Don't let your emotions get the best of you!

And maybe I'm being overly cautious, but if the current owner let something like this go unchecked, what else might they have let slide that's maybe not so obvious? Just go into this with eyes wide open.
David Welsh
Beaumont, TX
RV-7 N413WD
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Old 03-10-2023, 11:13 AM
CATPart CATPart is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: up up and away
Posts: 421

That 3rd solid rivet down appears to be in a figure 8 hole. Mistakes happen. I become wary when a bunch of small craftsmanship issues start to pile up. Would make me look extra hard at the main structural attachments for anything suspicious. How would a couple figure-8 holes do at the SB0036 hinge points considering its poorly designed load path?
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Old 03-10-2023, 01:39 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 8,236

easilly fixable, but the fact that the builder didn't check the clearance and notice the rubbing is a bad sign. If this is the only thing, then mistakes happen. However, it could also be poor attention to detail by the builder and there are numerous other, unseen, flaws. I have made mistakes like that (we are all human), BUT never let it just rub paint away without addressing the error in a few hours, let alone years or never. Not a good sign for either the builder or the A&P's that signed it off each year.

Strongly suggest a good pre-buy by someone very familiar with RVs and knows where to look for this type of builder error. You have to assume that approach is pervasive untill proven otherwise. Just imagine if he did the same thing on the control linkage?

N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

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Old 03-13-2023, 06:53 PM
Allan Stern Allan Stern is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 319
Default Rudder

The vertical stabilizer paint looks like it isn’t adhering to them aluminum and fiberglass. I agree with the others that the rod end bearing are not properly adjusted and are in too far.

RV 14A flying

Last edited by Allan Stern : 03-13-2023 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Ad another reason
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Old 03-13-2023, 08:43 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 3,341

This is not a new airplane. I can't imagine anyone flying it and not noticing the paint damage and bent metal. And then not doing something about it. At least it looks bent in the picture. Someone who knows RV's should look at it for you. Good luck.
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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