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Maintenance Tips

Tailwheel clip broke

Harper Goodwin

When I started flying Skywagons one of the things that was pointed out to me during preflight was the importance of the cable attachment to the tailwheel. Each preflight I carefully look at that. The attachment on my 180 didn't look that great to me, just a wire clip, but on close inspection it seemed substantial enough. After looking at others I saw that there was a better clasp available so that was on my list for the annual in Sept.

A buddy and I flew around to a few local grass strips yesterday, landed back at my home airport and refueled. As I swung my tail around to position it in front of my hanger there was a very uncomfortable pop and the right rudder went slack. The wire clasp had broken and the cable was no longer attached. Talk about lucky, of all the times I have slammed that right rudder in to counteract previously improper inputs....... and it breaks as I am making a smooth right hand turn........right in front of my hanger!!!!!! I must be living right.

Now I can't remember what types of clasps I have seen used. Where can one be found and what do you all use? Mine (1954) is just a cable attached to the clip, no spring. Is that how they are normally set up. And no, I do not have a locking tailwheel. Another discussion maybe later.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.