Jump to content

L1 / L2 Maintenance of RAA Aircraft


David Isaac
 Share

Recommended Posts

One of the biggest challenges for RAA when pilots in RAA self maintain aircraft is getting the knowledge base up to know what to look for in terms of long term failure modes. Regular / routine maintenance is a whole different ball game to recognising potential failure modes.

 

There is a fair bit of romantic notion around being able to maintain your own aircraft and my concern is how is the necessary knowledge being disseminated to RAA aircraft owners.

 

What are the tell tail signs of nails coming loose in wooden aircraft, what do I look for as signs of loose components or structural movement that could indicate a looming failure mode problem?

 

How do we address this in RAA circles?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest BlackRod

David,

 

Steve Bell is aware of the potential issues and in previous times has run courses developed with Carol Richards. There is a plan to run these again in 2012. Timely of you to raise it as Steve has some words on this in his article in the Nov edition of SportPilot.

 

"I run weekend training at various locations around Australia from time to time - these are arranged and managed by local clubs, on a needs basis, so they are not advertised nationally. I will be programming some courses from Canberra (no, not in Canberra) for a national response, and these will probably be held at Temora, the week before NATFLY. If you are interested, send me a notice of your interest – this will be a four day full-on course."

 

This is an issue for me personally and will gain considerable urgency/importance if/when I actually own an aircraft.

 

Wayne Matthews of course runs excellent training sessions over a few days at Gunnedah. Perhaps you could expand on this Wayne?

 

Personally, I think RA-Aus Pilots should have to pass more than their Pilot Cert to be granted even L1 status.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with more training. But... It seems in more laymen terms the "You can maintain it" clause should always be quoted with the words "Remember it is your axxx in the seat"... After all this is Self Regulated flying.

 

Of course I reckon for schools and aircraft for more than hiring to mates i.e. Commercial operations ... then the standard needs to be raised.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The courses that are being run ATM are a great Idea.The guys and girls who go to them ,off there own back are the ones Im not worried about.The reason is that, they are being proactive in learning extra skills.The ones i worry about is a small group who think that they dont need training and they normaly do not have a Aircraft trade background or a mechanical back ground.

 

I have seen some very poor basic fitter skill. Basic stuff, eg- cotter pins installed but tails not cut off. which leads too one half the cotter pin not being bent down the face of the nut and the other half not being bent over the top.Nylock nuts which have been used so many times that the locking medium does nothing.Nuts and bolts being used with out 1.5 to 2 threads though the nuts.Lockwiring back to front where it is trying to undo the Bolts instead off preventing it from undoing. Lockwiring which is loose and looks like it was done by a 4 year old. I could go on.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While im on a roll, lol I will continue.- everything here is de-identified to protect the innocent. Aircraft just out 100 hourly. Fault found Engine Oil leak 912, a fairly big one. Another aircraft just out of service- Ring spanner found in engine bay. Same aircraft- 3 cracks in exhaust. Another aircraft- 2 weeks out of service- electric Trim mounting bracket cross tube cracked right through on one side.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I think RA-Aus Pilots should have to pass more than their Pilot Cert to be granted even L1 status.

I agree. I have always been handy with a spanner, but aircraft are so much differant. I built the Hornet in the factory with all the help from Ole and Brian, I learnt so much more about the whole build. Because airframes are built light the integretty of all components are so important to the overall strenght and full inspection instead of just a casual walk around is what is needed. When I learnt in the trikes the engine and all it's components were part of the pre-flight checks, yet I have been in 3 axix schools that don't even show you the motor. When I asked why I was told they don't want to scratch the cowling. I didn't stay there. How many will teach how to check the airframe and not just some hinges? There is so much more to maintaining an aircraft than changing the oil and filter.

 

Cheers Scotty

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Come on down Gunnedah kid and skawk some information

G'day Guys,

 

Just spent the day driving down to Canberra (and yes, it is faster to fly the Cub down, but only just)... Had dinner with friends, and will be catching up with my Son tommorow... On Monday I'll be going in to see Steve Bell with the course outline he's asked me to do... I'll get back to you later after I've heard from Steve what he believes needs to be done, and how he wants it done.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds good Wayne.

 

I like BlackRod's idea too, perhaps on a module by module basis - the more you study and show competence, the more you get to do.

