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Old 07-21-2021, 02:39 PM
kaa kaa is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 137
Default Crack in a flap rib

Hi All,

I was doing a condition inspection on my RV-7 and found that the second-most inboard rib has a crack in it (see photos). There was a corresponding crack in the skin that was previously repaired (I think somebody had stepped on the flap), but I guess they didn't notice the rib crack. Would you have any suggestions on repairing this? I can't really get to it without removing the flap cap, other than maybe to stop-drill it. Any suggestions on what to do? I asked Vans support, but if anyone has suggestions in the meantime, I'd appreciate them.

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Konstantin Azarov
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:08 AM
664781 664781 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Powder Springs, Ga
Posts: 333
Default Repair

Looks like you have 3 options.
Stop drill and come up with an inspection program ie: every 10 hours then 20 then 50 etc., if no further cracking.
Stop drill and install an angle doubler.
Replace rib.
Kurt Lohmueller A&P, DAR
Powder Springs, Ga
RV6A "Kurt's Toy" - Flying
RV12 - Flying - Sold
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:41 AM
kaa kaa is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 137

Yeah. I'm trying to decide between 1 and 3. Unfortunately I have to remove the flap spar to get access to that area, and at that point it'd be easier to just replace the rib.
Konstantin Azarov
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Old 07-22-2021, 11:26 AM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 668

A buddy of mine mangled a flap on his RV6 and Vans sold him a new assembled flap. I want to say it was around $400 but it's been a while so I might be wrong on the exact amount, I remember it was very reasonable.
Terry Shortt
AGI, CFI, CFII, MEI, A&P, Janitor
RV7 Empennage & Wing done
Fuselage in process
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:16 PM
PilotjohnS PilotjohnS is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Southwest
Posts: 1,723
Default Rivets

Those rivets arenít the greatest either. Just saying. But I feel like I am throwing stones in a glass house because I probably have a few too.
I mention this now because it may be a data point in making your decision.
John S

WARNING! Information presented in this post is my opinion. All users of info have sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for their use.

Dues paid 2021, worth every penny

RV9A- Status:
95% done, 15% left to go
Electrical/Panel 95% done
Firewall Forward 5% in work
Fiberglass 0%, thought i was building in metal?
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:06 PM
nzrv8's Avatar
nzrv8 nzrv8 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Australia and NZ
Posts: 209

You could build a new flap in a couple of days for not much $$, or Vanís does sell assembled flaps as previously mentioned.
Paid up - Sep 2021
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:18 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 713
Default New flap suggestion

The original repair with the pop rivet going through the cracked area of the flap skin doesn't look too great in the photo. Also some of the rivets along the leading edge appear to be loosened and/or moving.
Any repair to the rib will mean opening up the flap and repainting it afterwards, so depending on the standard of the rest of the aircraft, it may make most sense to replace the entire flap, as others have suggested.
Paul vS (yes I'm also a Van)
Building RV-6A #22320 O-320 FP. Wings and tail complete, working on fuselage
Flying my Aeroprakt A-22 STOL and the aero club's RV-9A while I build
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Old 07-23-2021, 12:34 AM
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Janekom Janekom is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 877

I would build a new flap. I think we under estimate the loading on flaps when you deploy them. Rather safe than sorry
Jan Hanekom
South Africa
Approved Person nr 325
RV10 - ZU-XOX - (Flying)
RV7A - ZU-JRV - (Flying)
RV10 - ZU-JVR - (Written off)
RV7 - ZU-LOL - (Flying)
RV10 - ZU-RVI - (Flying)
RV7A - ZU-MER (Bought back)
RV7A - ZU-JAD (Sold Flying)
Dues paid for 2021 WITH A SMILE
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:37 AM
Southern Pete Southern Pete is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: England
Posts: 122

Yeah - build a new flap might be the easiest option.
Monitor every 10 hours until flap is ready?

Last edited by Southern Pete : 07-23-2021 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:12 AM
kaa kaa is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 137

Thanks everyone, appreciate the suggestions!

I got a response from the factory and they said stop drilling and monitoring it is fine. I'll probably do that and assemble a new flap some time later.

I'm pretty sure this crack has been there for years (it looks like someone stepped on the flap maybe), but I do want to get rid of the pop rivet repair.
Konstantin Azarov
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