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Flaps froze in -12 position

darren ctsw

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Hi All


On Sunday last week I was flying back from Northumberland at 120 knots with -12 flaps when I decided to slow up and prepare to call my local airfield door joining instructions.


I tried to use the flaps selector and It did not, I tied turning and using the switch buy nothing happened for 10 minutes.


1 minute away at 60 knots and a high nose position it finally worked,


On a close inspection a cable had become loose on the electric motor, my questions are

Has this happened to anyone else,

I have connected the wire again, but the flaps are not working again, does anyone know what I should do?

Would it be better to replace motor?

Thanks for reading




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Hi Darren,


I most likely isn't the motor. The flap malfunction is usually just a loose wire. yes there have been a few bad circuit boards, but they are usually intermittent, but more of a constant issue. It probably isn't a circuit board because you can usually use the manual if the automatic side doesn't work. Then that may be the potentiometer.


I would pull the panel on the instrument mushroom with the flap switch. Then you will see a number of wires with bullet connectors coming out the back. Three will have nothing and those are for re-programming so don't worry about those right now.

YOU MUST put your hands on each connector and push and turn to make sure they have a solid connection. This is the #1 problem spot, but it is fairly rare. Let us know what you find.

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I had the flaps freeze at -6, and the cause was that the black cap at the bottom of a small cylinder, perhaps the flap motor I don't recall, had worked loose and broken the connection. I put a piece of duct tape on it to hold it securely, and I now check it at each preflight. No further problems in 700 more hours. WF

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Dick,


I look at landing with -12, -6 and zero as the same and use the same speed. I look at 30 & 40 flaps as the same. There is nothing odd or remarkable about -6 landings except going to slow with nose up will cause tail scraping.

I use 50 for 30 & 40. 50 is my personal limit to keep out of trouble. Depending on how heavy I am or how windy it is I will use 60-65 for an approach at -12, -6 or zero. I usually always keep some throttle in at 2500-2800 and if I'm really heavy then up to 3000 rpm depending on conditions. If you only weigh 160 lbs and you're by yourself then you would want to cut those rpm settings down. Yes you glide another 75', but so what, the landings are always good. I have never had what you might call a hard landing. Landings in all conditions then tend to be smooth and very controllable without any mushy controls with rpm and I stay away from stall type landings. With a little throttle a quick solid full throttle prop spin up happens fast in case a go around if plane saving is ever needed.

Dragging your tail at -12, -6 & zero tends to come from trying to land too slow and nose up. Land flatter with a few knots more speed and you won't strike your tail. Works like a charm. Keep it a little flatter and let it settle to the ground verses pulling the stick way back and trying to make it land. If you are one of those that like full stall landings and pull the stick way back types you will strike your tail eventually. At full stall landings if you make a mistake then the rpm spin up takes longer, it takes longer to get back critical speed that you needed 2 minutes ago and you are less likely to save yourself from a ground strike.

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