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  #1  
Old 06-01-2021, 07:59 PM
moespeeds moespeeds is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: west berlin
Posts: 27
Default Would you buy an RV with a dented wing leading edge?

I'm looking at an RV, which seems to be a really good deal. Great looking airplane, great panel, great engine, etc. The price is slightly below what this crazy market seems to be doing.

The plane had a bird strike, outboard of the wing tank. A repair was made, but it was essentially just massaging, with no access from the inside. It's still slightly "crinkled".

I know this is subjective without photos or more info.

Beyond cosmetic, and the obvious aerodynamic effects, is there a safety issue here? It would be fairly involved to reskin. I've got a call in to a local shop to get a repair quote, if anyone has any insight as to the cost I'm all ears.

TIA

Moe Colontonio
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2021, 08:25 PM
wawrzynskivp wawrzynskivp is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Incline Village Nv
Posts: 71
Default Damage assessment

My approach if I didn't trust myself to make the assessment would be to find someone known by others to be competent and let them tell you what you are up against.

If it's just skin, then it isn't a terribly big project. If it involves nose rib replacement or repair it gets more complicated, if the spar somehow got deformed then it is a big deal.

The right person with eyes on is your key in my opinion.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2021, 08:36 PM
mndless mndless is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Chas. SC
Posts: 18
Default

Yes... with a good evaluation and for an appropriate price... price is always a part of the equation...
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2021, 09:18 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is online now
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Location: North Alabama
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Default Not me

No, I am not selling my RV-6.

http://https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=194892&highlight=Bird+strike
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 06-01-2021 at 09:23 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2021, 09:34 PM
blaplante blaplante is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 240
Default Or skin patch / repair

Another alternative is to cut out the damaged area and patch. The FAA has an "acceptable methods" book, which covers skin repair. Find it at https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...cumentid/99861

Agreed, an entire leading edge skin would be a lot of work. Van's will likely tell you (well has told others anyhow) that their preference is you replace the entire defective part. But the mechanic's bible in the US is the document cited above for making any repairs.

Of course if a rib is crumpled then this gets more complicated. Does the damage include a rib rivet line?
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2021, 10:19 PM
moespeeds moespeeds is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: west berlin
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Default

Sam the damage is in exactly the same spot, and looks very similar to your final repair. So nothing to worry about with stretching the aluminum and losing strength?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2021, 06:03 AM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaplante View Post
Van's will likely tell you (well has told others anyhow) that their preference is you replace the entire defective part. But the mechanic's bible in the US is the document cited above for making any repairs.
Read AC43-13's title page, as it is the FAA's official position:

This advisory circular (AC) contains methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the Administrator for the inspection and repair of nonpressurized areas of civil aircraft, only when there are no manufacturer repair or maintenance instructions.

Yes, I know it's EAB.
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2021, 06:18 AM
gfb gfb is offline
 
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Location: Madison, WI
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Everyone else has pointed out pricing and repair issues but I wanted to highlight something else.

What else did the owner ďjust massage back into shapeĒ that they should have properly repaired which you arenít seeing? Things like this are a big red flag to me about how the owner treats their aircraft in general. Now of course, there could be a perfectly good reason why they didnít repair this one thing.
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  #9  
Old 06-02-2021, 08:40 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is online now
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by moespeeds View Post
Sam the damage is in exactly the same spot, and looks very similar to your final repair. So nothing to worry about with stretching the aluminum and losing strength?
I decided the repair on my RV-6 was acceptable to put the plane back into service due to the relatively small area of damage compared to the total leading edge skin area. Seeing a couple of examples of certificated aircraft with leading edges pushed back into shape was also part of my decision process.

I can't comment on the airworthiness of any other RV-6 with similar damage. Replacing a leading edge skin on a -4 or -6 is a huge undertaking, probably more involved than building a fuel tank. I'm confident that is why the owner elected to massage the wound instead of disassembling the wing.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 06-02-2021 at 08:44 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-02-2021, 09:46 AM
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grubbat grubbat is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ga
Posts: 700
Default Experimental

I guess it comes down to your acceptable risk for you and your passengers. In the real world I would consult a aircraft structural engineer with the issues and some suggested repair options. It would cost you a little bit but thatís the right way. I would guess that given the many leading edge repairs Iíve done in my lifetime, that there are a lot of options including working the skin and keeping an eye on it. Thatís assuming no ribs or spar damage is encountered. There is always the risk of work Hardening the skin every time you touch it so you go to make quick work of it and not mess around and keep banging on it. For a small dent, if working it out does not work, you could do a bullet hole repair using some blind rivets ( no offense to the blind, just a word). I repaired the leading edge of a L1011 nose cowl and it had an inner liner for the deice stuff and it was a pain in the rear and took me 24 hr but it made itís morning flight of paying passengers to Hawaii. Everybody happy and those two rows of blind rivets did the trick on that flush repair.
If damage is too big for a bullet repair, then this may be the perfect time to put a landing light. However, an engineer from Vans would need to give you the go ahead for that. Nevertheless, the answer to the original question is , yes. I would buy a plane with a bird strike. I would not, however, buy a plane with a repair without a professional opinion in a structural area. It may be experimental and we may be able to do anything, but ya got to be smart about this stuff. Good enough for govt work sometimes is good enough till the earth approaches without warning.
Good luck on your project!
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