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Becoming a rejuvinated bird

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Posted

Hi Everyone,

My name is Patrick McKiernan. Im a young engineer located in Melbourne Florida. I started flying an Avid MKIV (EA81) around the age of 9 years old. My father owned one and we eventually converted it from a taildragger to a float plane. Hurricane Ivan came along and beat the ol girl up pretty bad in the Pensacola FL area. When I was in high school I ended up restoring the airplane, and then my father and I built an RV-7. My dad still has that old Avid and not too long ago we stumbled upon another MK IV with a 582 tricycle gear and speedwing. The plane had sat for a long time but everything had been gone through. I put almost 20 hours on her in about 6 weeks trailering her to the local airport. She flew great but definitely sinks like a brick compared to the Heavy Hauler wing. Long story short I had taken a friend of mine to breakfast about an hour away. Plane was running great. On our return home we flew another hour and went out over the beach to do some sight seeing before we headed home. At this time we were flying at 1200' agl and the engine all of a sudden stopped producing power.... It finally quit and I was able to get it restarted with the fuel pump and primer but it still wouldn't produce any power. At this time we were at about 500' agl and decided that the road was our best option to avoid people on the beach. I shot a gap in the traffic but then the power lines started to fill the windshield. At this time we made an aggressive manuever to dive under the wires and try to flare before we hit. We had quite an aggressive sink rate, but we hit with a positive attitude. We blew the tires and bungees making it a very graceful landing and skidded for about 400'. No one was hurt, no cars were damaged, and the airplane was in pretty good shape besides the totaled gear (which I had been planning on converting to a taildragger anyway). Long story short there was enough damage to the bottom fabric that I decided to recover. Currently I have the whole fuselage completely stripped. Im about to weld some gussets in for the carry thru tubes on the rear spar and where the bungies wrap for the main gear. I will be sending the engine out to Rotax Rick in the next week or two for a diagnosis and overhaul. I am still looking for a tail leaf spring for a maule tailwheel and I will need a new Prop. Basically the old girl will be brand new when she is done. Wing fabric was in good shape but I may give her a single coat to match.

 

Thanks for the add, Looking forward to seeing what everyone is up to.

 

Patrick McKiernan

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Posted

Wow that is quite the intro. Glad you were not hurt and the plane is being saved. Ditch the Maule Tailwheel and go with a Matco. Mark at Avid Aircraft has several options of double Tailwheel springs that you can upgrade to. You can also get parts from Stace Shrader of Rocky Mountain Aircraft in Idaho.

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Posted

I'm staying down in Gulf Shores for a while this winter, but I see Melbourne is quite a ways away.  As far as a new tail spring, the Avid MK IV uses a 1 1/2" wide tailspring that is necked down to 1 1/4" where it meets the tailwheel.  Some Maule tailwheels are set up for 1 1/4" wide springs, and some are 1 1/2".  Matco tailwheel springs can use either width.  You wouldn't have to neck the spring down to 1 1/4" if you have a tailwheel that will fit the 1 1/2" spring.  You can maybe find a spring shop to cut and bend you one locally, if you know the length and angel it needs to be bent at.  I've made up my own springs at times.  Not that hard to do if you have a press to cold bend the spring and a good drill press to drill the holes.  If you go with 2 or 3 leaves of springs, you will have to drill a second hole further back to go through the spring leaves and bottom plate in the plane the spring goes up against.  Originally, Avid only used one leaf spring, and the channel it sits in is deep enough to keep it from swinging sideways with only one bolt holding it on.  Not enough if you go with more leaves though, and that's why you will need the second bolt.  Maybe this picture will help if my words are hard to understand.  JImChuk

Photo0951.jpg

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Posted

Ahh....the McKiernan clan. :BC:   First of all...Hats off to your Dad. That is quite the Bio... I already feel out-gunned. 

Welcome… John O'Hearn

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Posted

Hello

do you have a clue on what happened to your 582?

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Posted

mack55, Wasau Spring can get you the tail spring custom made. I bought my springs from him and he was great.  wausau.spring@frontier.com     (715) 845-6335

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the board Pat.  Thanks for sharing about your most recent experience of the worst kind and glad you and pax were unscathed (but likely in a state of shock for awhile).

I went with the 2 leaf from Wausau and have been using a Maule 101 with the swivel in locked configuration and it's worked very very well for me.

In time, you'll figure out what caused the engine failure.  Please let us know for the benefit of others safety and well being. 

Edited by allonsye
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Posted

Hello

do you have a clue on what happened to your 582?

No not yet.... Engine heads to Rotax Rick next week. I will inform when he tears it down.

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Posted

Welcome to the board Pat.  Thanks for sharing about your most recent experience of the worst kind and glad you and pax were unscathed (but likely in a state of shock for awhile).

I went with the 2 leaf from Wausau and have been using a Maule 101 with the swivel in locked configuration and it's worked very very well for me.

In time, you'll figure out what caused the engine failure.  Please let us know for the benefit of others safety and well being. 

Thanks for the reply and def will!

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Posted

I'm staying down in Gulf Shores for a while this winter, but I see Melbourne is quite a ways away.  As far as a new tail spring, the Avid MK IV uses a 1 1/2" wide tailspring that is necked down to 1 1/4" where it meets the tailwheel.  Some Maule tailwheels are set up for 1 1/4" wide springs, and some are 1 1/2".  Matco tailwheel springs can use either width.  You wouldn't have to neck the spring down to 1 1/4" if you have a tailwheel that will fit the 1 1/2" spring.  You can maybe find a spring shop to cut and bend you one locally, if you know the length and angel it needs to be bent at.  I've made up my own springs at times.  Not that hard to do if you have a press to cold bend the spring and a good drill press to drill the holes.  If you go with 2 or 3 leaves of springs, you will have to drill a second hole further back to go through the spring leaves and bottom plate in the plane the spring goes up against.  Originally, Avid only used one leaf spring, and the channel it sits in is deep enough to keep it from swinging sideways with only one bolt holding it on.  Not enough if you go with more leaves though, and that's why you will need the second bolt.  Maybe this picture will help if my words are hard to understand.  JImChuk

Photo0951.jpg

JimChuck thanks for the pics. I will be in Pensacola next week for xmas.. Do I need to go to the double spring? My dad does have that on his but mainly for the extra weight of the EA81, heavy hauler wing, and wings are folded most of the time...

Thanks,

Pat

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Posted

I flew that tail spring in the picture for over 500 hrs, and lots of bad, bouncy landings.  I did break it last spring though.  If you get some that's only 1/4" thick, I would for sure go double.  This one was 5/16 or 3/8" thick.  JImChuk

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