The following information is derived from the FAAs Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts.
Flap Extension Failure
While in flight the aircraft flaps failed to extend to the selected position. The pilot had to cycle the flap select switch several times before effecting flap extension. Maintenance was able to duplicate the problem on the ground. When the flaps were selected to the approach position, they moved approximately five degrees, then stopped. A finger tap on the flap motor relay returned the flaps to normal response operation. Installation of a replacement relay solved the problem. The failed relay (p/n SM50D) had 69.0 hours of use since repair by the manufacturer, Eaton Aerospace. A search of the FAA Service Difficulty Reporting System database revealed 44 entries for this relay since January 1995.Part total time: unknown.
Gear Selection Failure
A pilot reports selecting gear down with no results. The gear came down after cycling the selector switch a second time. The submitter tracked the problem to an intermittent relay (p/n SM50D7), but offers no recommendations.Part total time: 396.0 hours.
Flap-Track Support Bracket
A mechanic relates the following observations: the L/H wing inboard flap-track rib assembly (p/n 1221010-15) has two brackets for attachment to the lower inboard trailing edge wing skin. One of the brackets had cracked, allowing it to slightly twist, decreasing the clearance between the bracket and the flap roller slot in the track assembly. Following a preflight inspection, the pilot tried to raise the flaps. The front of the support arm rib assembly caught on the cracked and twisted bracket, jamming the inboard end of the flap. The actuating motor continued to run, causing substantial damage to the flap structure. The aircraft was repaired by replacing both the flap and the cracked bracket on the track rib assembly. The cause of the crack was not determined. This mechanic recommends special attention be given to all the flap track assembly components during preflight, 100 hour, and annual inspections.Part total time: (unknown).
Piper PA 28R-201
Nose Gear Drag Brace Failure
The pilot reported hearing a loud, sharp pop sound while in flight. He lowered the landing gear and made an uneventful touchdown. The first inspection opportunity revealed the nose gear upper drag brace was broken just forward of the area where the landing gear actuator attaches to the brace. No other damage was noted. A possible cause of failure: fatigue due to the number of hours or cycles on the part. The technician reports having submitted a report in 2004 for the same failure on a similar aircraft.Part total time: 3172.6 hours.
Slick Model 6310 Magneto
During an engine run for a 50-hour aircraft inspection, the right magneto was inoperative. The magneto was discovered lying on top of the engine with a broken mounting flange. The impulse coupling had come apart, seizing the magneto, and then breaking the flange. The last inspection was 125 hours earlier.