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Thread: Safety cables

  1. #1

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    Safety cables

    I’m curious to hear of situations where landing gear safety cables have saved the day.
    What part of the gear system failed leading to their “deployment”, and circumstances/forces at play that caused gear failure.
    Not a critic, just wondering.
    Doug
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  2. #2
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    If you're ever in Anchorage, go to F. Atlee Dodge's and look at the "I was there" photos.

    Jim

  3. #3
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    upper cables= when cabane attach ears rip off fuselage, common... at edge of weld of washer. sometimes when cabane breaks... but no help in a compression failure

    lower cables= when shock or shock strut fail.... once again no help in a compression failure or if you buckle a gear leg

    well worth installing

  4. #4
    jrussl's Avatar
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    Thank you F. Atlee Dodge!
    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showthread.php?t=54024


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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrussl View Post
    Thank you F. Atlee Dodge!
    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showthread.php?t=54024


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
    thanks jrussl,

    Read your description of bolt failure. Both holes, cabane and fuse. mount, were still drilled to accept 1/4" bolt, or different hole sizes?

    hydrosorbs?
    Hard landing?
    how heavy were you?

    EDIT: please disregard, just looked up original post and following description.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Oliver; 10-15-2018 at 12:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    There was a USDA Super Cub west of here that had been a border patrol plane. Had 10K plus hours and broke the hydrosorb fitting and trashed the fuselage and wing. After seeing those pictures I inspected my hydrosorbs real well and decided even though my gear and lower shock struts are new my hydrosorbs probably have almost 13K hours like the rest of the airplane so I installed the cables. I figure it is worth the 3 lb. weight gain.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  7. #7
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    There was a USDA Super Cub west of here that had been a border patrol plane. Had 10K plus hours and broke the hydrosorb fitting and trashed the fuselage and wing. After seeing those pictures I inspected my hydrosorbs real well and decided even though my gear and lower shock struts are new my hydrosorbs probably have almost 13K hours like the rest of the airplane so I installed the cables. I figure it is worth the 3 lb. weight gain.
    the one odd save that the lower cables made, was when the hydrosorb end fitting thats just resting on the shock grew enough to slide over shock... think there was also a crack.... only seen it one time..

  8. #8
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Drift but this is clever



    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    Looks like upper cables have earned their keep.
    Barring high time, poorly inspected or neglected hydrodorbs,
    any failures reported where lower cables saved the day?

  10. #10
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The lower cable is what saves your bacon if the hydrosorb breaks. There are pictures on this site of the lower strut failing.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  11. #11

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    I had a lower shock strut break on a hard landing. Only damage was to the gear leg and a light scratch on the wingtip. Flying again in 45 minutes. No safety cables. Strut was rusted almost all the way around a welded fairing added for speed, I guess.

    I also had all four shock cords break on a particularly interesting takeoff in San Simon (Ididn’t see the whirlwind). Not a big deal; bought some clothesline and kept on going. No safety cables.

    I will be a sad guy when the cabane vee breaks, I guess.

  12. #12
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Looks like upper cables have earned their keep.
    Barring high time, poorly inspected or neglected hydrodorbs,
    any failures reported where lower cables saved the day?
    many... see my one post above.... and many broken hydrosorbs at the threaded part of rod

  13. #13
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I had a lower shock strut break on a hard landing. Only damage was to the gear leg and a light scratch on the wingtip. Flying again in 45 minutes. No safety cables. Strut was rusted almost all the way around a welded fairing added for speed, I guess.

    I also had all four shock cords break on a particularly interesting takeoff in San Simon (Ididn’t see the whirlwind). Not a big deal; bought some clothesline and kept on going. No safety cables.

    I will be a sad guy when the cabane vee breaks, I guess.
    What were you flying and what length prop

  14. #14
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Glenn,
    Back in the old days in Alaska we always had one of those
    reverseable gear legs duck taped to the wing strut on the
    Left wing. Needed it more than once if you follow my drift?
    Nowadays most guys have never seen one!
    E
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  15. #15
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    You probably do not need safety cables if you have new landing gear. However, if your landing gear is 60 years old you definitely need safety cables. But a better investment would be to buy new landing gear. All of the failures that safety cables have saved have been old rusted out landing gear.


    Bill
    Very Blessed.
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  16. #16
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I bet there are cases where the limits of the landing gear system was exceeded and the safety cables saved the day.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Drift but this is clever



    Glenn
    Atlee Dodge still makes it.
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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  18. #18
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Safety cables are just another form of insurance. But unlike hull coverage, you don’t have to pay again every year.

    Cheap insurance policy.

    MTV
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  19. #19

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    New plane. I upgraded the gear with Airframes HD gear because it was stronger than the kit gear and gear is an important component. State of the art suspension. Big heavy tires. Both allow (encourage) dropping the plane in. It’s not traditional technique. I choose safety cables. It took two tries to get them right so I paid twice. No tears.

