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Bad Landing, Failed Landing Gear, Missed Inspection?

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Posted

Well, I was ham-fisted enough on a landing in Oklahoma to fail a weld on the gear. The landing was not one of my best shots, but also not a whopper. I was surprised when the gear folded outward during the roll out about a second after touchdown. My Avid is a tough little bird, so the wing is straight and true (but the tip is scraped) and the fuselage is straight, especially the seat frame and side members that attach the gear. Prop hit the turf and split, as you can see. Just as a safety check, I am sending the engine in for overhaul, and debating now whether to reweld the gear or go to a Grove set.

But please Avid folks note the weld on the gear cross member. That looks like a cold weld (factory fitting I am told) and the paint in the weldment says I didn't inspect hard enough on my annual or I might have seen it. It might be good to strip and inspect that area, and maybe even put a gusset in that corner so the weld isn't under tension.

Nickweld.thumb.jpg.8ac2d4c781c435977a429b781splat.thumb.jpg.abc1eac46cf7c03986c0e201

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Posted

Ouch, that's a bummer.  Sorry for you.  Grove gear is supposed to be real nice, but does add a bit of weight.  $ also.  Tuff choices.  JImChuk

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Posted (edited)

Lucky You!  At least you aren't hurt and the bird isn't hurt too bad.  We had a 3-legged dog named "Lucky" - he lost the other leg under a riding lawnmower!    EDMO

Edited by EDMO

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Posted

Was this bird typically stored outside?

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Posted (edited)

First, I'm glad you're okay and the plane is mostly unhurt as well.

Second, Grove is expensive, admitted, but IMO is worth it.    Very strong and less money than the "bush" gear options*.

 

 

 

 

*Bush gear would need to include the "Monster" shocks in order to be considered, again IMO.

Edited by Av8r3400

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Posted

The deal killer for me on the Grove gear was the three month wait to get them so I had my current tall gear built and have not regretted it for a moment.  Sorry to hear about the accident I can relate. 

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Posted

Yep... we can all relate (or those that will)

;)

I just dont have pics of my 2 "relates" when I was off in the turf between the taxi lights like that!

One was in a Lake Amphibian (free castoring nosewheel, steer w/brakes)  when one brake lost it's prime upon landing.  Tower controller was amused when I asked if I was "clear enough of her runway" to do a quick dukes of hazard style brake bleeding job!  LOL

:BC:

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Posted

ouch, that's the first one I have seen fail right there.  Yep you can see plain as day there is no penetration and was a crappy weld.  Glad your OK and the bird is not bent up badly!

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Posted

legacy airplanes like Piper J series and Aeronca etc had most all the steel parts gas welded and then normalized to stress relieve and then a weld  inspector inspected  the welds.

I have always been leery of MIG welding that a lot of companies use. I know they ues it because it is fast, and quicker building = more profit

But do they stress relieve Steel 4130N ( is steel tubing that is in a normalized condition, meaning not heat treated. When finished welding it still have higher strength than 1020 mild steel so no need to head treat it. SOme parts were heat treated like the wing tubular spar on a Beech 18 series or like the main gear legs on a Helio Courier.

From the looks of the photo, it was a very poor weld that let you down. I  would encourage everyone of that vintage airplane with that type of  gear to get down there and clean away the paint and look at it real close with a 10X glass.  If you see anything that looks like a crack or rust stains in a thin line, then I would use dye penetrant and see if it is cracked.

The area is highly stressed because the axle it trying to break away vertical and aft. Also low points in a gear leg or any other part of the plane collect moisture.

I know on PA-18 series the lower fuselage carry thru tube for the lift strut  attach and rear gear leg fitting is a lot heavier wall thickness, and I figured it was for 2 reasons.

Higher stresses in that area, and they want that part to rust out LAST!!!! Just my opinion. I worked on lots of steel tube planes in Alaska since 1964 to 2014 and left, the state tired of the cold, dark.....I miss some of the flying 

Mark SMith    retired, ASMEL, SES, Instrument, A&P/IA since 1970

 

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Posted

On all 3 wrecked Kitfoxes I have had - most of the tubes broke at the weld or about 1/4 to 1/2" from the weld.  My welder says the welds were not annealed after welding with MIG.   EDMO

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Posted

I sure you could clean the failed area and reweld the gear leg, then apply a flat 4130 patch 1"-to 1-1/2" wide, .062" thick over the welded area from one side, around the bottom, up the other side. gas or TIG Weld it and when finished, stress relieve the weld. 

 

Then check the axles for alignment.

put the wheels on, measure from one tire center other tire center. Write that number down, say 60", divide by 2=30"

Now go to  the back of the plane and measure out from center of stablizer under the fin 30", mark a spot with a marker. 

Now  take a flourscent mason string and wrap around  the tail and tap it so it lies on that mark at the 30" point.

Pull the line fwd. and just hold it above the center of the tire , where you made that first measurement, and just look down. IF that wheel is toed in or out you will see it right now...

Simple and it works..  A little toe out say  1 degree OK but no more and NO toe in.....Parallel is  best....

 

I went to the oral surgeon today and my face hurts and Im on pain meds so I hope this all makes sense. YOu can call me if you have questions of email  me even if you think I am full of it......I called Murele Williams in Phoenix and he didnt hesitate and said buy Grove gear and install when I asked about a wider maybe a little taller but mainly more stable main landing gear....Mark Smith   907-378-9632   exfaa@outlook.com

Yup I was FAA inspector for a while.. I felt like a whore going to church every time I went thru the door to work and after 10 yrs my BP was so high even in meds I knew I would die behind the computer so I quit as  soon as I could . The FAA  Division managers tell me the FAA doesnt care about GA, that it  is dying and  they mainly want to concentrate on 121 Airlines and the big repair stations...145s and in Alaska on the 135 operators that crash a lot..... But get this....They let the 135s fly VFR at night when really those young guys are flying IFR on at real low altitudes and the FAA allows 4 or more airplanes in the surface class E airspace when the wx if below VFR minimums, and they tell them to maintain visual seperation!!!! What a joke.. They do this so the little planes can get in to drop PAX for the Alaska Jet. This is done at Kotzebue, Nome and Barrow.... and they wonder why the planes with passengerts fly into the ground once in a while!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

OK enough. At least they leave Exp airplanes alone pretty much....

 

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Posted (edited)

I went to AMT school at Anchorage for 3 years with one of the ME FAA STC approval guys - They were so busy approving mods for Atlee Dodge that they didn't want to look at anything else.   Worked for Dominion propeller and Wild West Guns and when I left WWG was doing CNC machine work knocking out lots of Aviation parts - probably for Dodge?  EDMO

Edited by EDMO

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Posted

Ive found cracked axles on PA-18s  inAlaska and cracked gear attach fittings where they tightened the bolts to o much and bent the fitting and cracked it. One was broke clean off the fuselage and only the back 1/2of the fitting was holding on. It was on a guides plane at Prudhoe Bay Airport during hunting season and hethrew a fit when I tagged this plane. He screamed and yelled at me and said how am I supposed to that fixed up here??????  His mechanic in Fairbanks called me up and said how  can we take care of this.. I said find a welder in Prudhoe who can weld it back on, and send you a photo and if you say its ok, write it in his airframe log and I will sign off on the tag as good to go so that is what we did. It worked fine...other inspectors sneered at me but I would just say we are not supposed to be cops we are safety advocates that is all nothing more nothing less...It was  a nice tricked out cub... with all the mods.... Would  have been a shame to have thegear fail with some of those horrible loads thoses buys put in themmmm, they overload  the hell out of theml andthen  tie horns and hind quarters on the lift stuts after they stuff the inside full....

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Posted

Ive found cracked axles on PA-18s  inAlaska and cracked gear attach fittings where they tightened the bolts to o much and bent the fitting and cracked it. One was broke clean off the fuselage and only the back 1/2of the fitting was holding on. It was on a guides plane at Prudhoe Bay Airport during hunting season and hethrew a fit when I tagged this plane. He screamed and yelled at me and said how am I supposed to that fixed up here??????  His mechanic in Fairbanks called me up and said how  can we take care of this.. I said find a welder in Prudhoe who can weld it back on, and send you a photo and if you say its ok, write it in his airframe log and I will sign off on the tag as good to go so that is what we did. It worked fine...other inspectors sneered at me but I would just say we are not supposed to be cops we are safety advocates that is all nothing more nothing less...It was  a nice tricked out cub... with all the mods.... Would  have been a shame to have thegear fail with some of those horrible loads thoses buys put in themmmm, they overload  the hell out of theml andthen  tie horns and hind quarters on the lift stuts after they stuff the inside full....

Not any worse than Alaska Fish & Game - They loaded the old confiscated Pipers until they were sway-backed.  EDMO

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Posted

Yes they did and the ACO in Anchorage got all over them because then may have induced loads into the frame it wasnt meant for....The ACO was worried that the fish and game might surplus them someday to the unsuspecting public.....I think the PA-18As could be flown at 2150 takeoff, but not landing, the idea being you get rid of the crop dusting chemicals....

Wipeair came out with a 2000# gw kit, 

they reinforced the rear spar and welded a tube between the top of the front and rear MLG tubes and also welded orbolted in a a small tube by the rear seat lower tube to the lower longeron I think, getting old but it was something to do with the door opening reducing the strength a little so a prevent was added....

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Posted

I would like to get a set of wheel penetration skis to put under my classic IV main in case the engine quits or I am forced to land in a farmers field with 2 feet of snow.... 

I just fly around  for fun by my self, not into any off airport stuff anymore, it always cost way too much $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

 

As a side note, the exwife has not seen my new plane and if I play my cards right and keep her entertained she feel sorry for pathetic me and make a small contribution to the


"Markie FUnd"!!!!!!!!!keeping my fingers crossed....

 

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Posted

I watched a Youtube Video of a guy landing a red kitfox and it swereved just a little one way then made a big sweeping groundloop with screeching tires and all but it didnt hurt it...the first thing the pilot did was look around to see  if anyone saw it!!! I laughed so hard my side hurt......

WHen you screw up the first run of order is:

1) did anyone see it?

2) can I blame it on someone else?

3) can I shit-can

4 problem solved!!!

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Posted

I watched a Youtube Video of a guy landing a red kitfox and it swereved just a little one way then made a big sweeping groundloop with screeching tires and all but it didnt hurt it...the first thing the pilot did was look around to see  if anyone saw it!!! I laughed so hard my side hurt......

WHen you screw up the first run of order is:

1) did anyone see it?

2) can I blame it on someone else?

3) can I shit-can

4 problem solved!!!

LOL!! 

You stole my after landing checklist !!

:lmao:

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Posted

Looks like Avid must have recognized the weak spot, note the gussets on my Mark 4.

20171124_154106.jpg

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