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  #1  
Old 12-12-2015, 08:17 PM
Walt's Avatar
Walt Walt is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 6,344
Default Listen to the sounds your airplane makes....it may save your butt.

While doing a panel upgrade and condition inspection on an RV4, I was hearing a very slight scraping sound when the stick was pushed full forward, obviously one of the elevator torque tubes was hitting something in that position and for a moment, I considered letting it pass, it's was one of those things you say to yourself how often does one really use full down stick so is it really a problem. After locating the area I found it to be under the passenger floor pan which of course is riveted down and the flap mechanism is bolted on top of it, so this was not going to be a 5 minute job. But letting it go kept nagging at me so I decided to just tear into it and find out where the interference was, have a "quick" look at the tube to be sure it wasn't damaged and grind off the offending material.

Well to my surprise (and relief) when I finally got access to have a look I was glad I did, the torque tube had a huge gouge in it that looks to be most of the way through the tube

So new parts are on order and this is one that I'm really glad I took the time to have a look before it got worse... much worse.

So what to take away from this, don't let anything go that doesn't feel or sound right, find out what it is and correct it.
This is absolutely mandatory for flight controls no matter how "minor" it seems!

Controls should move from stop-stop (this means HIT the stops) with absolutely no binding or funny scraping noises!

BTW, this isn't the first time I've had to replace torque tubes due to damage from chafing on structure but this one was probably the worst/scariest (you may survive a broken aileron tube but the outcome of a disconnected elevator is probably going to make for a really bad day).

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Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
FAA Certified Repair Station, AP/IA/FCC GROL, EAA Technical Counselor
Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
RV7A built 2004, 2000+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags
Website: ExpAircraft.com, Email: walt@expaircraft.com, Cell: 972-746-5154

Last edited by Walt : 12-12-2015 at 08:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2015, 08:30 PM
aerhed aerhed is offline
 
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Location: Big Sandy, WY
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Default

For all the times you dug into something and went "huh, nothin". Then you get the payoff with one like this.
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2015, 08:36 PM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
 
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Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
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Default

Good catch Walt...the owner owes you a couple tall cold ones.
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2015, 08:48 PM
deene deene is offline
 
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Location: Georgetown, TX
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Default

My old friend, Tony Bingelis said it this way "machines are always talking to you, you have to learn to listen".
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2015, 09:20 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by deene View Post
My old friend, Tony Bingelis said it this way "machines are always talking to you, you have to learn to listen".
Well said.

Walt, that was an awesome catch. Well done, Sir.
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2015, 10:52 PM
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cfiidon cfiidon is offline
 
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Location: Arizona
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Default Similar

I had a similar issue this past week. I noticed one day that my elevator was sticking ever so slightly in the full up position. Not too much, but just not quite right. Hmmmmm....
I tore into it starting at the elevator bearings working forward to the rod end-elevator connection. no problem there. The pitch servo connection and rear bullhead interconnect looked okay.
I found it at the rear stick. The forward pitch tube rod end bearing AN3 bolt protruded a little to far. When the stick was back (elevator up) the bolt threaded tip was touching the interior of the weldment and sticking ever so slightly.
One washer under the bolt head fixed that.
It must have been that way for 130 hours and I never noticed before. Colder weather???
Anyway, she squawked - I listened.
Don
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2015, 12:10 AM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
 
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Default

Walt has the knack!
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2015, 07:40 AM
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Walt Walt is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deene View Post
My old friend, Tony Bingelis said it this way "machines are always talking to you, you have to learn to listen".
My wife always laughs at me when I say machines have souls and we need listen to them when they talk

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfiidon View Post
I had a similar issue this past week. I noticed one day that my elevator was sticking ever so slightly in the full up position. Not too much, but just not quite right. Hmmmmm....
I tore into it starting at the elevator bearings working forward to the rod end-elevator connection. no problem there. The pitch servo connection and rear bullhead interconnect looked okay.
I found it at the rear stick. The forward pitch tube rod end bearing AN3 bolt protruded a little to far. When the stick was back (elevator up) the bolt threaded tip was touching the interior of the weldment and sticking ever so slightly.
One washer under the bolt head fixed that.
It must have been that way for 130 hours and I never noticed before. Colder weather???
Anyway, she squawked - I listened.
Don
Although I appreciate the Kudos I really didn't make this post because I need another pat on the back or "great job walt".

If I can inspire just one post like Don's above that is my intent.

The fact is some folks build spectacular airplanes while others probably should have found a different hobby. I only get a chance to look at small number of RV during the year and I find what I consider serious problems on probably half of them. So I'd like to see folks take their maintenance more seriously.

As that old saying goes:



Happy Holidays!
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Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
FAA Certified Repair Station, AP/IA/FCC GROL, EAA Technical Counselor
Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
RV7A built 2004, 2000+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags
Website: ExpAircraft.com, Email: walt@expaircraft.com, Cell: 972-746-5154

Last edited by Walt : 12-13-2015 at 07:44 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2015, 11:49 AM
sblack sblack is offline
 
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Location: Montreal
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Default

Another reason to make floor pans removeable
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2015, 06:28 PM
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Skykingbob Skykingbob is offline
 
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Location: Bealeton Virginia
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Default Wow

Thanks for the post to give us all another slap in the face to wake up
and get a reality check!! Great Christmas present that will help make
for a better New Year!

Merry Christmas Walt!!!
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