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  20. #20
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Rusk View Post
    You probably do not need safety cables if you have new landing gear. However, if your landing gear is 60 years old you definitely need safety cables. But a better investment would be to buy new landing gear. All of the failures that safety cables have saved have been old rusted out landing gear.


    Bill
    That’s so far from the truth. Foolish!


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  21. #21
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Absolutely wrong Mike. Find me one case where new gear failed without being ripped off in a crash. The safety cables came about because gear was failing on an airplane that was 60 years old and had been tied down outside in Alaska the entire time.

    Foolish, is having 65 or 70-year old landing gear on an airplane.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  22. #22

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    Did you look at Jeff's pictures? That's the common failure. That or torn cabane attach ears. Neither has anything to do with old gear.
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  23. #23
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Here is a video of a landing where my gear tab broke and the obvious terrabatics that could have happened absent safety cables.



    Photo of the actual damage.

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    And the real culprit that probably weakened the failure points was landing in this place a few days before the failure.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jerry
    Last edited by cubflier; 10-19-2018 at 12:35 PM.
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!
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  24. #24

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    Nice save.
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  25. #25

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    That was pretty damn exciting. Hell of a LZ
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  26. #26
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Rusk View Post
    Absolutely wrong Mike. Find me one case
    Bill
    have repaired MANY! but believe what you wish..

    the GEAR is not the only thing the safety cable can help to protect... modern or not the shock strus are full of water and rusting internally... the cabane ears rip off fuselage with regularity, the hydrosorb shaft breaks at the threads, the other end slides down end of hydrosorb (expands and slips over the hydrosorb).... so many ways safety cables have saved the plane... only thing they can't SAVE is in a compression failure....

  27. #27
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Rusk View Post
    Absolutely wrong Mike. Find me one case where new gear failed without being ripped off in a crash. The safety cables came about because gear was failing on an airplane that was 60 years old and had been tied down outside in Alaska the entire time.

    Foolish, is having 65 or 70-year old landing gear on an airplane.

    Bill
    No offense Bill, but you’re wrong. When Atlee developed those cables, there were no “60 year old” Super Cub landing gears. I know of gear that broke on pretty new cubs. And yes, they were abused, but that’s the nature of off airport flying. Sometimes things get broke because of something you failed to see, or misjudged.

    But the point of safety cables is to limit that kind of event to relatively minor damage, as opposed to wing, fuselage, etc damage. Mine wasn’t new gear.....it was three years old. And, yes the plane lived outside. In Fairbanks, a very dry climate.
    MTV
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  28. #28
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    If the gear gets wiped off or a gear leg breaks it will swing up and or aft. I dont see how safety cables can help with broken gear. But broken cabane, hydrasorb, shock strut, cabane tab - yes. And yes I have the cables on my 12 (18 gear).
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)
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  29. #29
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    If the gear gets wiped off or a gear leg breaks it will swing up and or aft. I dont see how safety cables can help with broken gear. But broken cabane, hydrasorb, shock strut, cabane tab - yes. And yes I have the cables on my 12 (18 gear).
    Having broken and bent a quite a few over the years guiding mostly with airplanes that were not mine. Pre Atlee's cables it was always a wingtip or prop tip or both.
    With cables it was certainly a "cub saver"
    However if everything else holds and you bend or crack the welds on the axle your still in trouble....... Skis are the worst as big
    wide skis have tremendous leverage in wet sticky snow! More than one set of axles have been bent from a new ski pilot trying to turn his plane by simply lifting the tail and start pushing the tail around only to find the skis hadnt moved! Cables are the only way to go, and when your "Pioneering"
    new spots the reverseable gear leg was a must. Since we were the guys making those tracks; that everone else were looking for. Finding out where you can and where you cant can be a very expensive venture! If it looked really tuff n nasty we used to wait till the wind was just right, and try it with a wood prop on in case it all went
    south......... Sometimes it did. We used to have a spare prop in the back that we had safety cabled in , so when the wood prop flew into toothpicks, you didnt have to risk another airplane to rescue you. We used to do some unusual stuff for a monster moose or huge ram............. When the ground guides saw you loading a spare prop and wearing a helmet they knew when
    you got back they were going in to a BAD spot!

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  30. #30
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Okay. You guys have way more experience than I do.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  31. #31
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Rusk View Post
    You probably do not need safety cables if you have new landing gear. However, if your landing gear is 60 years old you definitely need safety cables. But a better investment would be to buy new landing gear. All of the failures that safety cables have saved have been old rusted out landing gear.


    Bill
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve's brothers J-3 was in and speedy was modifying the exhaust, and i was standing around not looking at anything in particular, and the sharp edge of the fitting caught my eye, and i looked closer. He was pretty close to a really bad day.

    I understand where bill is coming from, new fuselage, and new gear, you're probably OK. Until you're not, and you don't know where that line is until you break something. Same goes with 8.50's are fine until its not, that hole you didn't see, ditch, etc. I'll take the weight penalty of cables. Especially if your going on skis.


