Completing Van's SB-06-2-3
Today I took the time to stop and complete Van's SB-06-2-3, the
first Service Bulletin for the RV-10. This service bulletin is
posted HERE on Van's Site for
your reading. In case you're and RV-10 builder who's been living
in the cave that they call their shop, and haven't heard, Van's found
on N410RV during their annual condition inspection that they had some
cracking around the upper hinge bracket on the rear spar of the
Vertical Stablizer. The plane in question had over 1,000 hours of
time on it. They quickly decided that they probably should have
added a doubler plate to the inside of the rear spar, since the spar
has no other doubler on that top area. You'll notice that the
lower 2 hinges are riveted in areas that also contain doublers, so this
should be the only one that's vulnerable.
Before I started, it was my plan to just completely rebuild the
Vertical Stablizer....one of the nice benefits of being a homebuilt.
I wasn't happy because I didn't want to drill rivets on my newly
painted tail and then have to repaint them. In addition, this is
the very first piece made in the RV-10 kit, so if there is something
that will have beginners mistakes, this would be the piece.....and many
of you remember the middle nose rib ding that we got from not knowing
that we should trim back the nose rib a bit and not stuff it into the
skin. I still may rebuild a complete VS some day, but right now
I'm not motivated. For those interested in doing so, here's a
parts list, except for the doubler involved in this SB, which you can
probably get for free or cheap.
Vertical Stab Parts
$79.20 VS-1001 Skin
$13.91 VS-1002 Front Spar
$22.50 VS-1003 Rear Spar
$8.45 VS-1004 Bottom Inspar Rib
$5.33 VS-1005 Bottom Nose Rib
$6.61 VS-1006 Top Rib
$6.99 VS-1007 Middle Inspar Rib
$15.00 VS-1008 Rear Spar Doubler
$25.75 VS-1009 VS Tip Fairing
$4.95 VS-1010 Bottom Rudder Hinge Bracket
$4.00 VS-1011 Middle Rudder Hinge Bracket
$3.90 VS-1012 Top Rudder Hinge Bracket
$5.24 VS-1013 Middle Nose Rib
$15.40 VS-1014 Rear Spar Cap (**2 Req)
$1.75 VS-1015 Doubler
FREE VS-1017 Doubler from SB-06-2-3
$3.50 R-1007 Rudder Stop
Now for the process:
Due to having a nice routing of my wire through the tail into the
rudder for the tail light, I didn't want to disconnect my Rudder and
remove it completely if not necessary. So, I extended the arm on
my engine hoist (glad I decided not to sell that yet), and turned it
into a crane. I removed the hinge pins and hung the rudder by the
top rod end on. Then I drilled out the rivets per the SB. 2
on the top of the rear spar, 8 that hold the 2 hinges, and 6 on the
rear upper skin where it rivets into the top rib....NOT the rear-most
rivet, that one goes into the rear spar only. Be careful
drilling the rivets. That was my big reason for delaying the
SB...I wanted to fly to Sun-N-Fun and if I damaged the VS during this
process, I could have ended up downing the plane until I could rebuild
the VS. Luckily only one hole got a little oversized during this
procedure, and with the doubler plate on it at least you're forming a
shop head on a nice tight new hole.
With the hinges off, it's time to take that newly primed doubler plate
and match drill the plate itself into the spar. You'll be adding
a bunch of rivets around the plate, in addition to the ones that
previously held the hinge. After match drilling, it gets removed
and deburred (gee, haven't done that in a while). Then you
install the rivets on the doubler. I put the doubler-only rivets
in first, and then added the hinge rivets last. When installing
the hinge rivets, I started at the bottom and worked my way up to keep
good visibility of the shop heads I was forming. My hand JUST
made it inside the VS to hold the bucking bar. No, there's no way
you're going to squeeze these rivets like you did when you assembled it
the first time.
Once all the rivets were in place, I took a vacuum and sucked out all
of the old rivet heads that fell into the VS that I could find.
There's probably a couple more to get that fell into the bottom.
It might be a good idea to tape in a head catcher into the VS
before drilling them out if you're picky and don't want to leave any in
Then the easy part....just squeeze in some new rivets on the top rib.
I did a pretty good job of drilling them out, so the paint
actually looks quite good around the visible areas. I'll just
need to do a little spot touchup of all 3 colors and it should be
pretty un-noticible. After that, it's the less fun step of
getting all the hinge pins in again (with fresh nuts), and then you're
Total time was about 2.5 hours.
Up until now, I've avoided drastic slips and large rudder movements.
It'll be nice to relax knowing that I didn't have any cracking
and that this should keep future concerns down. For the
non-builder, you should understand that service bulletins are to add
safety to an airplane. Things come up, and when someone notices a
problem on one plane, they determine if it's an issue that could affect
others, and if so, they issue a bulletin to perform a modification that
will enhance safety. Luckily, with many thousands of rivets
holding the plane together, a rivet here and a small crack there
probably won't cause an accident, but we're all diligent in preventing
any cracks and bad rivets that we can. From a homebuilt point of
view, we should see enhanced safety over certified planes, as the
review and repair process can be much much shorter and smaller on a
homebuilt, so a fix for us is usually a quick and cheap endeavor.
If this were a certified plane, it would have cost more to
repair, if they even would have issued the SB at this point.
Considering the whole VS can be built for under $250, this
homebuilding thing is a real bonus.