What's wrong with this picture...

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Jim K, Jun 10, 2022.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Got 25 hours on my bird since they put the engine back on. We're leaving on a big trip, which is why I was pushing to put hours on and do the first oil change. Good news is screen & filter were clean. Bad news is we found several mistakes made by the mechanic who hung the engine. The work visible with the top cowl off looked good, so we didn't take the bottom off until today and found several things that were not safetied, but this was the worst:

    20220610_111904.jpg

    20220610_111924.jpg

    It appears he simply forgot to tighten the bolts on the alternator. The back one fell off and was in the cowl, the one that should've been safetied was holding on by three threads, and the one still on the left side was rubbing the belt. It was making power just fine, probably because the weight of the alternator was hanging by the belt. How it didn't fall off is a miracle.
     
  2. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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  3. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Good thing you removed the cowl to look. I am sure you are checking the rest very closely
     
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  4. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yikes!

    I would be checking every single nut and bolt if my plane.
     
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  5. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Good catch!

    I was going to put a quick drain on my bird, but that would keep me from having to pull the lower cowl off. Over the last 8-9 oil changes I’ve always found something that could use attention or needed to be corrected which I wouldn’t have found if the lower cowl stayed on. Induction clamp, loose rivets on heat baffle, chaffing hose, etc.
     
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  6. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  7. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. Normally I do my own oil changes, but I took it to the shop because I wanted more sets of eyes on it. It's a good thing I did as there was some hardware involved and some fiddly little tools I don't own. Myself, the a&p doing the oil change, the ia/Dom, and another a&p all looked her over pretty close.

    I am glad the engine went out to another shop....:eek:
     
  8. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Wow is all I can think of. How does one forget to tighten it up? Then I guess he or she does not believe in safety wire or cable.
    I am in 37 hours so far on my oil, change it at 55-60 hours. I have a quick change oil drain but still remove the lower cowl each time. I usually pull the cowl in between oil changes like last night.

    Luckily I don’t find anything loose so far, I have 410 hours on my new motor since July 2020. In 90 more hours my mags and alternator will need service. Just seemed like yesterday when the new motor went in.
    I take the cowls off by my self so they come off pretty often.

    Tonight right now. Got to get out of this chair and get to work. A2BDDD07-2C8C-4BC4-935A-CEE9D097768E.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
  9. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I'm glad to see so many change their own oil, I often wondered if I was the odd person out, because I do my own.
     
  10. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you haven’t already done it, hope you will send them a pic of that. Not so much out of anger, but so they can learn and hopefully not do it, or something similar again.
     
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  11. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Cleared for Takeoff

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    My shop would cross-check any major work with a second, uninvolved AP from the shop. Didn’t take long and gave the perspective of a second set of eyes. It’s easy to overlook something if you’ve been immersed in the project.
     
  12. Domenick

    Domenick Cleared for Takeoff

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    Frightening! Could be distraction induced error.
    Check the bracket for cracks. Might want to remove it to get a good look.
     
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  13. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    I'm surprised they even used that defective bolt with the hole right thru the head of it!
     
  14. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Forgetting to tighten bolts has happened to me several times. Once on an alternator. Mechanic got distracted before tightening, did something else, then came back to the job.

    I’m guessing it’s a common kind of maintenance induced failure.

    Having someone else look it over sounds like a good practice.
     
  15. Magman

    Magman Cleared for Takeoff

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    USAF had a system where significant maintenance was designated with a
    “Red X”. These require inspection and sign off by an individual with credentials to sign off the task.

    Distractions and shift changes are prime culprits for omissions.

    Some shops use the new guys to open and close ( like MASH?) and there have been instances of closing before the task is completed .

    Compounding the issue is the is the practice of “ we’ll do the paperwork later”.
    It may be the Tech did not consider the job finished and the airplane is out the door. It did happen to me. As the the late, great FAA guy Bill O’Brien would say
    ( paraphase ) “ With no Record Entries and the wheels 1inch off the ground BOTH
    A&P and Pilot are subject to violations”.

    Perhaps Bell can jump in with appropriate regs?
     
  16. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not getting the whole story here.
    Fess up, did you cheap out and only pay for the Basic Engine Install which includes "most fasteners checked for security, will try to ensure oil in sump, mags timed to within...5° of spec"?
    I thought it was widely known you really need to buy the Deluxe Engine Install option these days.
     
  17. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    buh buh cErTiFiEd eYEs. :rolleyes:

    And in the interest of my 5th, I'll digress from expanding further. TETO.
     
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  18. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    Now I'm wondering if part of the reason for safety wire is to make the connection easy to inspect.
     
  19. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Just wait until he tells you what happened today..
     
  20. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Oh snap! Standing by.
     
