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  #1  
Old 11-16-2015, 10:12 AM
Bob Kibby Bob Kibby is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Arlington, Texas
Posts: 127
Default Step Weldament Failure Warning

The pilot side step (WD-1233-L) failed as I started to man the aircraft. WD-1233-L fractured at the lower end of the welds on both sides of the channel that mounts the step to the fuselage. The step did not separate completely and ended up hanging from the bottom of the airplane. I removed and inspected the right side step. WD-1233-R appears to a small crack at the end of each of the 2 welds where WD-1233-L failed.
Other than being surprised by the step disappearing under me there wasn?t any problem. If the step had failed when I was exiting the aircraft then I might have had a problem.
I?ve submitted a RV-12 Feedback Form (Safety Alert) to Van?s Engineering this morning but I wanted to get the information out so you can take necessary precautions when getting in and out of the airplane.
I am 6 ?5? tall and weigh 215 lbs so the pilot?s side step does get a work out. I am trying to confirm that there are cracks on the passenger step since it doesn?t get the weight and cycles that the pilot side does. I?ll update the passenger step information when I get an expert opinion. The aircraft has logged 268 hrs over 380 flights.
Bob Kibby ?N712BK?
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2015, 10:25 AM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,331
Default

Thanks for the heads up. That step and its attachment is an area of concern for me, since I will give mine even more of a workout. So far so good, but let's just say I'll be making it a regular inspection item as I also work to reduce the load on the step.
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Dale

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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  #3  
Old 11-16-2015, 11:49 AM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 3,168
Default

I saw one previous post of a step failure. Is there any indication of a manufacturing issue?

I am about the same weight and have a similar number of cycles, so this concerns me.
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  #4  
Old 11-16-2015, 11:58 AM
Mich48041 Mich48041 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Riley TWP MI
Posts: 3,237
Default

Quote:
I saw one previous post of a step failure.
I could be wrong but think that it was John Bender who posted about his step breaking.
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Joe Gores
RV-12 Flying
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  #5  
Old 11-16-2015, 12:09 PM
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rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,667
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The issue is being investigated based on a previous report (not sure if it was John).

In the mean time, hopefully people are aware that they should be either climbing off of an RV-12 (actually any RV model for that matter) backwards as they would when climbing down a ladder..... or if fwds.... that they are stepping lightly down onto the step.

Most people, if they stand on the wing of any RV and step down facing fwd, will be shock loading the step much higher than the load they apply climbing up (up to 2.5 X's or more).
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Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
Van's Aircraft Engineering Prototype Shop Manager
FAA/DAR
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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  #6  
Old 11-16-2015, 02:05 PM
funflying funflying is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: arvada, co
Posts: 502
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Good to hear the issue is being looked at and evaluated. I have seen posts in the past about the step failing and modifications done by others. As I recall it involved welding addition structure to the step to endure the weight and repetition the step gets.

Knowing of these past failures I make an effort to minimize the direct weigh distribution on the step when climbing in and out. Hopefully I will see some better longevity until a modification is developed. Be careful!!
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Patrick Claar
Arvada, CO BJC
RV12, #401, Flying 2013, N612PC
RV6, 1996-2010 sold
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  #7  
Old 11-16-2015, 02:14 PM
JBPILOT JBPILOT is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 1,678
Default It was me - -

I posted my fix way back when. I am 210 - 215#. I am in pretty good shape, and briskly get in and out of my 12. I advised back then that if you were more than say 200#, you need to think about it. I nearly made it to the ground ( with ZERO preparation ! ).
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John Bender
Flying RV-12 - Serial #120036
Paid in May ( 5-2021 )
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  #8  
Old 11-16-2015, 03:01 PM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,331
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As an admitted and confirmed member of the Heavy Lift Club, I take extra care to get in and out as gently as possible, never plop down onto the step as rvbuilder2002 mentioned, and try to keep as much weight as I can on the cockpit side and/or other structures.

And, yeah, I'm losing weight too, but realistically there's only so much you can do. The last time I was under 200# was during Basic Training in 1979.
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Dale

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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  #9  
Old 11-16-2015, 03:05 PM
mcems mcems is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Salem SD
Posts: 171
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Yup same thing happened to mine a couple years ago. I reinforced both the left and the right step. Its been OK since then.


Brad Stiefvater
Salem SD
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  #10  
Old 11-16-2015, 04:59 PM
Bob Kibby Bob Kibby is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Arlington, Texas
Posts: 127
Default "2BK" RV-12 Entry and Exit Procedure

To exit the RV-12 aircraft, I turn around backwards, sight the step between my legs and put my left foot on the step before transferring my right foot to the ground. I also coach any passenger to use the same approach and have them put their right foot on the step and then left foot to the ground. For passengers that need extra help getting in and out, I have a fold up step from The Container Store (rated at 250 lbs 12" high) that I use as an intermediate step between the RV step and the ground. This really helps entry and exit if someone has a bad knee or hip. To get in or out of an RV-7 (tail dragger) I have to use The Container Store step. I also have to cross my legs in the RV-7 to get them under the instrument panel.

Glad that Van's Engineering is looking into the problem.

Bob Kibby (N712BK)
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