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Rudder Cable Incident

Fellow Velocitites:

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.

Doug Doers
Standard Velocity RG