Squawk Box

April 1999 Issue

Springs in the Air

Tailwheel springs may need safety wires

Reports several months ago of a tailwheel spring clip coming off of an Aeronca has lead to a spate of reports of similar problems on different makes of taildraggers. Many mechanics encourage operators to safety-wire the retention clips.

An amateur-built Thorpe T-18, for example, suffered substantial damage while landing on a rough runway surface. The aircraft had just been completed and had been test flown at an airport with a paved runway.

The two test pilots then flew back to the home airport, which had a rough landing surface, and the tailwheel bounced hard. The spring retention clip rotated and came off of one of the tiller springs. The pilot applied brakes, but the other tiller s...

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