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zenonie

Hole in elevator!

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Hey forumites - hope you can help me out. A stinking mud nest has fallen on my skyfoxes elevator and made a hole in the top side about 6 x 7 cm it's quite close to the trailing edge and about halfway along the thing. Question 1. Can you please tell me what type of fabric it is? 2. And also the type of paint that was used on top of the fabric by Skyfox?

 

Years ago I was given a piece of the fabric by a LAME to do any minor repairs if needed but have never had to use it. The time has come it seems.

 

And lastly would it be safe enough in the interim to tape it up with gorilla tape and fly it? Ouch!!!! Don't bag me! I live in the outback and there is no help available to me and we are trying to muster cattle. We need the plane! Thanks Zenonie.

 

 

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gorilla tape? I tried to fix a waterproof jacket with that stuff and was disappointed: the glue definitely didn't meet expectations. I doubt that anyone, anywhere, will give you the OK to fly with gorilla tape fixing the hole in the elevator. But what would I know? I'm just a pilot, not a LAME. They'll be cautious too. I read somewhere about someone in Africa who used it for emergency repairs, but you have options. Yes, you need to fly, but you also need to stay alive. Sorry to be blunt.

 

 

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If mud nest falling on the elevator put a hole in it I would be getting the condition of the fabric checked out

 

 

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mud wasp nest should not puncture the fabric ... the whole fabric on at least that control surface is suspect ... I would be seeking inspection by a knowledgeable person of the whole aircraft before putting a patch on as a repair to the elevator.

 

Sorry to not be positive

 

 

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It may be Butyrate dope or the later stuff you shrink with a hot iron. Poly something. I've only been involved with nitrocellulose doped canvas, but provided the basic material hasn't rotted (and the later ones take longer). they can all be patched. There would be a proper way of doing this, temporary or permanent, but some careful examination of the associated structure would be warranted, I would think. Nev

 

 

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The cellulose nitrate was essentially gun cotton and a little bit of a worry to handle in any quantity. It also made the fabric translucent which hastened rotting. Later on they used cellulose acetate instead.

 

Then we got the synthetics such as polyfibre which are used now by all except the religiously pure who still use linen and dope.

 

Major Vic Pedersen of the Salvation Army Air Corps got stuck outback when crows pecked a great many holes in the wings of his AUSTER. He rebadged the wings with linen sheets provided by the lady of the house and doped them with starch. Fortunately, the Authorities were a little more understanding in those times and he wasn't prosecuted. In fact he did numerous repairs including engine overhauls while up North.

 

I have his biography and he certainly called on the Almighty to save him a few times!

 

Aircraft of the Flying Padre

 

Personally, I would pull the elevator off and send it to a LAME or a RA maintainer who is able to do fabric repairs...bit embarrassing to have a patch come off followed quickly by the rest when it balloons.

 

Kaz

 

 

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A poster on here who calls himself "Foxworker" knows all there is to know about Skyfoxes and Gazelles as he used to build wings and things for them and is keen to answer inquiries from anyone. Send him a PM (personal message) and see if he answers.

 

Cheers.

 

 

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This might help a little

 

Poly-Fiber Aircraft Coatings

 

What is the nearest town to you...perhaps give me a bearing and distance from a larger place such as Thargomindah?

 

I'll probably be up your way in about 3 weeks.

 

Kaz

 

 

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Sorry zenonie, but what others have said is the case.

 

The fabric should be very strong and certainly not damaged by a lump of mud falling on it. I'd go so far as to say you should be able to bowl a cricket ball at it full tilt and it should bounce off.

 

The sun (UV) damages the polyester (Stitts Polyfibre or Ceconite, generally) that is used on modern airframes, unless it is well protected beneath the outer paint layer with silver dope (dope with lots of fine aluminium dust in it).

 

In general, therefore, it will be the top surfaces that are suspect, and that's not uncommon with older planes in the bush that spend a lot of time in the sun.

 

Fabric that's as weak as yours appears to be, and which is already breached, can tear away from the flying surface quite easily. Try doing so and test the adjacent area that way perhaps? But always please keep in mind it's your life that's at risk here, even though that's sometimes a difficult thing to do when there's a lot riding on tomorrow's muster ... I've spent a fair bit of time flying on the land and I know the pressures on the pilot that can be applied, but it's not worth dying for.

 

 

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You may have fabric but do you have all the products and skill to apply it? I would remove elevator and recover the whole thing, doesn't take that long to do.

 

 

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I've seen a sick elevator packed into another plane and flown away for repair. It might be an option for you.

 

 

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Sometimes a thread isn't what you think it's going to be about.

 

78874630_ElevatorHole1.jpg.8093a17c40c4db43afd64f3b48bc512c.jpg

 

1503147540_ElevatorHole2.jpg.dac46d78cebac7defea5609eef0185d2.jpg

 

872231234_ElevatorHole3.jpg.0da74efe95804a1098fcdadb03bf1d2b.jpg

 

 

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Have a read of chapter 2 of AC43.13-1b at the link below. This covers the inspection, testing and repair. If it was torn as easily as you say then it is likely that the fabric in other areas is degraded too.

