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Thread: Tail AD

  1. #1

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    Tail AD

    My 180 is heading for annual. What’s the experience been doing the required inspection?


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  2. #2

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    We just finished the bore scope, tail cone off method. Didn't find anything but will likely pull the tail off later for a more through inspection.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 01-28-2021 at 07:01 AM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  3. #3
    JWE's Avatar
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    Neighbor bought a 185 last year not too far from its last annual. This year did the tail inspection and found cracks that had been painted over. Personally I wouldn't want the tail to fall off...

  4. #4
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The tail was off my 182A 3 years ago and was reinstalled with new jackscrews, bushing etc. It is nice and tight. I inspected it when I bought it without disassembly but will have to disassemble by next December because of the AD. I am hearing mixed feedback. Some have cracks and others don't. Curious to a trend of tail draggers over nose draggers and vice versa.
    Steve Pierce

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  5. #5

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    We are doing about one a month and have been for about two years. We are not finding much wrong as far as the SB/AD is concerned but do find a LOT of other stuff that needs attention. This is a VERY important inspection that needs doing if you haven't been in there in a while. Complete removal of the tail is the only way to really see what's in there. Some people seem to be uneasy about doing this but its really easy ,takes about 12 hrs. round trip and $150.00 in parts if all is well and if all is not well you REALLY needed to do it.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longsair View Post
    and $150.00 in parts if all is well and if all is not well you REALLY needed to do it.
    What is your parts list?

  7. #7

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    We generally change the nylon bearings that the stab hinges on. Then whatever else is needed if anything.

  8. #8

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    Just bought 185 with known movement in the horizontal so doing it first to get it out of the way. Went in yesterday, taking tail off, doing the Qmi kit and the jack screws at a while in there along with whatever else is found. Will report back hopefully sooner than later.

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  10. #10
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    missing a rivet in the second and last photo

    long post alert with lotsa gotchas from a longtime ‘wagon fixer

    Am not convinced this AD was unnecessary. However, I estimate that over 50 percent of the wagons out there have a sheared or loose rivet where yours is missing. They also often have cracked elevator spars and smoking counterbalance rivets, but have flown many many years before I get the plane.

    Usually the rivet head and tail are retained by the sheet metal and smoking is the red flag with that last hockey stick rivet. I always upsize that rivet when the tail feathers are off
    Why guys dont already check these areas??????? !!

    4 hours to remove and reinstall the fin/rudder and elevs and horizontal. Not a tedious task atall with a few ground down gear wrenches

    Additional time for actions like:

    jackscrews(yes, replace bearings, screws, sprockets, dust boots, and shafts)

    tailwheel spring (stinger is NOT the term. Cessna calls the tailcone a stinger) bushings and front mount corrosion between steel doubler and aluminum bulkhead

    worn out elev and rudder hinge bearings

    worn out rudder horn ends

    broken rudder stops

    anti chafe on hor stab fairing wipers

    new rubber metal edge trim, new tail beacon and nav lights, new tip fairings

    cracked elevator belcrank mount in front of the bulkhead

    tailwheel steering belcrank (in front of bulkhead) holes worn out

    Horizontal stab rear spar boxes cracked from the edge of the washer for the rear pivot mount T hardware
    etc.

    save up yer bucks and hire a guy who does it all properly. . ........the guy who already woulda had this stuff airworthy over the years

    imho
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  11. #11

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    Have done three in the last few months. Two had at least one of those aft rivets sheared, the other had been upsized in the past. Although, the third one had the horizontal stab spar “box” cracked as Dave described. I agree, removing the entire tail group isn’t a huge deal; pull it, inspect, reinstall in we’ll less than a day. But I’ve done it since before it was an AD, so ymmv. I personally don’t feel I can adequately inspect the specific areas called out in the AD with a borescope.
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  12. #12
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I have a question for those who've done several of these inspections & found cracked hockey sticks--
    are you finding more cracked on one side or the other of the airplane?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  13. #13
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Did my tail years ago. Taking off the tail sounds way more scary than it is, just a little time. (Note, if you try to do it outside on the ramp it might be a different scenario)

    The expense is that like all OLD planes, the more you look, the more to repair. The more you repair, the safer you are, and the less it will cost in the future.

