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Elevator Issue

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Joined: 28 Oct 2014
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 12:32 am    Post subject: Elevator Issue Reply with quote

To give a bit of background to this query, I moved my aircraft from South Africa to Australia a few years ago. I've owned the aircraft since 2003, and as a result have a fair amount of confidence in this particular airframe. The aircraft was fully operational prior to shipping, but for various reasons the local maintenance outfit took over two years to reassemble the aircraft and get it flying. The aircraft finally got its Certificate of Airworthiness last year.

The aircraft has now gone in for its first annual inspection in Australia. After a 6 week inspection, the maintenance shop (not the same crowd who assembled it) have indicated that the aircraft is completely unsafe for flight. Aside from wanting to rewire the aircraft and do major reskinning of the structure, the reports include some issues relating to the elevator.

The initial report notes that:
- The one elevator hinge is too flexible (according to the shop, this is indicative of a damaged rib)
- The elevator travels are significantly out of limits, and
- The elevator cable tension is significantly lower than the published limits

Aside from the flexibility of the hinge, my first thought was to say "well reset it". But could there be a link between the reported faults? Assuming that the aircraft was properly released a year ago (ie the licenced engineer did set the tension and travels), why would the values change so much over 40 hrs of flying? Is there potentially an underlying problem with the aircraft?

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