 

AC 43.13-1B - Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices - Aircraft Inspection and Repair [Large AC. This includes Change 1.] – Document Information

 

 

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Thanks everyone. I have it sorted. We will take it off the plane and take it to be repaired or totally redone if that is what it needs. No more flying for me for a while it seems. Thanks for all your help Cheers

 

 

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It's a better feeling when you know you have done the right thing. "Don't take known risks into the air. There are enough unknown ones there already". That's one of my originals and works well for me. IF you like it ,you can have it. Nev

 

 

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Sometimes a thread isn't what you think it's going to be about.

[ATTACH=full]46503[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=full]46504[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=full]46505[/ATTACH]

 

remember that Bruce Willis movie, was it Die Hard II or Die Hard with a vengeance? Terrorists have taken over an LA skyscraper and only Bruce can rescue the situation. He gets into an elevator, and someone says "hold the lift". Bruce instantly realizes that by saying lift not elevator, they have shown themselves to be not true-blue yanks, and on the basis of that only, whips out his machine gun and fills them with lead. Of course he turns out to be correct, they are indeed the terrorists. A great hollywood moment.

 

 

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Thanks everyone. I have it sorted. We will take it off the plane and take it to be repaired or totally redone if that is what it needs. No more flying for me for a while it seems. Thanks for all your help Cheers

How did you get on with the repair?

 

Regards Mike

 

 

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Sorry zenonie, but what others have said is the case.

The fabric should be very strong and certainly not damaged by a lump of mud falling on it. I'd go so far as to say you should be able to bowl a cricket ball at it full tilt and it should bounce off.

 

The sun (UV) damages the polyester (Stitts Polyfibre or Ceconite, generally) that is used on modern airframes, unless it is well protected beneath the outer paint layer with silver dope (dope with lots of fine aluminium dust in it).

 

In general, therefore, it will be the top surfaces that are suspect, and that's not uncommon with older planes in the bush that spend a lot of time in the sun.

 

Fabric that's as weak as yours appears to be, and which is already breached, can tear away from the flying surface quite easily. Try doing so and test the adjacent area that way perhaps? But always please keep in mind it's your life that's at risk here, even though that's sometimes a difficult thing to do when there's a lot riding on tomorrow's muster ... I've spent a fair bit of time flying on the land and I know the pressures on the pilot that can be applied, but it's not worth dying for.

Don't know about the cricket ball. I remember a Skyfox parked outside at Archerfield after a Qld thunderstorm. So many holes from the hail that it looked as if it had been machine-gunned!

 

 

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Have a look at a recent product called oratex.

 

Now on certified airframes.

 

Very light and strong. That is you can jump on the frame and not go through.

 

Very suitable for micros.

 

Some of the older guys with heavy lady passengers in the DH Domine could have done with it.

 

Chas

 

 

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Don't know about the cricket ball. I remember a Skyfox parked outside at Archerfield after a Qld thunderstorm. So many holes from the hail that it looked as if it had been machine-gunned!

I'm not surprised about that, hail can be very destructive, I've seen an aluminium airframe that was hailed on with holes clean through the metal skins - and it didn't fly through the hail, it was tied down, also in SE Qld. A couple of years ago highrise buildings in Brisbane had their supposedly bullet-proof plate glass windows smashed by hail, and that was from hail striking it at quite an acute angle.

 

Hail arrives at a lot faster pace than a cricket ball but as far as the fabric damage is concerned it's also a lot sharper.

 

My comment about the fabric's ability to withstand a cricket ball was just an estimate, perhaps not a Mitchell Starc though? Anyway I'll be covering my project in the next few months, maybe it's time to conduct another experiment ...

 

 

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My really excellent contact in Goondiwindi took the whole tail end off for testing and repair. The fabric tested out fine and a repair was made to the big hole. It's a really good job - neat and shiny and you can't see it unless you are looking for it. I think a fella in Boonah did the repair job. So. It's all back together and I have flown it again - all is well. It was a very large mud nest and fell right near the edge of the elevator where the tension on the fabric would have been the greatest, and those mud nests have lots of sharp edges on them. We knocked them all down and the little stinkers have not come back yet! Fingers crossed. Thank you all for your advice and interest. Why not pop out to our place Kilcowera Station next time you want to go for a cross country fly? Just not in summer please :) Cheers Zenonie

 

 

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... Why not pop out to our place Kilcowera Station next time you want to go for a cross country fly? Just not in summer please :) Cheers Zenonie

I'll put that on the bucket list. I spent a short while mustering on Nappa Merrie about 25 years ago, there's never a dull moment down that way ...

 

 

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I'll put that on the bucket list. I spent a short while mustering on Nappa Merrie about 25 years ago, there's never a dull moment down that way ...

Like the guy who used to beat up the tourists on Cooper Creek flying under the trees in a 172......

 

 

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