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WARNING - Pre Flight Inspections.


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WARNING – PRE FLIGHT INSPECTIONS.

 

I am putting a fuller report and images in the next TOSG Bulletin but want to get a message out here as well.

 

Thruster Owners & Pilots (and for any type for that matter) MUST inspect their aircraft properly prior to flight and not just count the wings and wheels!!! This is especially so if you are buying a second hand aircraft and the L2 doing the RAAus UACR does not know the type well.

 

We have just had some rather alarming faults turn up that everyone can learn from.

 

The first two concern a T500 I have in for major survey and rebuild. When I dismantled the aircraft the following came immediately to light:

 

  • The detatchable diagonal bracing cable in wing Bay 2 had not just frayed in the middle – it was down to just a single strand of wire holding it together! There is no wear point in the area of failure so it was probably caused by twisting the wire to shorten it for tension and then reinstalling it in a kinked condition – that then failed over a period of time.
     
     
  • This cable is not easy to re-fit on a re-rig when at correct tension but there is a technique for doing it. The normal fixing is done by a clevis pin and safety pin. In this case an illegal modification had been employed and a nut and bolt had been used. I am not sure how this was managed but it led straight to another fault.
     
     
  • As a result of the changed fixing the trailing edge of the outer compression struts in BOTH wings had been detatched to do the task and it was evidently then found impossible to re-fix it – so it was left totally un-bolted!!!!!
     

 

Now this is not rocket science Sportsfans! Everything I have described is in clear view if you just open the zip at the leading edge lift strut attachment point and peer in! You are supposed to do this anyway to comply with RAAus M/AN 27.10.05 that requires a visual inspection of the strut attachments prior to EVERY flight on ALL Thruster types!

 

Needless to say a wing could easily have failed seriously in flight and that aircraft had been flown for a long time in that condition. So it was NOT being pre-flighted and it was NOT having scheduled inspections!

 

Then yesterday the TOSG owner of a TST E rang in with notification that on a scheduled inspection he had found the down elevator cable half severed at the lower pulley block

 

This is a difficult area to inspect at the best of times and especially on the rear enclosed versions. It was only found by observing the cable & pulley with the elevator being moved over full travel. The damage was otherwise hidden by the pulley.

 

It is not known what caused the damage other than it was not wear or fatigue. The cable had been partially severed by some mechanical means.

 

Please re-read the above again! It can be a damn long way down if you get a major failure in the air!

 

Tony

 

 

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Thanks !

 

I am learning on T500. Thanks for the warning. I do daily, the hardest part for me as the student is to learn where to look for.

 

Thanks again !

 

 

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We really should not be in such a hurry that you can't spend 30min doing a proper pre-fight check.When doing inspections look at everything that you can and then touch/feel/twist all the other bits [gently] for looseness etc.It takes time to learn the trade so don't rush it and ask/talk to people around the field and on this forum on your specific type[being an LAME for many years I'm still learning] Cheers

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Good start

 

I am going to be a pet Thruster 87.

 

I do pick up every bolt, nut, washer, spring and bits and pieces I can find on the ground around before the hangar is open in the morning.

 

 

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