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Bits and Pieces

RV-9A Rebuild Update

By Ian Brown, Editor - Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

While waiting for the major parts purchase from Van's Aircraft to arrive, it was important to focus on reducing the likelihood of the same accident happening again. You remember the sequence of events: long landing on grass braking, nose wheelpant breaking away at the same time the nose wheel dug in, and 40 yards later a prop strike and immediate flip-over.

In analyzing likely causes, it's clear that the wheel bearings were tight on inspection, despite having been serviced at the last annual inspection. Looking at the tire, there was a nick in the sidewall consistent with contact with the fairing, which may have limited rotation of the nose wheel, too. With the combination of the tight wheel and nose gear wrapping around the wheel, it seems that a prudent solution would be to make sure that the wheel bearings cannot be overtightened and that the nose gear is reinforced.

To resolve the above problems, the Anti-Splat nose gear brace and the wheel bearing modification and wheel balancing service, which involves mounting the tire, shaving it to exactly concentric, and adding weights, were ordered. This last item may be overkill since the tire will never experience highway speeds; but the cost is quite low, and it does look like it can reduce some nose wheel bouncing during high-speed taxiing, takeoff, and landing.

Repaired cowl mounted to firewall

The repaired cowl just needs some adjustment of the right upper-to-lower hinge, which was always tight, and then refinishing prior to repainting. With significant epoxy and fibreglass reinforcement, it's likely that the cowling is stronger than the original.

The replacement parts, including engine mount, nose gear, canopy, and skins, will arrive soon, so next month's update will include a progress report on adding those components.


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