Post-Maintenance Test Flights, Flight Controls Part 2

Anytime the wing’s leading edge is removed for maintenance, such as repair for the anti-icing system in a “hot” wing or repair of TKS panels, exact realignment of the leading edge is absolutely necessary to ensure that the aircraft has acceptable stall characteristics. Misalignment of one wing’s panel by just a degree or two can result in an abrupt and possibly unrecoverable stall. A proper preflight would also include close inspection of the sealant. If the sealant protrudes too much from the gap, it will “trip” the boundary layer, causing extra drag and an undesirable change in the stall characteristics over that portion of the wing. This is especially critical on high performance wings which exhibit a leading edge stall behavior.
Credit: Patrick Veillette
From our very first flight lessons we were taught to check for “full and free correct movement” of flight controls. Every preflight, whether it is for a normal flight or a post-maintenance test flight, must ensure that the flight controls exhibit full and free correct movement without any...

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