I've had it with Type Certificated aircraft...

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by IK04, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have been in some amateur built race cars that I sure wish I had stayed out of.

    I won't make that same mistake with an amateur built airplane built by someone I do not personally know.
     
  2. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

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    My insurance company denies coverage for ANY aircraft as PIC, it does not discriminate against experimentals.
     
  3. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thus, not all, but some. Our local FAA examiner says his insurance covers only type certified aircraft...

    When it comes time to sell...some builders, especially composite type aircraft builders, elect not to sell, but donate to mechanic schools and specify these planes are not to fly again due to liability...

    RV series are easier to inspect...unlike a composite structure.
     
  4. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just my opinion, but in the LSA world I'd much prefer to buy a factory built S-LSA and convert it to experimental than trust the workmanship of an unknown homebuilder. I'm not factoring in either life insurance or liability insurance compared to a Part 23 or CAR 3 airplane with standard airworthiness certificate (I don't carry life insurance, and my liability and hull insurance are only marginally higher than when the airplane was an S-LSA, and it's about the same as it was for my C-172 for the same coverage).
     
  5. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    I could see maybe feeling this way about E-AB vs certified aircraft. Especially if its an uncommon E-AB with very completed examples. But the only difference between an S-LSA RV12 and E-LSA RV12 is who built it. Both come from the exact same kit. Both need to be built with no deviation from plans in order to get a certificate.

    With rare exception I think you'd tend to find that more care and attention to detail went into the E-LSA version someone built intended to fly themselves and their family in than you will in the production line S-LSA built by people who were doing their 8 hours so they could collect their check and go home.
     
  6. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    I understand your point, but in a factory environment where the same airplane model is being built by workers who have built many just like it, I believe their experience results in a consistent quality that may be lacking by a homebuilder whose effort is a one-off. When an FAA inspector or DAR inspects an amateur built E-LSA there are many areas where poor workmanship is hidden.

    I'll take the one built in a factory environment.
     
  7. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    A good pre-purchase will show up anything you want to see on an aluminum or rag and tube airplane. Hidden poor workmanship on those is a boogeyman that doesn't exist. That doesn't mean there aren't bad examples out there, but there is no reason for anyone to actually buy one of the bad examples.
     
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  8. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    The care and attention to detail I'm speaking of will be readily apparent and very easy for anyone to see if they know what they're looking for. If you don't see that level workmanship then yeah, look for another plane to buy. But if you do see that level of workmanship, the chances of there being hidden poor workmanship is about the same buying a factory built airplane of any type.
     
  9. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    Lots of articles in Kitplanes and EAA Sport Aviation showing potentially deadly construction errors in amateur built airplanes that get missed over multiple condition inspections are a sufficient reason for me to avoid them. YMMV.
     
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  10. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've owned four experimentals, none of which I built. All had flown several hundred hours when I bought them; two I flew home and two were projects that hadn't flown in some years and needed work. At that point it's like any other used aircraft whose logbooks may or may not be accurate.

    I've seen homebuilts that I wouldn't fly in, but very few. I've seen standard aircraft I wouldn't fly in, either.

    I believe (Ron W may chime in here) that aside transition issues (i.e. pilot error), the safety record of experimentals is similar to that of standard aircraft once the test period is complete.
     
  11. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    All of those articles are by Vic Syracuse, who's a DAR and does a huge number of initial, condition, and pre-purchase inspections. Given that he inspects several aircraft a week, he's gonna find stuff. Same as your IA or A&P would do if s/he was doing a high volume of pre-purchase inspections or annuals on aircraft s/he hadn't seen before.
     
  12. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    I'm confused by airplanes like the Sting RG and Bristell RG. I thought the LSA requirement was for fixed gear and prop (or ground adjustable), let alone the indicated airspeed limit they both exceed. What's the point of advertising these things as LSA on a weight basis if they cannot be operated as such in the US? Is it a European LSA reg thing I'm not aware of?
     
  13. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll admit the idea of buying an experimental built by some unknown amateur is a bit alarming to me. I learned a long time ago it's very easy to not know what you don't know.

