Sting Sport down in Florida

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Warmi
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Sting Sport down in Florida

Postby Warmi » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:00 pm

Just happened this weekend.

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=218018

Looks like horizontal stabilizer fell off and the pilot had to rescue himself ( successfully ) with a chute.

Interestingly there is a bulletin board dated at 2012 specifically mentioning inspection of horizontal stabilizer connections:

Reports from the field indicate that trapped moisture may accumulate in the interior of the alignment fitting and possibly cause corrosion on any exposed metal surface. Aircraft that are located near coastal salt waters, whether stored inside or parked outside may be more susceptible to corrosion of any non-protected metal surfaces.

http://www.sting.aero/owners/notices/TL ... l%2012.pdf

Sounds like exactly what happened ...
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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ShawnM
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Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH

Re: Sting Sport down in Florida

Postby ShawnM » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:16 am

Thanks Warmi. This happened just east of me in Clermont on Saturday. This plane used to be owned by a friend of mine but he sold it when he moved from the Orlando area. If I remember correctly the horizontal stabilizer has to be REMOVED and inspected at each annual. I used to share a hangar with another Sting owner (that plane is now owned by another member on this forum) and I came in on day to fly my plane and the horizontal stabilizer was off his plane and the mechanic stated that it's part of the annual to inspect these bolts and pins. It's no easy task either given that it's sealed in with some pretty heavy duty silicone as well. He made sure he told me it was no picnic getting it off. :mrgreen:

I was also flying back from Southwest Florida around this same time Saturday and the winds were pretty turbulent down low. I dont know if this played a factor as well with the horizontal stabilizer but just sharing that it was a pretty bumpy ride below 4000 feet Saturday.

Keep in mind it could have departed the plane at the time of impact as well. I think I see it, or part of it, on the right side of the picture posted on the local news that covered the accident.

https://www.wesh.com/article/single-eng ... y/25208597

Warmi
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Sting Sport down in Florida

Postby Warmi » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:38 am

I heard it from another source that it was stabilizer departing in flight but I don't know how he got that info - perhaps it was just a guess based on the picture alone or he had some insider info - not sure yet.

It kind of make sense to me given that the plane was located very close to the coast with salty water etc ...
Will see what the final verdict is ..

BTW ... Looking at my logs , I don't see any entries indicating compliance with this directive ... until mid 2017 the plane was maintained by SportAir USA ( the dealer ) - of all people they should know best what to do - perhaps they figured that since the plane was not located in coastal area , it was not necessary.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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ShawnM
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Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:59 pm
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH

Re: Sting Sport down in Florida

Postby ShawnM » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:47 am

Warmi wrote:I heard it from another source that it was stabilizer departing in flight but I don't know how he got that info - perhaps it was just a guess based on the picture alone or he had some insider info - not sure yet.

It kind of make sense to me given that the plane was located very close to the coast with salty water etc ...
Will see what the final verdict is ..


Interesting, we'll wait and see if the story develops as to why this may have happened.

Technically EVERYONE is close to a coast in Florida :mrgreen: Orlando is not really close to the coast or salty water at all. Not even salty air. I lived there for 22 years so I do know that. Given the high humidity we have in Florida it simply could have just been the moisture attacking the hardware if this is the cause. This is why we inspect these things.

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dstclair
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Re: Sting Sport down in Florida

Postby dstclair » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:26 am

Warmi wrote:Interestingly there is a bulletin board dated at 2012 specifically mentioning inspection of horizontal stabilizer connections:

Reports from the field indicate that trapped moisture may accumulate in the interior of the alignment fitting and possibly cause corrosion on any exposed metal surface. Aircraft that are located near coastal salt waters, whether stored inside or parked outside may be more susceptible to corrosion of any non-protected metal surfaces.

http://www.sting.aero/owners/notices/TL ... l%2012.pdf

That was a a one-time Service Notice but there is a requirement to remove the wings and stabilizer every other annual (or 200 hrs, whichever comes first) and inspect/lubricate various components. I haven't found removing the silicon and sealing it back much of an issue -- YMMV.

It does look like the stabilizer is near the nose of the plane in the picture which indicates separation on impact or near the ground. I would expect the NTSB preliminary report to clarify this.
dave


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