 

Going back to what originated this thread, and picking on the most serious Gazelle issue:

 

Hinges mounted on wooden structure where checking for any rotting is a matter of life and death, and diagnosis requires more than average skills.

 

I would like to see a regular external inspection (as in an outside person), possibly yearly but at an interval which would pick up deterioration of materials and structure, and show up the level of competence of the operator (loose nuts, poor filter maintenance, bruised nuts and screw slots, missing items, unsafe modifications, loose props, rigging faults etc.)

 

This doesn't have to involve having someone make a financial killing on the aircraft, but could involve a test day, or volunteers.

 

My experience with race cars is a good example. We build our cars and extensively modify our engines, and on race day a Machine Examiner does an independent inspection of each car which takes about 10 minutes. Before each race season, after we may have redesigned the car, installed different components, or even built a new car, the Machine examiner has to inspect every element, so either he comes to the car or you take it to him.

 

He does this voluntarily, so there's no cost.

 

The results show human nature. About 30% of drivers never have a fault on inspection, about 50% of drivers have two or three issues, like forgetting to pin a nut here or there, or a frame crack they didn't see, and about 20% are a work in progress requiring two or three inspections before they are allowed to start the season, and a much longer inspection/correction session before each race.

 

Human nature being human nature it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect similar ratios on aircraft maintenance.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Turbs with your experience in maintenance, politics and flying you should consider running for the RAAus board soon. We need some more Liberal supporters on there.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm all for improving skills and making flying safer ... however I think we need to look at the stats and ask ourselves how many ac are falling out of the sky because of bad or improper maintenance? I suggest not many are and we need to be careful we don't just add another layer of complexity and costs in an area that doesn't need more restrictions or requirements.

 

Alternatively, I think, one of the key issues we need to address, more appropriately, is accessibility to maintenance training ... whilst Steve Bell runs his courses they are infrequent and not always geographically user friendly.

 

May be RAA should consider contracting out the process (user pays) and increase the frequency and velocity of the programmes to as many as possible... I'm sure if this was reasonably priced and focused on the right areas it would be well received.

 

Cheers

 

Vev

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While the stats aren't high on aircraft dropping out of the sky due to mechanical failure, they take on a whole new meaning if you happen to be included as one of them. I had a personal case of being 1 in 48 in another industry recently where the proposal was that 1 in 48 was low enough not to be concerned and to push on.

 

Two things stood out to me on the maintenance issue: One was the aileron hinges on the gazelle where I read of one fatality and one managing to make it to the ground.

 

The other was over on your turf where a guy had a Subaru engine which he couldn't get on top of, and a few other issues and an instructor friend of mine offered to go over to Tyabb and help him.

 

I had a session booked with him in a Jab that day, and when he was a couple of hours late, I asked him where he'd been.

 

"Crashing" he said.

 

He'd looked over the aircraft, and just after he'd taken off the engine ran rough so he put it straight down onto the strip and ran through the end fence and was staring at the traffic on Mornington-Tyabb Road.

 

He said cars and people came from everywhere, which would have been a sight to see because on a week day it's very quiet there.

 

He found out later the guy had called in a motor mechanic who had reset the carby float levels based on his automotive experience.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally prefer education to regulation. If you can educate the masses, there tends to be little need to regulate.

 

I believe guys like Wayne Mathews who runs these great maintenance courses at Gunnedah are the key to education of the masses. They multiply what Steve Bell is able to do and if Steve can co-ordinate these sessions through the RA Aus office and work with them I believe we will go a long way down the productive road.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Turbs,

 

Not sure if we are in disagreement about the need for training to improve safety around maintenance ... my argument is about the need to improve accessibility to training.

 

Never the less, I still say that very few ac fall out of the sky because of mechanical failures from bad maintenance, it mostly has to do with other factors... therefore I don't think the RAA needs to apply brakes or restriction to hand out an L1 but improve training.

 

Btw ... not sure I know about the incident at Tyabb you mention, are you sure it was a Subaru and not a Jabiru engined ac? .. I recall Jab powered ac incident like that???

 

Cheers

 

Vev

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally prefer education to regulation. If you can educate the masses, there tends to be little need to regulate.I believe guys like Wayne Mathews who runs these great maintenance courses at Gunnedah are the key to education of the masses. They multiply what Steve Bell is able to do and if Steve can co-ordinate these sessions through the RA Aus office and work with them I believe we will go a long way down the productive road.

