Matt's RV-8 Project



Matt Dralle's RV-8 Project
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Date:  5-2-2011
Number of Hours:  1.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Landing Mishap - Damage Assement - Part 01

On May 1 2011, returning home from a weekend of flying at the West Coast Formation Flying clinic, I was faced with a gusty direct crosswind. I made a nice wheel landing on 25R and brought the tail down and applied some brakes to make the closest right turn off. Just as I was beginning the turn to the right, a strong gust of wind caught under the right wing and popped it back up in the air. The left wing dragged on the payment. The left gear remained firmly planted on the ground, but the right gear was up in the air. I gave hard left rudder and aileron to get the right wing back down again and was successful in getting it going straight and level again, but not before the wing-high, sideways movement caused two solid sideways crow-hops on the left main landing gear. The RV-8 gear is made to take pretty good bounce loads directly down and back, but definitely not much in the way of sideways loads it turns out. The plane came to a stop on the runway and a cursory look around didn't yield the perception of any damage, so I taxied back to the hangar. I noticed that the left wheel seemed to be a bit "out of balance", but other than that everything seemed fine.

Well, back at the hangar, everything wasn't exactly "fine". A closer inspection reveled that the sideways loads on the left landing gear had done quite a number on the left gear tower and side of the fuselage. The dog ear mount between the fuselage and the fuel tank was displaced upward about 1.5" inches and the end rib of the fuel tank took most of the stress. Basically, the whole left gear mount and underside is up about 1.5" all around, and the left gear tower is buckled. Amazingly, the Grove Airfoiled Gear did NOT break, although the left one is pretty badly bent at the axle end. The left wing fiberglass tip is cracked in a few places and the left aileron is bent where is scraped on the pavement as is the outboard aileron hinge. No other damage to the left wing and the right wing, tail, engine, and prop are all fine.

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Detailed Damage Assement

Detailed Damage Assement

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Detailed Damage Assement

Detailed Damage Assement

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Detailed Damage Assement

Detailed Damage Assement

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