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  #1  
Old 06-02-2021, 08:46 AM
M5fly's Avatar
M5fly M5fly is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 169
Default Rudder repair

Landed on the grass at 6S6 this weekend and the woop-dee-doos on landing roll out kicked the nose up causing a minor tail strike. The tail tie-down hook took most of the force but it did still cause a little damage to the fiberglass fairing and popped a rivet loose. My initial thought is to do a little fiberglass work to repair the fairing and install a new rivet as a temporary fix. There doesn't appear to be any internal structural damage, just limited to the skin and fairing. Maybe when I have a few weeks of time I don't want to be in the air later this year I can reskin and paint the rudder as the proper permanent solution. Thoughts?

BTW, I think I learned why people don't often take the -A on backcountry strips!
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Cole Melby

N642RV at KCXP
1992 RV-6A, O-320 150hp
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Exemption waived, 2021 donation made
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2021, 03:47 PM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
 
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Cole
I suggest you give Vans a call, show them the pictures & see what they think. The lower rib/skin cut out/trailing edge/tail lamp mount on your rudder is a bit different from most RV rudders (& plans), they could advise what best course of action you could take.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2021, 07:35 PM
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bjdecker bjdecker is offline
 
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"That'll buff right out..."

Seriously, remove the rudder and inspect the rear spar of the vertical stabilizer, the forward spar attach to horizontal stab front spar attachment, and the horizontal stab front spar to fuselage attach points.
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2021, 07:59 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
 
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Sorry to hear about that!

Thoughts? :-

Check the bearings and hinge points as they would've taken some side force.
Check with Vans on how to deal with the tear in the skin and whether it is still safe to fly.

It may be easier to just build a new rudder rather than try to drill out the rivets and match drill the thin stiffeners and the spar to a new skin.
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2021, 09:52 PM
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M5fly M5fly is offline
 
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Thanks for the tips so far. I've sent an email to Van's as well so we'll see what they say. I also had the thought that building an entirely new rudder might be easier than trying to re-skin the existing one. Maybe it's a chance to see how much I enjoy building?
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2021, 08:56 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
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I keep my tail tie-down ring in place for fear of tail strikes. While I haven't hit the tail in operation, I have tipped on the tail while loading. The ring saved me from a damaged rudder.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2021, 09:57 AM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjdecker View Post
Seriously, remove the rudder and inspect the rear spar of the vertical stabilizer, the forward spar attach to horizontal stab front spar attachment, and the horizontal stab front spar to fuselage attach points.
ditto for this comment
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2021, 09:58 AM
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M5fly M5fly is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingsOnWheels View Post
I keep my tail tie-down ring in place for fear of tail strikes. While I haven't hit the tail in operation, I have tipped on the tail while loading. The ring saved me from a damaged rudder.
I may replace my current tie-down ring with a slightly longer one that would hopefully prevent this in the future. It definitely was a rudder saver in this case.
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1992 RV-6A, O-320 150hp
Bought flying, 1/2021

Exemption waived, 2021 donation made
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2021, 11:14 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M5fly View Post
I may replace my current tie-down ring with a slightly longer one that would hopefully prevent this in the future. It definitely was a rudder saver in this case.
The 6 tiedown ring is welded on to a relatively thin piece of SS and bolted to an even thinner piece of aluminum. A longer arm on this ring could create enough leverage to bend it if you happen to drag it. Might be easier to repair the F/G fairing than a bent bulkhead.

Food for thought.

Larry
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2021, 12:24 PM
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M5fly M5fly is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lr172 View Post
The 6 tiedown ring is welded on to a relatively thin piece of SS and bolted to an even thinner piece of aluminum. A longer arm on this ring could create enough leverage to bend it if you happen to drag it. Might be easier to repair the F/G fairing than a bent bulkhead.

Food for thought.

Larry
That's a good point. I heard back from Van's and they said the fiberglass repair should be straightforward and not add sufficient weight to cause an issue. They did, however suggest that I replace the skin sooner rather than later to prevent the risk of flutter at the trailing edge no matter how good my repair may be.

So... anyone have a rudder they're willing to part with that accommodates the light on the bottom fairing? Otherwise I'll likely build a new one.
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Bought flying, 1/2021

Exemption waived, 2021 donation made
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