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Stabilator Inspection Tip

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The stabilator is one of the most often over looked items in the pre-flight and especially the inspection. Most people aren't quite sure what to look for. 

This tip is aimed more at the pivot pin and nut torque. Grab the stab and move it fore and aft. Not up and down. If there is even the tiniest free play fore and aft then there is a very high chance the pivot pin nut needs to be torqued. If the stab has never been removed and had this checked after about 200+ hrs. then there is a good chance it needs to be torqued. It isn't the nut that comes loose, but just things settling and wearing in. I have found 90% of the CT's in the last 8 years to need the nuts re-torqued. I usually find them down around 90-120 in/lbs and they should be 200 in/lbs.

The other minor issue is the rod end attachment pin for the trim tab. When you unscrew the 8mm nuts the pin may turn. usually one comes off without any issue, but the second nut turns the pin which shouldn't happen. The pin has a smooth area with no threads up against the mount. Use a pair of needle nose vise grips and secure it in that area. Remove the other not and then take the pin out. Clean the pin and the hole it goes into with lacquer thinner and then apply Loctite 480 to the pin and re-insert it into its mounting hole and center it. Allow it to set up a short time them re-install the stab and trim rod ends. Another tip. Before you slide the stab on take a piece of safety wire and attach it to the two loose trim tab rod ends, but only twist the wire 1-2 times because you are going to pull it off in a minute. As you slide the stab back in place pass the safety wire up through the hole the rod ends go into and use it to guide the rods up into there place. Once they are up inside remove the wire and place each corresponding rod end on the left or right side.


All this may sound hard or tedious, but is all quite easy and doesn't take much time.

If your stab has never been removed and had the pivot pin nut torque checked then you should at the next inspection. If it has been done then I haven't found any that has needed it again up to 1000 hrs or more. You can feel the free play fore and aft, but it may be subtle.

Stabilator Pivot pin.jpg

Trim Tab control arm attachment.jpg

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