Welcome! Becoming a registered user of ShortWingPipers.Org is free and easy! Click the "Register" link found in the upper right hand corner of this screen. It's easy and you can then join the fun posting and learning about Short Wing Pipers!

Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: open style lift strut inspection ?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    53
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default open style lift strut inspection ?

    I have read the procedure of using graph paper and a spring punch on the ends of the struts to check for thin spots. I guess it must get the job done-- but it doesnt fill me with an overabundance of confidence. (my understanding is that this is the only approved test method---per the recurring AD )


    Are there other options which can also be done -- maybe as a "first pass" before the punch test ?
    Would a long borescope or camera-scope do any good on the inside to look for scale or pitting ?
    Dye-penetrant would be easy enough to find cracks. Is there any reasonable way to clean the insides and then do something like ultrasonic ? (this would be outside the AD of coarse--- and done before the punch test-
    just for some redundancy and to make me feel better about the quality of this highly stressed part)

    I also like the idea of just going to new sealed ones with the improved forks---

    Tim

  2. #2
    walt.buskey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Etna, NH
    Posts
    1,005
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: open style lift strut inspection ?

    When I was faced with this situation -- my first wing strut AD compliance in August of 2013-- I thought long & hard about it. I learned that, these days, what's usually done is to have an ultrasound test, which, as I understand it, can determine actual thickness of the metal in the struts, a more accurate method of testing.

    The problem, however, was getting somebody to do the ultrasound testing.

    There are folks who have this equipment mounted in a truck and can travel to locations, but I found that's quite expensive, certainly well outside my budget at the time. I had contacted one such individual, and he agreed that he could test my struts --without travel time-- if I removed them and brought them to an airport where he was going to be testing on some other aircraft.

    New problem: all struts would have to be removed, wings either removed completely or supported adequately, and the struts then transported about 180 miles. Any that failed, of course, would then need to be replaced. I'd also most likely need to rent a truck.

    I was on a tight budget at the time, but I decided the best solution in the long run was to just replace all four struts with new sealed units. I got mine from AK Airframes, from whom I could order them powder-coated white, which saved the expense of having them painted after receiving them. It was my first big expense, about $3400 for all four, with new, larger ss strut forks included. No more AD, and I'm sure re-sale value down the road will be improved.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Frederick MD
    Posts
    1,463
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: open style lift strut inspection ?

    The AD has an alternative ultrasonic test. The struts need to be removed and brought to a Repair Station that has Ultrasonic NDT in their Op Specs, and tested by them. The Appendix to AD 2015-08-04 gives the procedure for ultrasonic inspection.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    akflyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    212
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: open style lift strut inspection ?

    You don't need a truck to haul UT equipment. A full on flaw detector and not just a D meter can be found in a package about the size of you cell phone. Things have come a long way since I first started lugging around a UT scope..

    Do they not Xray the struts anymore?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Frederick MD
    Posts
    1,463
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default open style lift strut inspection ?

    Quote Originally Posted by akflyer View Post
    You don't need a truck to haul UT equipment. A full on flaw detector and not just a D meter can be found in a package about the size of you cell phone. Things have come a long way since I first started lugging around a UT scope..

    Do they not Xray the struts anymore?
    I believe the Taylorcraft strut AD allows x-ray, but the Piper AD is Ultrasonic or punch test. I suppose you could request an AMOC for x-ray.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by dgapilot; 11-20-2021 at 01:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Fennville, MI
    Posts
    936
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: open style lift strut inspection ?

    Hi,

    I'm still punching mine too, but I oil them every other year while they're off. For a few years I was able to split the costs of the NDT guy coming out with the local Pawnees, but they fly Ag Trucks now. Knowing what I know now, I should have replaced the struts 40 years ago.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    53
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: open style lift strut inspection ?

    I will make some calls or some googleing and see how much the ultrasound test runs-----
    my plane is apart so no problem with that aspect---

  8. #8
    walt.buskey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Etna, NH
    Posts
    1,005
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: open style lift strut inspection ?

    No guarantees that they're still good (they'd need to be tested), but if anyone wants my old struts they can be had for free. After replacing mine I stored them in a corner in my garage...

    DSC08140.jpg

  9. #9
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Graham, Texas, United States
    Posts
    13,937
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: open style lift strut inspection ?

    I have not had the struts ultra sonic tested but the last time I had magnetic particle done on the forks it was $85 plus shipping.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •