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Old 04-19-2011, 06:03 AM
MSFT-1's Avatar
MSFT-1 MSFT-1 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 276
Default Rudder damage on my RV-10 (minor)

Over the weekend, I flew my RV-10 to Brunswick, Maine. The weather was supposed to be very windy on Saturday, but my flight up was benign on Friday and the flight back (to Virginia) on Sunday was also uneventful but bumpy.

I was using the rudder gust lock that Alex D. sells and had the other flight controls locked down using the pilot's seatbelt.

The problem happened on Saturday night. The wind was apparently really screaming because it overwelmed the gust lock and slammed the rudder hard over at least once. Luckily, the damage was minor. Four popped rivets along the upper trailing edge, two rudder travel stops broken and a tiny ding where the rudder hit the edge of the trim tab (yup, the rudder did deflect that far).

Luckily the damage was not structural and an A&P mechanic and I made the repairs easily.

I learned a few things from this incident:

1) I was very lucky because the damage could have been a lot worse.
2) I need to take an extra moment and consider tying the airplane down facing into the wind rather than facing crossways to the wind. When I talked to the airport manager about it later he said, "oh, yeah, I will talk to the staff about that, the hangers cause a wind tunnel affect over there". I guess I should have asked about that on Friday.
3) It may be time to investigate a stronger gust-lock solution.

I am confident that the airplane is fine. I will have to remove the rudder this weekend to fix the rudder stops (they sheared at the 3 rivets holding them in place).

Just a heads up for other RV-10 operators.

BTW, Brunswick Naval Air Station (KNHZ) is now open for GA operations (as of about 3 weeks ago). The FBO there is very nice, inexpensive and helpful. They have a 10,000 foot runway and a ramp so big that you could probably park every RV ever built on it. The only downside is that they don't have any published approaches (yet) and the airfield is not in many GPSs or on government charts yet.

Highly recommended.
Richmond, VA (KFCI)
RV-10 (520+ hours since first flight in Nov 07)
RV-8 (500 hours, sold Sept 07)
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:17 AM
TSwezey TSwezey is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,849

We used pvc pipe to lock the pedals forward and the stick in place and never had a problem and the plane was in a highly windy area.
RV-10 Vesta V8 LS2/BMA EFIS/One formerly flying at 3J1 Hobbs stopped at 150 hours
Savannah, GA and Ridgeland, SC
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:39 AM
TroyBranch's Avatar
TroyBranch TroyBranch is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
Posts: 456

I place two external air gizmos on the elevator, one on the top of the rudder which takes a ladder or chair to reach and one small home made one on each aileron. I have had the air gizmo blow off the elevator with just one on and the same thing happen with the internal rudder lock. I just use it for short stops now. If you are just using the stick with belts, the control system will really be taking a beating. There is no way to know which way to place the plane for the wind so i would not think of that as a cure. If a front comes through, the wind usually reverses. The PVC is a much better option for the rudder as it will better support the peddles. I am planning to make one that uses an offset so I can lock the pedals and still add the air gizmo at the top. I do what ever it takes so I can sleep with the plane outside while traveling. I think this is the ultimate cure.
Troy Branch

RV10 Built and Flying Since Feb 2009
950hrs Plus
CC EX-2 Flying
SuperSTOL Built and Sold
RV9 Built and Sold
Avid Aerobat Built and Sold
Dues paid Nov 2019
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:02 AM
tommylewis's Avatar
tommylewis tommylewis is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 762
Default me too

I had the rivets sheared on the rudder stops also when parked in Utah during the first week of Sept. A front went through and the wind shifted and it got gusty. I had a pvc rudder stop on the pilots pedals that came loose. I replaced the sheared rivets with #8 bolts. Fortunately no damage to the rudder occurred. I now also put a rudder stop (the red one Avery sells) on the co pilots pedals.
Tom Lewis
RV7a N967BT 1850 hrs.
RV10 N143EB 960 hrs.
Granbury, Tx
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:29 AM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,992

Originally Posted by TSwezey View Post
We used pvc pipe to lock the pedals forward and the stick in place and never had a problem and the plane was in a highly windy area.
Todd would you mind to share your setup? I noticed we have so called wind tunnel created by rows of hangars.
Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:13 AM
aerhed aerhed is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Big Sandy, WY
Posts: 2,567

Yeah c'mon guys, let's see some gust lock pix. If it ever melts here I'll soon be parking on windy ramps all over the neighborhood.
P.S. Also like to see some towbar pix, as the Bogert bar doesn't fit with the nose fairing installed!
Actual repeat offender.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:48 AM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 2,550

I don't understand your comment about the Bogert bar not fitting the 10. I have used one on both of my 10's with no problems. They make one specifically for the 10.

Vic Syracuse

Built RV-4, RV-6, 2-RV-10's, RV-7A, RV-8, Prescott Pusher, Kitfox Model II, Kitfox Speedster, Kitfox 7 Super Sport, Just Superstol, DAR, A&P/IA, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor, CFII-ASMEL/ASES
Kitplanes "Checkpoints" monthly column
EAA Homebuilt Council Chair/member EAA BOD
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:13 AM
aerhed aerhed is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Big Sandy, WY
Posts: 2,567

Vic, I must've got the wrong one with this project. The cups for the tow pins are almost 2 inches too short. I could extend them, but I actually need a bar I can pull with a vehickle. That's a WY pronunciation, we put the "hick" in "vehickle".
Actual repeat offender.
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