Rigging FAQs

What you should expect:  

#1, You should expect your Aircraft to make "book performance". Straight & level flight with minimal control inputs. Pilot control input to be "crisp" to feel without "lag" and "sloppy" actuation. Control System pivot points & connections to be free of binding and associated control wheels lubricated with freedom of travel. Cable tensions and Flight Control Surfaces adjusted to Maintenance Manual Specifications. 

Elevator Trim: Typically the elevator trim actuator is full of crud and what I refer to as "Aviation Grade" Tar! This can be cleaned with mineral spirits or compatible solvent & properly lubricated. Have a helper roll the trim wheel nose up/dn while you clean the actuator chain & drive sprocket located at the Elevator access panel with a small 3/4" or 1" wide bristle brush & solvent. You can use LPS-1 or LPS-2 afterwards. This can be up to a 1 hr time saving at additional cost depending upon condition. 

If your aircraft is previously clean and lubricated in this area then by all means thank & keep your current A&P for being in the top 10.

Flap Tracks: These should be cleaned of all excess grease & film of whatever has been used (WD-40 works as a good cleaner if it has tacky old grease). LPS-1 or LPS-2 works well as a bearing lubricant and only needs to be maintained periodically or after rain, washing of Aircraft etc.  BTW this is good general practice for all bearings & hinge points.

Annual: If you are going into Annual anytime soon there is also several things to do while the Aircraft is opened up: Clean out below floor well area so all cables & pulleys are movable and only need to be lubricated while rigging process is underway. Be sure to remove any F.O.D that may have migrated under pulley supports, this is prevalent below center console, fwd side of cabin bulkheads and aft side of baggage compartment bulkhead.

Miscellaneous:  Make sure any worn flight control rod ends, Aileron hinge, Cowl Flap hinge, Flap track etc are replaced if excessive wear so it will tighten up tolerances. Lots of these items you can see for yourself if you do a very careful pre-flight. Any worn out items like this could throw out the rigging later on if replaced after the rigging job has been completed. 

Special Note:  Most of these items are considered "owner preventative maintenance" less the worn out parts replacement of course, the clean & lube however could be performed by the owner. That really takes up allot of time that could be used to rig the Flight Controls instead of preparation to rig. Good service habits can easily protect your investment and extend the life of many components with something as simple as lubrication after each exterior wash, 30-60 days or flying in rain or humid weather conditions.

The new facility is located at Hicks Airfield, 554 Aviator Dr., Fort Worth, Texas 76179, USA   Phone 817-249-4389 turn off taxi-way at mid field access road (East) and it will be the 1st hangar on your Right before entering the 2nd road/row of hangars. Beige in color with blue trim on the South side of access road.

Helpful Notes:  Please expect at least a 2-4 day turnaround service if Aircraft is dropped off depending upon condition, your Aircraft will be kept in a secure in-door environment.

For “owner assist” expect as minimum full day service starting early AM and about ½ day for remaining items. This does not include Post Maint Flight that can result in minor adjustments. It is standard practice to plan on a 2-Day event!

Helpful Reminders:  Please remember to bring your Airframe Logbook, Maintenance Manual if available and make a note of any abnormalities ahead of time.

I do, and encourage, the "Owner assisted hands on” if you are interested. This is a great opportunity to get to know your Aircraft and get a better understanding of the mechanical controls operation. If you wish not to participate you may drop it off anytime throughout the week with prior arrangement. Normally the Aircraft will be back by the end of the following week and more than likely much sooner. 

Also, If you do-not have any Maintenance Manuals for you Aircraft, please let me know in advance so I can locate beforehand in the event I do not have them.

If you are out flying sometime in this area give me a call ahead of time and we can take a look-over of the plane and do a pre-evaluation if you would like. If you are not sure about service wear of some of the items mentioned drop a line and I can try to give some advice to help determine condition.