Safety spot articles 2012



January : A Cast of ThousandsA general discussion about the difference between learning, practicing and rehearsing; Items covered:

Titan T-51 Mustang - Wheels-up Landing.  Exhaust Failure.
Jodel (all types) – Landing Lamp Failure – Polycarbonate-vs- Perspex.


February : Winter WonderlandInitial discussion looking at the effects of snow on the visual senses; Items covered:

Vans RV-7 – Loss of Power – Carburettor icing and carburettor heater efficiencies.
Tipsy Trainer – Crankshaft Failure.  Pitting Corrosion, use of multi-grade oil. 


March : Piper TaildraggersCracking and corrosion demand tail structure inspection; Gull Wing Doors – A cluster of door openings in flight; Items covered:

Piper SAIB CE-13-14 – Advice from the US FAA about the need to carry out regular inspections in the tail area of Piper (and similar) types.

Wassmer WA52 – Door Opening In Flight – Emergency Landing at Middle Wallop.

Europa – Door Failure In Flight – Featuring failures of doors in Pioneer 400, Rutan Long- Ez and Zenair 601 aircraft and a Fatality in a Magni M42C Orion Autogiro.


April Hidden Depths – A discussion as to the reasons why it is essential to build-in ‘deep’ inspections into your Tailored Maintenance Schedule.  Items Covered:

CZAW – SportCruiser Nose Undercarriage Failure – Discussion about why LAA Engineering has withdrawn this component from service.

Auster J1 Autocrat – Serious Tailplane Corrosion.

Midget Mustang – Hidden Wing-Mounting cracks.

Zenair 601XL – Noseleg Attachment Cracks (poor quality build?).


May : ‘On Top Form’ – The arrival of the flying season means that it’s time for thorough checks …. and this includes the currency and health of the pilot. Items Covered:


CZAW SportCruiser – Nose Leg Spindles – Update, including replacement availability.

Pitts Special S1-S – Aileron Damage on Landing – Exploring the need for thorough checks after any unusual impact incident.

Luscombe 8E – Damage after Ground Loop – Serious structure damage found during rebuild that wasn’t spotted after a landing incident.


June : Hot and Bothered’ – Whether it’s training to take on an airfield fire, practising an engine  failure or caring for your aircraft … you can never be too careful. Items Covered:

Aeronca 7AC Champion – Propeller Failure – Exploring the reaction of the pilot when confronted with a sudden (and frightening) emergency.

Avions/Fairey Tipsy Nipper – Wing Failure – Discussing the recent discovery that the failure of a Tipsy Nipper wing was the result of a bird strike.


July : Tailored Maintenance’ – Some aircraft are more complex than others; perhaps this is obvious but it’s important to consider this and the flying life of your aircraft when creating your Tailored Maintenance Programme.  Other items covered:

Aeronca Champion – Propeller Failure (update) – A close look at the evidence in the failed components lead to a re-think about the initial cause of the failure.

Reality Escapade – Fuel Leak – A discussion about the need to keep a close eye on all components in the fuel system, regardless of their age.

Streak Shadow – Failed Fin Post – Finding this nasty crack emphasises the need for thorough pre-flight inspections.


August 2013 : ‘Learning day by day’ – Discussing the safety implications of not tackling known maintenance issues promptly. Other items covered:

RPM 2000 Autogiro, Warp Drive Propeller Hub Failure – Discussing the metallurgical similarities between a recent failure of this propeller hub and a similar event last year.

Pioneer 200M - Longitudinal Trim Failure - A failure of the pitch trim drive rod led to control difficulties for the pilot.

Flight Testing - “To test or not to test”? – An explanation about the LAA position with regard to flight testing after changes within the CAA C. of A. Flight Test rules.


September 2013 : Not written


October 2013 : ‘Following Advice’? – Discussing the technical responsibilities of the owner of an aircraft operating under an LAA administered Permit to Fly. Other items covered:

Jodel D150 Mascaret, Landing Lamp Failure – Airworthiness Information Leaflet and a Safety Alert Published.

Skullcap Spinners – Discussing the various reasons why there appears to be a high level of failure in this simple component.

Pioneer 200, Elevator Trim Rod – Further discussion, Airworthiness Information Leaflet and Safety Alert published.

DHC-1 Chipmunk, Tailplane Attachment Inspection – Discussing the role of the De Havilland Support  Ltd.’s Technical News Sheets within the LAA’s general
maintenance regime & a close look at the reasons for the latest TNS requiring checks to the tailplane attachment (DHSL TNS 209).

EV 97 Eurostar, Ignition Switch Failure -  The dangers of a live ignition circuit and ‘How (not to) to Gurgle’ the Rotax nines.

Zenair CH601 UL, Woodcomp Varia Propeller Failure – Discussing a recent failure of a propeller blade which led to a forced landing.


November 2013: 'Following Advice' – Introducing LAA Airworthiness Alerts and offering a limited ‘route  map’ for the LAA website; other items covered:

Rotax 912 & 914 Engines, Checking the Crankshaft Journal – Reviewing the latest Rotax Service Bulletin requiring regular checks to the crankshaft on some engines.

Vans RV-7 – Windscreen Failure – Looking at stress failures in polymeric materials.

Piper PA-17 Vagabond, Corrosion in rear fuselage – Discussing the limits of X-Ray technology after serious corrosion was missed during a radiographic NDT check. 


December 2013 : ‘A Good Pre-Flight Routine?’ – Discussing the value of switching out of ‘Automatic’ when carrying out a routine pre-flight inspection.

Denney Kitfox II – Undercarriage Failure – Investigating the possible cause of a recent bungee failure and emphasising the need for thorough pre-flight inspections.

Pitts S-1S – Tailwheel Control Failure (1) – A ground loop after landing sent this aircraft into a fence; discussing the set-up of a tailwheel steerage system.

Pitts S-1S – Tailwheel Control Failure (2) – In this ground loop incident a main undercarriage leg collapsed.

CZAW SportCruiser – EFATO – This engine failure after take-off at Leeds/Bradford was found to have been caused by a fuel system over-pressure; the investigating LAA engineer established that a recent fuel pump change was the probable cause.