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  #1  
Old 08-17-2016, 07:26 PM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
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Location: Locust Grove, GA
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Default Check those tails

I have been doing lots of prebuy inspections over the course of the last year, and one issue keeps coming up a whole lot more than I care to see. In about 30% of the RV's I inspect the tail is improperly mounted, some to such a degree that they are unsafe. The tail is the area of the airplane where most everyone learns the skills they will need throughout the rest of the build. It is also the area where I see the most problems.
Since these issues continue to manifest themself on so many RV's,(and I know I am not seeing all of them), I figured it was time to bring it to everyone's attention, and especially to those of you who did not build your airplane.
Take the time to pull the tail fairing off and carefully inspect for proper mounting of the horizontal stabilizer to the fuselage longerons. Inspect it for proper bolts, proper edge distance, and for proper riveting.
In the 2 pictures below you will see that the bolts that hold the stabilizer to the longerons do not have proper edge distance. In fact, they may have compromised the structure itself. There are even multiple holes in the attachment, and you can even see where the pilot hole is located and that's where it should have been drilled. This is on an RV-6. I have seen 7's, 8's, and 10's just as bad. The bottom line is that the tail is not properly attached to the fuselage.

The pictures are taken from inside the fuselage looking UP at the attach points. You will need a mirror and flashlight, or an IPhone camera to see it clearly.

If you happen to see something like this on your particular airplane, send a picture to Van's. I have seen them recommend engineered solutions for these problems. In the meantime, be careful.






Vic
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2016, 08:35 PM
Aggie78 Aggie78 is offline
 
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Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Posts: 450
Default A few more pics on this topic...

While searching for my RV, I too was mentored (Thanks Walt!) to look closely at the tail.

Here are a few examples of bad builds I came across in the tail feathers:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JNSEQ0YU14ZjFn

And:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JNSEQ0YU14ZjFn


In fact, it got to the point where I wouldn't make the investment in cross-country travel before asking if the seller would pull the fairings and send me some pics of this area. If they refused, I moved on to the next target.

Now, in finding the one I eventually bought...even it had some problems back there-but they were less severe than some of the ones I had seen, looked like there might be workable fix available and the rest of the build was outstanding. I gained a real appreciation for just how difficult it can be to hang the tail on these aircraft...

So here was mine before:

http://photos.google.com/share/AF1Qi...RTWTBEZkxndDN3

And here it was after a call to the Mothership for an approved fix to the bad edge distance issue on those two outboard bolts:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JNSEQ0YU14ZjFn
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Last edited by Aggie78 : 12-19-2017 at 05:32 PM. Reason: changed photo links..
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2016, 09:09 PM
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whittfic whittfic is offline
 
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Default

Hi Vic

PM sent.

Clive Whittfield
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2016, 09:35 PM
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Plummit Plummit is offline
 
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Wow!

-Marc
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2016, 09:36 PM
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Carlos151 Carlos151 is offline
 
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Default

That's some scary stuff. Wow is about all I can say.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2016, 10:53 PM
aerhed aerhed is offline
 
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Well, at least they were primed.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2016, 11:39 PM
Zero4Zulu Zero4Zulu is offline
 
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Default

I'm working on this problem on my RV6 right now. Robb, does the triangle shaped shim go through to the back side of the horizontal spar with another bolt back there? What is done on the under side of the deck? Thanks for posting your fix.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2016, 11:59 PM
Aggie78 Aggie78 is offline
 
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Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero4Zulu View Post
I'm working on this problem on my RV6 right now. Robb, does the triangle shaped shim go through to the back side of the horizontal spar with another bolt back there? What is done on the under side of the deck? Thanks for posting your fix.
Steve,

No, IIRC it doesn't take up any more real estate back there than the original shim did.

Mine was a pretty simple fix, all in all and the problems weren't as gross as some of the pics I posted.

All that was done was the addition of two more bolts inboard of the original inboard ones, the new (larger) shim, and rivets were drilled out that were under the top of the triangles and bolts put in there to hold that section firmly in place.

Nothing was done on the lower deck under that flange or behind the spar, and as I recall, the new shim didn't extend aft behind it.

I'm out of town now, but can pull the fairing and post up some pics over the weekend if needed.

The guys at Van's suggested this fix after we sent them some pictures to examine-If I were you, I'd document the problems you're facing and get their thoughts on a proper fix for YOU vs what they came up with in my case (My fix may turn out to be not be the proper course of action for your particular situation...)

Good luck with it,

Rob
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2016, 12:38 AM
Zero4Zulu Zero4Zulu is offline
 
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Thanks Robb. Mine looks a lot like yours did but I'll check with Van's also.
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2016, 05:42 AM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
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The triangular fix plate looks good but do check your bolt length, three threads maximum extending from the nut. Hard to imagine that one would take the time to apply "witness" seal and not notice the bolts were too long?
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