Tuesday, April 14, 2009

T-28 Front Landing Gear Repair

Flight Date: 4 April 2009

Equipment: (T-28 Trojan)

WX: ~5 mph, Temp ~50 F
Ground Conditions: grass
Field: (#2 )

This was a great flight up until the last “landing”. I had made 4 nice landings on this relatively low-wind day. However, I unconsciously developed a bad habit of immediately reversing the direction of the plane just after it takes to the air. Toward the end I ended up reversing and flying into the ground fairly hard. The front landing gear took the brunt, breaking a plastic piece that holds the gear in place. I used some CA glue back a the hanger to fix it but it was not as secure as from the factory.

Flight Date: 7 April 2009

Equipment: (T-28 Trojan)
WX: ~18 mph, Temp ~50 F

Ground Conditions: grass
Field: (#3 )

This was a quick flight and unfortunately I should have called it before I took flight. The wind gusts were too great to fly the T-28. I confirmed what I knew pre-flight once the plane was in the air. It was too gusty to realize steady, controlled flight. I brought the plane down after just a few minutes. Unfortunately, the landing was poor and ended up nose down on the front landing gear. The quick-fix that I had applied from the last flight came un-glued so to speak.

I ended up trying some new experimental repair procedures back at the hanger using spray foam- great stuff. Below are a few pictures of the process. It didnt go as originally planned as the great stuff did not cure as hard as I would have liked. So, I ended up adding some reinforcing spars to the front gear. I have used these spars on other fixes and you may have also heard them called Popsicle sticks elsewhere.

Steps as show above:

1.) wood sticks used to keep foam from expanding into the area of the landing gear push rod

2.) foam allowed to expand and sticks removed (less than gracefully)

3.) trimmed foam down flush and found it was a little too soft

4.) cut out recessed area to receive to reinforcing spars*

*I like to use the word spars when discussing aircraft repair techniques

This more thorough fix worked out well and held up well on the next 2 flights.

Flight Date: 14 April 2009

Equipment: (T-28 Trojan)
WX: ~10 mph, Temp ~50 F
Ground Conditions: grass
Field: (#4 )

These were 2 good flights in a very large soccer complex. I also had my first over water flight as there was a small lagoon adjacent to the fields. It was a little gusty at times, but the T-28 handled it fine. Both landings where decent and the new an improved front gear worked well. On the 2nd landing I flared too much too soon and the plane gained a couple feet and the lost airspeed resulting in a less than stellar landing and the front gear took a little abuse. The good news is that the gear held up.

T-28 Front Gear- fixed with spray foam / glue ~$7

SC 1.0 Cumulative Flights: 15
SC 2.0 Cumulative Flights:
Total: 33
Cumulative Hrs: 7.6
successful Landings: 68
SC Maintenance / Repairs* ~$54.5

T-28 Cumulative flights 13
Cumulative Hrs: 3.6
successful Landings: 22
T-28 Trojan
Maintenance / Repairs* ~$7

*Cost to replace items broken in flight

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