  21. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    20220611_143836.jpg

    Sigh. Said alternator failed leaving Benton today. We were going ifr, so we turned around and went back. The airport manager is an a&p and fellow PA32 owner. He's down waiting for parts, so he took the alternator off of his own plane and loaned it to me to get me going. He and another a&p based there swapped it for me.

    On the one hand I feel unlucky that my plane never fails to fail.

    OTOH this would've likely happened in Nebraska if not today, so I guess I'm... lucky?

    As @EdFred said....GA sucks, and also doesn't. Some of the best people I've ever met have been GA people.
     
  22. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Sorry to read that Jim, glad you got it back on the ground safely. Good job.
    That is a great AP you have there !
     
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  23. masloki

    masloki Pattern Altitude

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    Well, of things that can go wrong, alternator is thankfully in the you’ve got time to sort it out column. Sorry about the bum luck. Assuming it came new/rebuilt with the engine, will they warranty it?
     
  24. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    No it was 20 years old, replaced at the last overhaul. It's been soaked in oil and then flopping around for 25 hours, in hindsight I should've expected it to not be long for the world.
     
  25. Bacho

    Bacho Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m not familiar with this exact application but every other alternator I have seen should have one long bolt through both of those holes. I would check your IPC and be sure you have the correct hardware.
     
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  26. nrpetersen

    nrpetersen Line Up and Wait

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    Unless there's a spacer that has been completely omitted from the OP pictures, that would place unwanted heavy compression loads between the mounting tangs of the alternator.
     
  27. Magman

    Magman Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think the correct parts are ( were ) there. Cherokees typically use 2 bolts and a
    “ floating” spacer. It looks like it also has the “optional” (?) joggled Link to connect to the Starter. I’m a fan of the Link as having seen the Bracket Bolts
    torn from the Case is an ugly picture.

    Many of the U-sharped mounting brackets are not symmetrical and can almost be installed in reverse. I think I saw some info detailing orientation. Too bad they were not marked.
     
  28. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Mind if I use that one Jim?
     
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  29. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Misery loves company:D
     
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  30. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    In my IndyCar mechanic days, we did a nut and bolt check on the entire chassis, suspension, engine, and gearbox before every practice day, qualifying run, or race.

    It's not a bad idea to do the same on one's aircraft regularly, maybe during oil changes.
     
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  31. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Same here, I built the motors and my crew would install the motors in my dragsters that I would drive. So it was standard operating procedure that I checked the car from front to back every pass before going down the drag strip. No one was insulted or annoyed, we all knew we needed each other to race safe.

    Sometimes I miss that when it comes to my plane since my IA is not always at my hangar. I do make a point of putting on the cowl the next day when my eyes are fresh and not after a long day or night working on it.
    It is ironic that I go from a 275mph car to a 120 mph plane and am more scared of the plane. I respect the plane more than I did the fast dragsters.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2022
  32. Magman

    Magman Cleared for Takeoff

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    Checking torque on fasteners can be bad for the Mechanically Declined.

    I’ve seen a lot of valve cover gaskets over tightened where they squished out.
    Overtightening clevis cable attach points can be an issue. There ARE connections meant to pivot.
     
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  33. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    That's a TAD? Nice looking ride.

    I know what you mean about safety. Crewing on the IndyCars and later a 420 MPH Bonneville streamliner that broke the Summers Brothers 45 year old land speed record required perfection. A mistake by me could kill my driver. That was a big responsibility.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
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  34. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Thanks
    For sure a huge responsibility. Cool stuff for sure. Indy what a city it is for racing, I can't believe you crewed on IndyCars. That is mega cool.
    Later car, me driving.
    [​IMG]
    Old picture.
    [​IMG]
    Billet aluminum hemi block, heads and clutch, approx 3000hp.
    [​IMG]
     
  35. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    @Gary Ward that top pic looks like Bowling Green. Raced and attended many a Buick GS Nationals there in the late 1990s early 2000s. Those covered stands are great.

    Love the Winston pic, good memories.
     
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  36. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Don't mean to be Debbie Downer, but posting the pictures in a thread titled "What's wrong with this picture"?

    :)
     
  37. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Never driven a race car, but logged many miles at 3 or 4 mph in a tractor ;)
     
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  38. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    I'm not sure which is more dangerous...but I think maybe tractor. Both need roll cages that are more than decorative.
     
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  39. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    You must have had good sponsors to pay for that billet block. The chips that are made during its fabrication result in the most expensive aluminum scrap ever made.

    :D
     
  40. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

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    Real racers turn corners. Left AND right. And race in the rain.

    Just teasing.

    My race car is slower than most airplanes in top speed. But it goes pretty quickly around corners
     
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