Spot on, you have said this much better and captured my intent ... Agree 100%.

 

Cheers

 

Vev

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw ... not sure I know about the incident at Tyabb you mention, are you sure it was a Subaru and not a Jabiru engined ac? .. I recall Jab powered ac incident like that???

He said Subaru and I could understand someone messing around with float levels for an aircraft conversion and getting it wrong, but I'd hate to think someone would alter from Jab specs, so think that less likely.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest BlackRod
I personally prefer education to regulation. If you can educate the masses, there tends to be little need to regulate.I believe guys like Wayne Mathews who runs these great maintenance courses at Gunnedah are the key to education of the masses. They multiply what Steve Bell is able to do and if Steve can co-ordinate these sessions through the RA Aus office and work with them I believe we will go a long way down the productive road.

I think we are all heading down the same path here. I strongly agree with the education theme and leveraging Steve Bell's efforts by tapping into the experience and wisdom of Wayne Matthews, Keith Rule and a few other well recognised maintenance champions.

 

And you'll be pleased to know this is exactly what is being progressed right now.

 

It is good to be reminded (frequently) that RA-Aus is about less regulation, not more and less expensive and not more expensive.

 

Perhaps L1 should come with registration of an aircraft not certificate to fly? The pre-flight inspections should be enough for a Pilot who hires a 24 reg aircraft that has been L2 maintained. But, as soon as you put hands on tools you need, I believe, to have done something more than read the manual.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the maintenance course was held at Warick. I remember that there was approximately 100 plus trying to get onto the course.Max allowed was 20 or 25 odd participants.That goes to show that there is alot of guys wanting to do a course, that are to infrequent.At the moment.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the maintenance course was held at Warick. I remember that there was approximately 100 plus trying to get onto the course.Max allowed was 20 or 25 odd participants.That goes to show that there is alot of guys wanting to do a course, that are to infrequent.At the moment.

Dazz, that is a very good indication of the level of interest and a very encouraging statistic. It would tend to imply that a large number of RAA participants very much want to learn to do the right thing.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dazz, that is a very good indication of the level of interest and a very encouraging statistic. It would tend to imply that a large number of RAA participants very much want to learn to do the right thing.

I 100% agree mate.The snags i mentioned are some I and others have found over many years.Generaly People I have found are very good.001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the maintenance course was held at Warick. I remember that there was approximately 100 plus trying to get onto the course.Max allowed was 20 or 25 odd participants.That goes to show that there is alot of guys wanting to do a course, that are to infrequent.At the moment.

Good point Dazza. As of Jan 2011 there were 3216 RA aircraft on the register.

 

A lot of people to cover manually, good opportunity for web based protocols.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But, as soon as you put hands on tools you need, I believe, to have done something more than read the manual.

I have been supprised by some of the questions asked by people that obviously havn't read the manuals. Or by questions like "where can we get cheap parts"

 

With the trike I found the manuals good and always have done it by the book with genuine parts. I'll admit though, you must have some skill with the spanners

 

Cheers Scotty

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good evening Folks,

 

I went and spent a morning talking to Steve Bell about how we can help our members improve their maintenance skills without rewriting the rules and/or handing out L2 endorsements to people who can’t pick up a screwdriver without hurting themselves.

 

It's a big ask, but it can be done... A 2 day limited L2 course… Steve looked at the course outline I showed him, and with the exception of some areas where he wanted me to prune down the volume/depth of information, he has said that he will look favourably upon applications for an L2 (limited to line maintenance) endorsement from people who have done the course I’ve developed, and who meet the Tech manual requirements.

 

The course consists of 16 fifty minute modules over 2 days. The first 8 modules are chalk and talk (actually power point), and the second day is a day of practical; initially doing basic hand skills like changing a tyre, servicing wheel bearings, using a torque wrench, lock-wiring, split-pinning etc. Then moving on to inspecting the aircraft in accordance with the maintenance manual checklists

 

It is a full-on 2 days, but by the end of it, it is expected that participants will be able to competently carry out the tasks specified in the RA Aus tech manual section 4.1.1 Annex B.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...