    Bushwheel Bill's mod is a great solution.

    Dave, thank you for the extensive list. You should start a company: Skywagon Tail Tales
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  14. #14
    SJ's Avatar
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    Very helpful. Heading into annual soon and will want to do this inspection and will use the QMI fix if needed.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  15. #15
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    if needed.

    sj
    Another view, it WILL be needed in the future, and if things go bad they go really bad. Why not just spend your lovely bride's money and do it while you have it down??

    No, no idea of the cost, but prevention is often the best and least expensive solution.

    Ok, I am a little sensitive, but I bet you find your points worn.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  16. #16
    nanook's Avatar
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    George which “Bushwheel Bill” mods are you referring to?
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  17. #17
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    George which “Bushwheel Bill” mods are you referring to?
    https://www.cessnarepairs.com
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  18. #18
    nanook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    Thanks SJ, I didn’t realize QMI was the old “Bushwheel Bill”...

  19. #19
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    George which “Bushwheel Bill” mods are you referring to?
    In case you can not read, like me, cool video: https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...Bushwheel-Bill
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  20. #20
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Another view, it WILL be needed in the future, and if things go bad they go really bad. Why not just spend your lovely bride's money and do it while you have it down?? No, no idea of the cost, but prevention is often the best and least expensive solution......
    I disagree. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.
    In any event, the AD has a recurring inspection requirement.
    Cost: the QMI kit is about $3K, plus installation labor.
    I haven't done the tail inspection yet, but when I do,
    I will repair the hockey sticks .... if they are damaged.
    Also any other components back there that are damaged will be replaced / repaired.
    Otherwise, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  21. #21
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    I disagree. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.
    In any event, the AD has a recurring inspection requirement.
    Cost: the QMI kit is about $3K, plus installation labor.
    I haven't done the tail inspection yet, but when I do,
    I will repair the hockey sticks .... if they are damaged.
    Also any other components back there that are damaged will be replaced / repaired.
    Otherwise, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
    I support your view, but if you need to pull the tail off, might as well extend inspection times with the kit.

    I do recognize I fly in a bit more harsh environment than most, but I will say that these silly inspections always come right before the big planned trip, and always lead to needing repairs and trip cancellations. Having seen some tails about to fall off planes, literally, that upgrade is cheap, and quick to get done when considering the time and energy of continued inspections.

    Glad we can all have an opinion, with that I am just going to say that the Stinson Gullwing is a better plane to fly than the 180/185.

    Stay safe guys
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  22. #22
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    ...... but if you need to pull the tail off, might as well extend inspection times with the kit.......
    I'm not so sure that the recurring inspection intervals in the QMI kit's ICA
    supercede the recurring inspection intervals called out in the AD.
    Only the frist recurring inspection is longer anyway.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  23. #23
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    I have put a lot of thought into why 180/185 tails get hurt.

    1. elevator counterbalances catch bushes/snow during taxi, takeoff, and rollout
    2. ground handling the ac by pushing on hor stab
    3. improperly torqued hor stab rear hinge hardware. If the bushing is not tight, it can rotate and cut into the hockey stick and bracket. If tight, the plastic rotates on the bushing just like Cessna planned it.
    4. This next one is somewhat esoteric,and not proved: when at the tiedown, and snow builds and slides of the elevators, eventually a pile of snow captures the elevators. the next time the plane rocks in the wind, broken tail. (a really smart guy came up with this scenario. Not Me)

