Winter Ops

H. Paul Shuch is a Light Sport Repairman with Maintenance ratings for airplanes, gliders, weight shift control, and powered parachutes, as well as an independent Rotax Maintenance Technician at the Heavy Maintenance level. He holds a PhD in Air Transportation Engineering from the University of California, and serves as Director of Maintenance for AvSport of Lock Haven.

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Warmi
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Winter Ops

Postby Warmi » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:20 pm

My bad luck ( or my learning curve ) continues :)

Went for a flight today, very nice weather , a bit bumpy and rather cold with only 10F.
I have flown in about 3F so I wasn't worried - the oil was OKish etc but ...

About 10 minutes into a flight I heard a crack followed by some moderate wind noise ( which quickly went away .) Couldn't figure out what it was but decided to land anyway and after walking around the plane a few times I finally spotted the culprit.
It was the plexiglas around the GRS window grommet - it cracked a bit and I can only assume it was due to cold weather combined with some minor bumps.

I landed at my mechanics place so we drilled the hole to stop the crack but it does look like I will have to replace the back window and the grommet. Oh well, another expense and another lesson learned - don't fly in cold weather .... how cold , well my new limit is 32 F
Attachments
crack2.jpg
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crack1.jpg
Cracked Plexiglass
crack1.jpg (61.71 KiB) Viewed 3845 times
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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drseti
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby drseti » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:57 pm

Damn, that really Stings. :-P
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
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SportPilotExaminer.US

Warmi
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby Warmi » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:02 pm

Got in touch with the dealer (Bill Canino ) and he basically told me that he has seen the exact same crack in one other Sting and they simply covered it with some black electrical tape and since the canopy ends where the crack ends no further action was required unless I was concerned with the visual aspects of it.
I am but will see how much I get quoted for fixing it - I may stop being concerned with the visuals if it is too much :-)
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

TimTaylor
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:06 pm

Another reason I prefer the SkyCatcher and RV 12.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

Warmi
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby Warmi » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:12 pm

Actually this crack was within the window itself which is basically some kind of acrylic. The actual culprit here is most likely the design ( or positioning to be more specific ) of the GRS groomet mini-window itself with it being so close to the edge of the canopy - you end up with a weak and narrow spot that can crack.
The choice of carbon or metal for the plane itself was irrelevant here. There is no structural body damage here and the visible crack is just the outer-skin affected by the cracked acrylic underneath.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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drseti
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby drseti » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:24 pm

If you want to see just what's involved in repairing a (much more severely) cracked plexiglass canopy, see my Near Midair Collision webinar at:

http://www.eaavideo.org/detail/video/4890470314001
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

3Dreaming
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:32 pm

TimTaylor wrote:Another reason I prefer the SkyCatcher and RV 12.


They have transparencies that can crack too. It is not something that is relegated to composite airplanes.

Warmi
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby Warmi » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:44 pm

DrSeti: I actually have seen this video before , pretty freaky near mid-air - didn't pay attention to the canopy repair portion back then though :-)

Anyway, I will probably not bother replacing anything there for now since the crack is so minor and can be handled rather cheaply but boy I am wondering if I am just unlucky or other plane owners have similar issues with minor cracks/fixes etc ... I just started flying , if that's the norm I am not sure I want to continue :-)
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

3Dreaming
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:51 pm

Warmi wrote:DrSeti: I actually have seen this video before , pretty freaky near mid-air - didn't pay attention to the canopy repair portion back then though :-)

Anyway, I will probably not bother replacing anything there for now since the crack is so minor and can be handled rather cheaply but boy I am wondering if I am just unlucky or other plane owners have similar issues with minor cracks/fixes etc ... I just started flying , if that's the norm I am not sure I want to continue :-)


I have owned several airplanes over the years, and have not had any crack transparencies. As a mechanic though I have replaced some that have been cracked for customers. I wouldn't say that it is a common problem, but some airplanes seem to have more issues than others.

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Re: Winter Ops

Postby Wm.Ince » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:54 pm

Warmi wrote:My bad luck ( or my learning curve ) continues :)
Went for a flight today, very nice weather , a bit bumpy and rather cold with only 10F.
I have flown in about 3F so I wasn't worried - the oil was OKish etc but ...
About 10 minutes into a flight I heard a crack followed by some moderate wind noise ( which quickly went away .) Couldn't figure out what it was but decided to land anyway and after walking around the plane a few times I finally spotted the culprit.
It was the plexiglas around the GRS window grommet - it cracked a bit and I can only assume it was due to cold weather combined with some minor bumps.
I landed at my mechanics place so we drilled the hole to stop the crack but it does look like I will have to replace the back window and the grommet. Oh well, another expense and another lesson learned - don't fly in cold weather .... how cold , well my new limit is 32 F

Very unfortunate.
Bill Ince
CTSW
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

Warmi
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby Warmi » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:51 pm

I was actually recording this flight and managed to catch that very moment it happened ...

Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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Jim Hardin
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby Jim Hardin » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:12 am

drseti wrote:If you want to see just what's involved in repairing a (much more severely) cracked plexiglass canopy, see my Near Midair Collision webinar at:

http://www.eaavideo.org/detail/video/4890470314001


Sorry Bob, gotta ask... I was surprised in your Florida incident that the Controller continued his rapid speech when it was clear you had noise and confusion.

Not sure I would have made any reports after landing until I was sure my adrenalin level was back down to normal :)

With all the expenses, I assume you filed a claim. Did your insurance company attempt to subrogate for their loss?

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drseti
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby drseti » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:56 am

Jim Hardin wrote:With all the expenses, I assume you filed a claim. Did your insurance company attempt to subrogate for their loss?


I was very lucky, Jim. I filed a claim as soon as I finished talking to FAA and filing my NASA ASRS report. They were great about working with me, and paid everything except my $1000 deductible. No subrogation of which I am aware. Didn't even raise my premium the following year. My carrier is Starr, and I work through Falcon, the EAA Insurance Agency in Kerrville TX. Can't say enough good things about them.

And, folks, please do forgive the thread drift. :)
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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FastEddieB
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby FastEddieB » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:35 am

Back on point, and the thread title, I don’t really think cold weather was a major contributing cause here.

Sure, many materials get more brittle at cold temps, but a plane should be capable of flying in any foreseen temperatures without parts starting to crack.
Fast Eddie B.
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Warmi
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Re: Winter Ops

Postby Warmi » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:49 am

Yeah, it is hard to say. Probably come kind of combinations of minor manufacturing issues, naturally weaker spot to begin with ( the narrowest part ) and maybe a bit of cold, bumpy weather.
It is a very minor crack -it actually looks worse on the picture than in real life and I already have a fix for it which was pretty cheap, looks good and has been approved by the dealer.

If that was some kind of common occurrence , I would start asking more questions but since, as I was informed, this is only the second plane that had this issue ( out of many hundreds sold) I can only guess that it was some kind of manufacturing issue with the plexiglass canopy part in the first place. I mean, it was a bit bumpy that day, but as you can see on the video, it wasn’t putting any kind of undue stress on the airframe.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois


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