    I've told this story before...I think here but not sure... but I think it illustrates the point
    I was raised by a jack-of-all trades...working on cars, overhauling boat engines, repairing appliances and all sorts of things. I'd like to think a pretty good mechanical aptitude. Ended up with a BS in mechanical engineering...to some extra courses in machine design.
    Straight out of college working as a Reliability Maintenance Engineer in a paper mill, I sat in on a course some vendors put on for our maintence crews about threaded fasteners. A whole day class. Well, I was amazed at what I learned. I thought I knew pretty much all there was about tightening lug nuts for example. Nope.
    Anyway, not long after that I'm walking through the hangar at the flight school where I was working on my ratings. Saw the A&P re-installing a prop on some aircraft in the shop...he was re-using some old nylon insert lock-nuts....something I had learned in that class was not to be done.
    prior to that course, I was an experienced shade tree mechanic AND a mechanical engineer...I I didn't know that.... and here was an A&P...he didn't either....so Do we trust that some random guy in his garage knows something like that?...well honestly I'm not so sure everyone working in a certified factory would know it all either...but still...
    so, I mentioned it to the A&P....he looked at me like I had 3 eyes...and kept ongoing. I have often regretted not taking it further... but the shadetree mechanic in me figured it will be alright. I had re-used those things lots of times and never had a problem... but still, a prop is a critical part for sure...???

    Anyway, I would be happy to have an experimental built by "someone else" but I'd sure be careful about it.
     
  14. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    My mileage doesn't vary. There is no doubt there are lots of examples of poor workmanship potentially deadly construction errors out there. I've seen quite a few. In my experience though, you don't find award winning top shelf workmanship on the parts you can see and poor workmanship and potentially deadly construction errors on the parts you can't see. I can't say that couldn't happen. But I can say I've never seen nor heard of an example of it. My apologies if those types of situations are what you're referring to, I guess I've not seen those particular Kitplanes articles if that's the case.
     
  15. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Lots of people treat nylocs as throw away. Nothing wrong with that. But you are OK using them on condition. The go/no-go is whether you can turn them by hand. If you can, time to toss that one in the trash. 43.13 says the following "DO NOT reuse a fiber or nylon locknut, if the nut cannot meet the minimum prevailing torque values." It does not say "They are a one use fastener."
     
  16. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I would guess the mechanic looked at you that way because standard practice, and FAA advice, is that it is indeed acceptable to re-use nylon lock nuts as long as they can meet the "prevailing torque" specification, which is easily checked as the nut is installed. Check AC 43.13-1B "Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices - Aircraft Inspection and Repair", chapter 7 for their take on it. Of course nylon lock nuts are fairly cheap, so if it makes you more comfortable to toss them and use new, then by all means toss them and use new.
     
  17. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    I run into the same thing with the diesel mechanics that maintain my commercial trucks. I tell them to never reuse hose clamps, if they have to remove a hose clamp, I will gladly pay for a new one. But they're diesel mechanics and getting a new hose clamp requires they to walk 15' to the parts bin and then walk 15' back so you can see the problem this creates. Next thing you know, I've got a truck that just came out of maintenance on the side of the road because a clamp failed and the radiator hose came off and all the coolant pumped overboard. Boggles my mind why anyone would ever want to reuse any fastener. :rolleyes:
     
  18. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Do you replace the lug nuts every time you change a tire?
     
  19. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Lug nuts? No. Pretty heavy duty those things and have yet to see one that was torqued correctly fail. But hose clamps? Nyloks? Standard nuts, washers, lock washers? Yes to all because all are cheap and I've seen all fail when reused. Overkill? Sure. But a truck on the side of the road for a couple hours loses me way more money than the deferred cost of dozens of new nuts and washers will ever save me.

    And that's just the profit/loss model of commercial trucks going down the road that can just roll to the shoulder when they fail. Why anyone would want to bet on a $0.20 nut that could mean the difference between life and death in an aircraft is beyond me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  20. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Do some research on how many aircraft have crashed because of a reused nyloc. Report back to us. Me? I'll go with 43.13.
     
  21. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Trucks are profit/loss for me. Aircraft ain't. They're life/death for me. Erring on the side of caution is good enough for me for those. No need to do research beyond that far as I'm concerned.
     
