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  #1  
Old 03-24-2019, 09:36 PM
kreidljj kreidljj is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 47
Default Broken Step - Pilot Side

During inspection I came across a crack in the pilot step. The crack shown in the picture is located on the front side of the step at the intersection of the horizontal step to the vertical portion that leads up to the fuselage. I ordered new steps from Vans and noticed that the welds in this area are very small. The picture was taken with the step being flexed in a vise.

Just providing this for others to see, the airplane has around 900 hours on it... - Jason


Last edited by kreidljj : 03-24-2019 at 09:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2019, 09:57 PM
Mconner7 Mconner7 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Bradenton FL
Posts: 117
Default

I recently posted that one of my steps failed and the other was badly cracked. My welder said it was due to poor penetration of the weld. I had them rewelded and I repainted them after.

Look them over closely guys.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2019, 01:32 AM
gasman gasman is online now
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 4,143
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kreidljj View Post
During inspection I came across a crack in the pilot step. The crack shown in the picture is located on the front side of the step at the intersection of the horizontal step to the vertical portion that leads up to the fuselage. I ordered new steps from Vans and noticed that the welds in this area are very small. The picture was taken with the step being flexed in a vise.

Just providing this for others to see, the airplane has around 900 hours on it... - Jason

It looks like the tubing wall is too thin for the application. The fracture perpendicular to the weld to be the first to fail due to flexing in and out under excessive load.
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2019, 06:55 AM
Mconner7 Mconner7 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Bradenton FL
Posts: 117
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gasman View Post
It looks like the tubing wall is too thin for the application. The fracture perpendicular to the weld to be the first to fail due to flexing in and out under excessive load.
See that small paint crack along the weld? That?s what mine looked like except it was the upper weld where the step exits the fuselage. If you see that, investigate further.
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:13 AM
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Mark33 Mark33 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 757
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It looks like a little gusset should be added to that corner. Does this cracking tend to more of a problem on the 10?s or is it seen on all of the different models? I?m building a -7 and even though it?s a tail dragger, I?m planning on installing steps....but I?m going to modify them and shorten them quite a bit. While I?m doing this modification I think I?ll add some gussets in that area for additional strength.

Mark
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:44 AM
Tim Lewis Tim Lewis is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bristow, VA
Posts: 175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark33 View Post
Does this cracking tend to more of a problem on the 10?s or is it seen on all of the different models?

Mark
I?ve had cracks on my RV-6A and RV-10 steps. Welded and repainted in both cases.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2019, 11:57 AM
Snoho3 Snoho3 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 159
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(Still) building a -9A here. I sent my steps off to be strengthened before installation. This was several years ago. I thought I read where new steps coming out of Van's had the additional strengthening/welding already incorporated but maybe worth a call to check. If the OP's steps have 900 hours on them I suspect that they didn't get the factory reinforcement. If anyone is interested I can look up the place I sent them to - PM me. But surely local shops could do the job as well.
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2019, 01:47 PM
kreidljj kreidljj is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 47
Default New Steps are Not Reinforced

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoho3 View Post
(Still) building a -9A here. I sent my steps off to be strengthened before installation. This was several years ago. I thought I read where new steps coming out of Van's had the additional strengthening/welding already incorporated but maybe worth a call to check. If the OP's steps have 900 hours on them I suspect that they didn't get the factory reinforcement. If anyone is interested I can look up the place I sent them to - PM me. But surely local shops could do the job as well.
The steps were from Vans in 2007-2008, first flight 2009. The new steps had an even smaller weld with no extra reinforcement. We will add some gussets before installing. I did not want to repair the steps, as I was concerned that the cause of the crack could be corrosion and I have no way to inspect that area of the step for corrosion. - Jason Kreidler - #40617
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2019, 06:11 PM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,647
Default Weld

My vote goes to yanking the torch away while the weld is still hot, causing the heated area to air harden. If you are going to scrap the step, clean off the paint and try to file the weld with a very fine file. If it seem's like you are trying to file glass, the weld was air hardened. If the weld files easily, probably not. 4130 is especially critical for air hardening.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2019, 06:38 PM
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Russ McCutcheon Russ McCutcheon is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, WA USA
Posts: 911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoho3 View Post
(Still) building a -9A here. I sent my steps off to be strengthened before installation. This was several years ago. I thought I read where new steps coming out of Van's had the additional strengthening/welding already incorporated but maybe worth a call to check. If the OP's steps have 900 hours on them I suspect that they didn't get the factory reinforcement. If anyone is interested I can look up the place I sent them to - PM me. But surely local shops could do the job as well.
The OP has an RV-10, the steps on your -9 are not the same as the -10 and are not built in the same shop even, similar but also very different, the reinforcement that applies to your steps does not apply to his.
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