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Piper stabilator design accused of causing in-flight breakups

This article sites over 200 accidents of Piper stabilator equipped aircraft in-flight breakups due to its stabilator design flaw resuktung in flutter, leading to in-flight breakups, and the attempts of certain people file a class action lawsuit. The bigger concern is the safety to the general and flying public, as there as vast numbers of these aircraft flying everyday. ( さらに...

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ran3114 2
The illustration appears to have reversed the "nose-up" and "nose-down" positions of the stabilizer.
m r 1
I noticed that too, and several others. Again this was a legal article, but it lost some credibility with me after seeing that
ran3114 1
I, too, have flow Piper aircraft [PA-28, 1,500+ hours] and have never experienced "flutter" regardless of attitude, including flying into the wake turbulence of a C-103. The "flutter" at issue appears to be of the "horizontal harmonic" type, which troops marching across a bridge avoid by "breaking step." The video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster in the newspaper article illustrates this type of "flutter."
Not surprising when you figure that the aircraft is certified with little or no negative "g" rating and little positive "g" rating. Taking a Seneca to 25k feet and pushing and pulling on the contols violently enough usually results in some sort of control failure, especially if above manuvering speed? More likely these old aircraft were full of corrosion and poorly maintained, not just poorly flown! Part 91 operated aircraft never go through the same mechanical checks as Part 135 and nearly all never go back to the factory authorised service center for routine maintenance. Similar to the old Lears when the stick puller was intentionally disabled amd the aircraft far exceeded MMO and got into a Mach tuck at altitude. Most pilots didn't pull any where near hard enough, some even made it worse by deploying the spoilers and when the aircraft got into the lower thicker air, the high "g" airloads pulled the tail feathers off in the hignspeed dive. Lawn Dart!
linbb 3
Your post makes little sense as all aircraft are certified to FAA STANDARDS if you read up on things. They are done the same as Cessna AC are for the same mission.
Also you must not know much about certifying AC, I was with a company that modified light AC and know what we were required to do so need to read up on things and do some flying before posting.
And a side note 235 Cherokees had a spin problem if loaded to aft CG and they were certified that way. They had and not the only ones to have it prohibited against intentional spins. So were the Grumman two place trainers most instructors would not let you do a full stall in them due to that. A navy test pilot almost lost his life thinking he knew something more than Grumman did about that.
Actually, my post makes perfect sense. Aircraft certified to FAA standards have to be maintained correctly order to remain airworthy. Sadly, most 25 to 35 year old aircraft are not! Your side note is something that every pilot already knows, aft load any plane and you will change spin charactistics dramatically. Some light aircraft were certified for spins only in the utility category. But what has to do with article?
m r 2
I posted for readers like you to make your own judgement and comments. I've flown mostly pipers for 5 years safely and withiin published limits. That being said my goal in posting is creating conversation to debunk something that seems more sensational than actual in fact. It's a legal based article, but I found it based more on opinion than actual hard facts myself. Thank you for commenting and I'd glad it motivated you to post such an educated reply. It's people such as yourself that contribute factual experiences that can put this article in perspective. I'm of the opinion if this was true design flaw, the FAA or NTSB would've grounded such a critical flaw don't you think? Thank you again for your contribution to the post
The aircraft in the video is a PA-30 Twin Commanche that NASA used in 1967 for wind tunnel testing on control flutter. They recommended some design changes which Piper adhered to.
It's worth noting that Piper Comanches do have an AD to inspect/replace the tail stabilator horn--something I don't believe the Cherokees and similar aircraft of that lineage have.
Unsuprisingly, the attorney Arthur Wolk, who has won a billion in judgements so far, does not have a high opinion of the NTSB findings. It seems it is not his interest to do so. He does not have to convince the NTSB, FAA, or a group of engineers. He just has to convince a jury and seems quite successful at it.

The Inquirer story might be seen as unpaid advertising or Mr. Wolk's company. As Piper is owned by the Brunei Minister of Finance, I can see a plausible reason for Mr. Wolk's focus on Pipers. I wish they hadn't dragged poor Galloping Gertie into it.

This does not address the engineering question you posed.


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