I'm looking at a tail wheel aircraft that has
wrinkles or dents around where main landing gear legs go into the fuselage. It also looks like a patched area. There is nothing in the logbooks
about repairs, has this aircraft been wrecked?
Wrinkles do not mean wrecked. But they do typically indicate previous damage or
stress. I'd guess the aircraft has had a few hard landings or even a few ground
loops. Make sure the mechanic looks for the FAA "Form 337, Major Alteration and Repair" in the aircraft records. You can also order (through the FAA or other search
companies) a copy of the FAA 337 Forms for a specific “N” number aircraft.
This report will show you any Form 337’s that have been filed with the
FAA on that particular aircraft. If that
doesn't show any damage all you have is visual information.
the result, the mechanic should inspect the gear attach points for un-repaired
damage. Landing gear on any aircraft
gets a lot of stress. Custom built
aircraft are notorious for landing gear damage, along with training aircraft. It doesn’t matter if it is a conventional
gear (tail wheel) aircraft or a tri-gear aircraft. New pilots have a tendency to make hard
landings and newly completed custom aircraft take a while to become accustom
to. Don’t be surprised, just make sure
the aircraft is inspected carefully.
Labels: aircraft accident, aircraft maintenance, aircraft mechanic, aviation insurance, damaged aircraft, EAA, FAA, landing gear, prebuy inspection, tail wheel