    Inspect the plane and then go burn gas!!!!!
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  24. #24
    SJ's Avatar
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    Is there a standard guide / set of instructions / youtube video for dismantlng one of these tails that mechanics who have not done it before can reference? I'd had to pay a guy 50 hours in time to learn about how to take the tail apart. Sounds like folks like Dave have gotten quite efficient at it.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  25. #25
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I took it apart fairly easily. With no prior experience on a 180. Actually put it back together too! Of course under the watchful eye of my IA.
    Last edited by Eddie Foy; 02-11-2021 at 04:18 PM.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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  26. #26

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    Some progress for the complete rebuild while in for the AD... West Coast Wings is doing the work
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  27. #27
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    Some progress for the complete rebuild while in for the AD
    Looks interesting. They are using a doubler on the ribs so that they can have a good hole to rivet the new skin to.

  28. #28
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180Marty View Post
    Looks interesting. They are using a doubler on the ribs so that they can have a good hole to rivet the new skin to.
    I was shown to just uses a strip of aluminum on the underside, no angle needed. Works great.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    Some more progress on the horizontal rebuild... Click image for larger version. 

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  30. #30
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    So they are putting the leading edge on with screws?
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    So they are putting the leading edge on with screws?
    Yes, per the Tanalian leading edge STC... easier to replace in future and stronger and thicker at .040

    https://tanalianaviation.com/leading...modifications/
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  32. #32

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    Pponk bearings, Tanalian leading edge, abrasion boots, paint, reassembly and then can finally wrap this AD fun up... almost there
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  33. #33

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    This one was recently signed off by a very experienced IA stating "Inspected Tailcone and Stabilizer in accordance with AD 2020-21-22 and Cessna S/L SEL-55-01. No corrosion or cracks were found." Amazing how that was done without removing any hardware or paint.

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  34. #34
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfd777 View Post
    This one was recently signed off by a very experienced IA stating "Inspected Tailcone and Stabilizer in accordance with AD 2020-21-22 and Cessna S/L SEL-55-01. No corrosion or cracks were found." Amazing how that was done without removing any hardware or paint.



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    Is that furthest right rivet and furthest left rivet having some working issues? Looks like they might be moving as it appears to have cracked paint around them.

    It is kind of cool, a large fender washer under the nut and it can hide lots of cracks- Never need to remove the tail
    Sarcasm aside, glad some mechanics realize the need to actually see what is going on and if damage is present.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  35. #35
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I recently heard a rumor that someone is developing another fix for cracked hockey sticks,
    apparently to compete with the QMI repair kit.
    Anyone else hear anything about this?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  36. #36
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    I recently heard a rumor that someone is developing another fix for cracked hockey sticks,
    apparently to compete with the QMI repair kit.
    Anyone else hear anything about this?
    Have heard of several. The QMI kit is patented, so if it is too similar it might run into trouble.

    Sent from my Pixel using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  37. #37
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    Saw this pop up:

    https://www.bvtaviation.com/collecti...185-all-models

    But again, back to the better mouse trap I’d think...

    Aside from that, these guys are making some cool stuff. Be interesting to see if they get approvals.

  38. #38
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    Have heard of several. The QMI kit is patented, so if it is too similar it might run into trouble.
    SJ, can you elaborate?
    This is the first I've heard of the BVT replacement hockeysticks (made in Australia, "PMA pending"), per supilot's post.
    which is the first alternative I've heard of to buying new or used Cessna-manufacture hockey sticks,
    or Bushwheel Bill's QMI repair kit.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  39. #39
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    SJ, can you elaborate?
    This is the first I've heard of the BVT replacement hockeysticks (made in Australia, "PMA pending"), per supilot's post.
    which is the first alternative I've heard of to buying new or used Cessna-manufacture hockey sticks,
    or Bushwheel Bill's QMI repair kit.
    I don't know any of the other players, I've just heard there are several alternatives - this was the first time I had heard of the BVT one as well.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  40. #40
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    An outfit in Washington, Bushliner, is making some new replacement brackets that apparently have been found cracked during some inspections,
    but other than rumor I'm not aware of any other hockeystick repair kits besides QMI.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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