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TupolevTu154
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:00 pm

Maintencance Standards Of Light Aircraft

Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:58 am

Morning/Afternoon/Evening everyone!

I realise that some of my queries may seem stupid and that I'm getting far too worried about nothing, but I have found some unnerving sights whilst conducting my pre-flight walk-arounds of the PA-38. Many may be superficial, but worrying nonetheless. My question to you engineers and maintenance personnel are highlighted below, these are issues that are the same every time I fly the aircraft, and maybe one day they won't do any good. For example...

Whilst ensuring the trimmer is operational, some loud groaning sounds can be heard whilst switching from fully aft to fully fwd.

Cracks can be found running from the Spinner across to the intakes.

Anti-collision lights are wobbly.

Throttle friction nut is inoperable

Rust is evident on the Undercarriage leg/fairing.

Small and worn down dents are evident on the leading edges of the propeller blades.

A panel that covers the fuselage and base of the Vertical stabilizer is wobbly.


These are just a few of the things that slightly worry me, and as I've said earlier, I've done 15 hours in the aircraft and i'm still alive and well. Are these "Problems" problems at all? Or can these issues be found amongst hundreds of other airworthy GA aircraft?

Thanks for any help in advance. Those new DA40's are looking more attractive every time I fly  scratchchin 

Tom Big grin
 
ajd1992
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:11 am

RE: Maintencance Standards Of Light Aircraft

Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:10 am

Personally, the throttle friction nut isn't a problem if you can still freely move the throttle, but in the checklist you do need to set it to finger tight for take off, then loose after landing. If it's tight enough on take off, i don't really see the problem but on/after landing you don't need much power anyway because you have to ride the brakes once you get it going.

The rest, i would be a little worried about though. Take it up with your FBO especially the groaning trim wheel and rust on the undercarriage. Don't really want an uncontrollable plane at 2000 feet, or a wheel snapping off on landing. Oh and as well, the security of the light on the exterior are a part of the checklist so that's definitely a worry.

Then again, i'm probably not the best person to ask because i only have 4 hours in a tomahawk.

[Edited 2007-08-18 20:12:29]
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Maintencance Standards Of Light Aircraft

Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:15 am

Keep in mind that I am not an A&P.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Thread starter):
Cracks can be found running from the Spinner across to the intakes.

That is the gelcoat on the fiberglass cracking, not uncommon in older aircraft, especially hard working ones like trainers. Keep in mind that spot right there is very close to all the waves coming off the prop and the vibrations off the engine. So a lot is happening right there.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Thread starter):
Anti-collision lights are wobbly.

I think you might be feeling the give in the gasket between the light and the airplane. So a bit of wiggle is not uncommon. If the amount it moves suddenly changes then I would worry.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Thread starter):
Throttle friction nut is inoperable

That one does bother me a bit more because it is a primary control, but I would be more worried about it binding the control.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Thread starter):
Rust is evident on the Undercarriage leg/fairing.

A little surface rust probably isn't unexpected either, especially if you live near the coast. There should be standards for the aircraft set by the manufacturer on how much is allowed.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Thread starter):
Small and worn down dents are evident on the leading edges of the propeller blades

There are definately set standards for how big of nick is allowed before you have to redress the prop. A nick can be a stress riser and a crack can proprograte from that point causing eventual failure of the blade. But that being said it is amazing how nicked a blade can be or how much can actually be removed when dressing one. Can I assume that since you live in the UK you have never seen an airplane that has operated off gravel? It is amazing how beat up those props get.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Thread starter):
A panel that covers the fuselage and base of the Vertical stabilizer is wobbly.

Screwed on or does it use quarter turn fasteners. Again, you are simply not going to get a very tight fit on a panel if it uses quarter turns and there is a rubber gasket behind it...it is going to wiggle a bit.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Thread starter):
Those new DA40's are looking more attractive every time I fly

Friends don't let Friends fly fiberglass
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
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TupolevTu154
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RE: Maintencance Standards Of Light Aircraft

Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:44 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
That one does bother me a bit more because it is a primary control, but I would be more worried about it binding the control.

It's never worked in this particular aircraft (G-BVHM). I've never had a problem with unwanted throttle movements.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
A little surface rust probably isn't unexpected either, especially if you live near the coast. There should be standards for the aircraft set by the manufacturer on how much is allowed.

The aircraft is parked about 100m away from a river mouth on the coast, so I guess that's understandable. I never took that into consideration!

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
Can I assume that since you live in the UK you have never seen an airplane that has operated off gravel? It is amazing how beat up those props get.

Can't say I have.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
Friends don't let Friends fly fiberglass

Exactly what my instructor has said many times  Silly

Thanks for your very informative reply L-188. Has put my mind at ease, and for that I am very grateful!

Tom Big grin
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Maintencance Standards Of Light Aircraft

Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:52 am

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 3):
It's never worked in this particular aircraft (G-BVHM). I've never had a problem with unwanted throttle movements

That is probably why it is still flying then, it doesn't stick.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.

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