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Zenith swan necks bent / bending.


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All,

A scary thing was spotted on the airfield last night regarding Zenith swan neck arms.

A Zenith arm has been bent outwards.

It is likely that this happend during flight (hard spirals)

The bar was bent back into place (by hand)

If you fly in a dynamic way, (spirals, wingovers, and so on)

PLEASE check your main arms to ensure they are not bent and continue to do so for every pre flight!

This is what I see as a precautionary message, the pilot is very much into 'hard flying'

As it stands, neither the pilot or instructors in the field can see any other way for the arm to have bent. We may have of course missed something and there may still be another explanation. But the fact that it could be bent back into place by hand is a little worrying.

SW :D

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Its a bank holiday today but I will buzz them in the morning and make them aware of the occurrence.

I am sure they will see my post as it is intended... to make people check and keep things safe and fun :-)

SW :D

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As an aside....

A great way to check for bends is to use the edge of a rule pressed against the arm. This will detect even the smallest bend.

Rather than visually that is....

SW :D

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Just this second got off the phone to Tom. :-)

They have acknowledged that there have been a tiny number of people experiencing this problem, by that I mean the Red Bull team and a couple of other super hardcore pilots.

They say, and I would agree, that most normal pilots will not suffer this problem.

The forces involved in a proper deep spiral are enormous and not the same thing as tight turns or wingovers.

They are developing a system to prevent this for those few pilots who feel the need and information will be live on that soon after testing is complete.

Its also worth adding that a new set of arms are on the way to the pilot free of charge and the pilot has not even had to contact them yet!

SW :D

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Thanks for the update..

As a prospective purchaser I'm quite worried by this...

They have acknowledged there is a problem for those that fly at the more extreme end of the spectrum. Surely the follow on from this is that there is a stress issue at this point, albeit only immediately obvious under high stress. But, those putting less stress on the frame are still putting stress on what has to be a weak point.

Would this lead to a stress fracture in due time I wonder.

If this issue was known about, has the company put out any warnings to those that do fly at the high g end of the envelope.

I really am not being a harbinger of doom, and I love the Parajet which is on the top of my shopping list. I know their customer service is second to none. Their products are used worldwide. However we are talking about an airframe in which we place our lives every time we take off... If this were a regulated section of the aircraft industry would this airframe still be certified..

Thats all I wanted to ask really. I'm sure there are those that will put forward the other side of the argument and I really would love to have my faith restored by those with far more knowledge that I..

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Everything has a breaking point. Only a fool would assume otherwise in aviation.

The parajet 'acro' guys have been made aware and have helped with the solution which is now being tested.

I think that as long as you make sure it's in your pre flight checks you would have nothing to worry about as a 'normal' pilot. :-)

SW :D

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