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Rudder Cable Incident
I have an inspection slot cut in the lower winglet stub of N90DV that allows
inspection of the cable and the nicopress sleeve area. One bad thing for
the cables is manually (or with the help of a tail wind) flipping the rudders
outboard while on the ground. If the cable bushing does not pivot easily at
the rudder horn, moving the rudder by hand bends the cable at the
nicopress sleeve, eventually breaking it.
N90DV has 1/16" cables and has nearly 800 hours. A right cable broke
early in its flying career when my rudder lock came off on the ramp in a
windy Texas storm. On preflight I found the fatigued cable, and two hours
were required to replace and rig it. It was a good example of the preventive
value of a thorough preflight visual control check. The rudders have worked
fine otherwise. The secret is in the rigging and GOOD rudder locks.
A broken rudder cable is another of those emergency procedures to
practice, in case it happens in flight. Try approaching with your feet on the
pedals (lightly in case you need them) and see how the plane handles
CLOSE to the runway without rudder input. By doing this with varying
amounts of crosswind, you can see what you and your plane can handle
and what it looks like.
Then try touching down with less and less rudder input and note the
response when the wheels touch. The Velocity can touch down on
pavement with a pretty significant crab angle and it will straighten up with
brakes when the wheels are down.
If you have an inflight rudder problem, consider the direction of the
crosswind. If a right rudder is unresponsive, find a runway where the
crosswind is from the right (which would require left rudder input). You
cannot always do this, but it sure helps if you can.
Standard Velocity RG