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Mon, Feb 28, 2022

Van's Issues RV-12 Service Bulletin

Required Fix to Strengthen Rear Tailcone Skins

Van's has issued a service bulletin for RV-12 and RV-12iS aircraft, specifically requiring owners to inspect the lower portion of the tailcone for cracks, and install stiffening equipment to bolster them should damage be found. 

Van's issued the warning after receiving reports of cracking along the lower tailcone skins of RV-12 near the tail bulkheads, observed along the centerline of the plane. Even if cracking is not evident, owners are required to install the support clips. If damage is uncovered, then an additional patch plate will need to be fabricated and installed all at once. Depending on the level of cracking present, the fix may require additional patchwork past the damaged piece, as the bulletin requires that "the patch should capture at least 3 rivets past the crack in the skin or forward and aft of the bulkhead and 2 rivets left and right of centerline." For the average experienced builder or A&P, Vans estimates the job will take just under 2 and 1/2 hours. Those completing the patch plate installation should be ready to clip to the bulkhead below. Home builders should be ready to use a tail stand to prevent the rear of the aircraft from striking the ground while work is performed.

 Accessing the deeper portion of the tailcone bulkhead will require additional, temporary plywood reinforcement to protect the skin between each rib during the install. Owners at least have a while to comply, with the work required "Within 100 hours or at the next 12-month inspection, whichever occurs first." For the full bulletin and step by step directions, see the Van's website below.



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