    Tom
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  32. #32
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Glenn,
    Here is a pic of our Cub with one of Atlees reverseable gear legs taped onto the left strut. We never flew without
    one. And flying without cables would have been like flying without fuel.........Click image for larger version. 

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    Probably around 1980ish. And as far as new gear is consirned, I tore off a side of brand new HD gear the first day I used it one time, landing in crazy nasty stuff where
    as the weight transitions from wing to gear.
    You hit one that is just toooo big to go over
    and just Stops you instantly. BANG you got issues.The cables saved the prop but I sure as hell needed Atlees gear leg. It was not uncommon for us to use 2/3 of them every season. However I had SeaAirmotive paying for all of this stuff back then.
    Last edited by TurboBeaver; 10-26-2018 at 12:17 AM.
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  33. #33
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Rusk View Post
    Okay. You guys have way more experience than I do.

    Bill
    Bill,

    Not necessarily. Maybe just a little dumber.....

    MTV
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  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    That’s so far from the truth. Foolish!

    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    On my new at the time exp cub....new gear in all aspects, had hydro sorb strut end break off while ski flying...safety cables saved the day...new parts break too...think I had 50 hours at the time... Ron...
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  35. #35
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    OK folks. Obviously I was/am wrong. Mike (MCS) I apologize.

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Rusk; 10-26-2018 at 01:40 PM.
    Very Blessed.
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  36. #36
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    He will feel better if you send him $20!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Rusk View Post
    OK folks. Obviously I was/am wrong. Mike (MCS) I apologize.

    Bill
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  37. #37

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    I still think you guys are going to end up with a length of Kevlar line tied from one end to the other. Cheaper, lighter, stronger. Turns out I didn't even think of it. ( I thought I did)
    My friend just asked me what I thought of it, he reminded me I said, "why not?".
    Stretch? Go up a couple of diameters.
    Sharp points? tie it around the forward upper gear leg and use a metal thimble through the gussets on the bottom gear. Skip the center cabane.
    Bigger rope making drag? tape it behind the metal. It'll pull loose if you need it.
    I'd set it up just a bit short of your hydrosorb (or whatever) travel.. that way it would help on that last 1/2" and maybe you wouldn't even break anything.
    UV deterioration? It costs about $2.00 for that much Amsteel and simple knots would work just fine. Make new ones as often as you feel necessary.
    This is the same stuff that the helo people use for lifting and the fishing people use for towing.. what they used to use steel cable for..
    Not that big a deal but kind of funny for people using rocket nuts etc. for lightness and turn around and accept #8 because "its the way it's done and you're foolish if you don't do it this way"
    Along the same lines,... why would you not use a loop of the same material for a tie-down around your spar? I thought Atlee was a true great and felt honored when he was nice to me... I think he would have used some of this stuff if it had come available during his tenure.
    So much for staying off the posting thing...
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  38. #38

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    I haven't had good luck with synthetic lines and shock loads. In steady pull they work great. Using a thimble and splice the ends are fairly tough. Tie a knot and the line will break there every time. For me, anyway.
    Last edited by stewartb; 10-27-2018 at 05:21 AM.
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  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by 46 Cub View Post
    I still think you guys are going to end up with a length of Kevlar line tied from one end to the other. Cheaper, lighter, stronger. Turns out I didn't even think of it. ( I thought I did)
    My friend just asked me what I thought of it, he reminded me I said, "why not?".
    Stretch? Go up a couple of diameters.
    Sharp points? tie it around the forward upper gear leg and use a metal thimble through the gussets on the bottom gear. Skip the center cabane.
    Bigger rope making drag? tape it behind the metal. It'll pull loose if you need it.
    I'd set it up just a bit short of your hydrosorb (or whatever) travel.. that way it would help on that last 1/2" and maybe you wouldn't even break anything.
    UV deterioration? It costs about $2.00 for that much Amsteel and simple knots would work just fine. Make new ones as often as you feel necessary.
    This is the same stuff that the helo people use for lifting and the fishing people use for towing.. what they used to use steel cable for..
    Not that big a deal but kind of funny for people using rocket nuts etc. for lightness and turn around and accept #8 because "its the way it's done and you're foolish if you don't do it this way"
    Along the same lines,... why would you not use a loop of the same material for a tie-down around your spar? I thought Atlee was a true great and felt honored when he was nice to me... I think he would have used some of this stuff if it had come available during his tenure.
    So much for staying off the posting thing...
    My gut tells me steel cable for this application is the way to go.
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  40. #40

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    I hadn't thought of shock-load.. and my gut makes me hang hoists, etc. with chain.
    Now you have me wanting to do a test.. (if I ever get time) I think I'll take some 1/8" cable and some 1/8" amsteel (or whatever brand), hook them together, and give them a run with my truck. I don't think I'd dare try actual size unless I owned a dump truck to pull and a dozer for a tiedown...
    This is all just to explore an idea... I'm years from reassembling my own cub, and I certainly wouldn't install a piece of rope on someone else's cub..
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