  22. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    http://www.newplane.com/Service_Letters_Bulletines/Horizontal%20Stabilizer%20inspection%20mandatory%20Jan%202017.pdf

    This service letter resulted from a fatal accident where a Canadian homebuilt Zenith CH601 similar to my airplane crashed because of sloppy workmanship attaching the horizontal stabilizer. As you can see from the photos, the area of the attachment bolts was not visible without cutting sheet metal. This airplane flew for years and passed multiple inspections prior to the failure.

    From the Transport Canada Safety Advisory:
    I thoroughly inspected the horizontal stabilizer attachment on my AMD factory built Zodiac in accordance with the service letter instructions and the workmanship was impeccable. Just say'in.
     
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  23. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    that could be...and even back then would have considered something like this was a possibility. I didn't get the idea that any such thought went through his mind...and I find it a bit interesting that he didn't point that out to me when questioned if that's what he was doing.

    regardless. I know if properly torqued the tension in the metal will far outclass any friction from the plastic so it's a bit of a non-issue....BUT getting that proper torque....that a whole other issue that has me questioning this 43.13 that you're citing. the torque spec to get the theoretically exact tension in the screw will be different for a used nut compared to a new one.

    yeah, gut feel tells me I wouldn't find anything.... and that was my intuition as a shadetree wrench turner.
    and knowing that locking devices like that are kinda 'silly' because a properly tensioned fastener isn't coming loose anyway.

    different...because we aren't talking about the nylon locking insert that has been completely trashed after the first use
    but
    ...I was taught that the first few threads in a nut yield when torqued up to full tension
    Then when it's re-used, those first few threads can't carry the full load they have been deformed so the next few take it up and they yield.
    Re-use the nut again.....
    ...keep going and you will soon run out of threads in that little nut....
     
  24. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes. European, Canadian, and US regs are all different. Since one of the objectives of "LSAish" regulations is to lower the cost of new aircraft, by having different rules in place, you limit the market for any particular design and make it, oops, that doesn't work does it... So much for common sense.
     
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  25. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    And that's why high tension fasteners, things like cylinder head bolts, often aren't reused. But AN bolts in aircraft are rarely torqued to anything near their full rated strength.
     
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  26. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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  27. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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  28. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Not in all cases as it is dependent on flexibility of the sub-materiel and vibration levels. In some flight critical areas a self-locking nut is used along with a primary safety like a cotter pin or safety wire. Unfortunately there have been a few accidents due to using worn out self-locking fasteners.

    FYI: The inherent nut "friction" is called the tare torque. All self-locking nuts/fasteners produced to a specification will have tare values. All final assembly torques will have the specific nut/bolt tare torque added to the standard/required torque values to ensure the final torque is always the same regardless of the tare value. The tare torque is specific to each bolt/fastener pairing. Unless the mx instructions call for installation of new nuts, bolts, etc., (which they do in some cases) it's acceptable to reuse self-locking fasteners provided they meet their required minimum tare torque limits.
     
  29. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    I once ferried a 172 and subsequently found that same nut missing. Exactly the same location. The bolt was backed out a bit. The nut would never have been installed the last time the wings were reinstalled. That airplane was found to have numerous serious defects due to some really rotten maintenance.

    A friend found the nut missing for the bolt in the top end of the wing strut, inside the wing, on a new 172 on its first annual.
     
  30. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    Now THAT is scary.
     
  31. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    We have these things called “torque wrenches” that actually make it pretty easy... at least the beam style do. Just look at the running (tare) torque as you turn the nut. It’s not hard. You need to do that anyway, even with a new lock nut...
     
  32. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Yup. Even had the torque-seal paint on the threads. Must have been a Monday moring or Friday afternoon airplane. At least two people weren't paying attention.

    Those bolts are loaded in double shear and are very unlikely to shake out with vibration. The one where the wing failed might have only had the bolt inserted partway, maybe only through the front leg of the strut fork and into the carrythrough. There was no thread marking inside the aft leg of the strut fork, implying that it never got that far. The lift and landing loads would have cocked that bolt enough times that it gradually moved forward until it let go of the carrythrough.

    We were terrified that we might miss something like that, so anything critical was inspected by another mechanic after assembly, and sometimes by two more guys if the job was a big one. We each used a different color of torque seal to show who had checked that spot.