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Extra 300L spin & pedal issue.
Doug Sowder
#1 Posted : Thursday, December 01, 2011 1:56:02 PM(UTC)
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My friend Mike is a very experienced aerobatic pilot, but had never flown an Extra, so a couple of months ago we went flying in my 300L. In some 800 hours of flying this Extra, the plane had never surprised me, but this time it sort of did. Mike was in the back seat, and I let him do most of the flying. Near the end of our flight (i.e. nearly out of gas), I demonstrated a Cravat. If you haven't read de Lapparent's book, this starts out with going fast, pulling to vertical, an optional right aileron roll or two, then lay the plane on its side with right rudder, followed by full forward stick, resulting in a knife edge spin on the vertical upline. It's fun, produces a really cool sight picture, and imposes negligible g loads on the plane and its occupants.

As the plane reached the top of the upline, rather than continuing the knife-edge spin back down, I rolled the plane to level upright with left rudder and aileron; the pitch translated smoothly into left yaw, and by holding the left rudder in and full right + aft stick, we transitioned to an upright flat spin to the left. Full power, of course. After about three turns, I started pulsing the right rudder to control the rotation rate, then at 1/2 turn before the heading I wanted, full right rudder, planning to fly away on about a 30 degree descending line (about the best a 300L can do with a couple of heavy guys onboard). The rotation stopped on heading, so I pressed the left pedal to neutralize the rudder. The pedal wouldn't move. The nose reversed direction and started to yaw to the right, to enter a right-pedal spin.

I was definitely in time compression mode...it seemed like an hour but probably took a couple of seconds to realize that there was a correlation between the amount of left rudder pressure and a significant pain signal from my right foot. Well, my $14.00 Costco Court Classic, with my right foot inside, was stuck between the right rudder pedal and a fuselage diagonal tube, and refused to come loose till I released the left rudder pressure. The natural geometry of the leg and foot tends to push the shoe off the pedal.

The lesson here, and my future concern, is that had I said anything to Mike, he might have tried to help with the left pedal. He's a strong guy, and it may have taken quite a while to sort the problem out. On the ground, I found that this won't happen on the left side of my Extra, only the right. It's never been re-rigged, and so far I don't think there's any cable length adjustment to be made. I'll inspect it carefully when I take the fuselage shell off for annual this winter. In the meantime, for anyone who's interested, I posted a PHOTO in my Album. Click on my name (in blue), then Album, then click on the red Extra photo and the rudder pedal photo will come up.
Fly careful! Doug
Gjunkie1
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:30:05 AM(UTC)
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I had a similar issue in MX2 at the Sebring Contest this year. The UNK started with an inverted 45 up line, a 270 roller finishing inverted, and then a 1 1/4 turn inverted spin. I spun with right foot, and when pushing left pedal to stop the spin, the rudder pedal was very stiff, and not moving much. I too felt pain in my foot, and realized the toe of my sneaker had moved "up" in relation to the rudder pedal, and was jammed under the cockpit coaming at the canopy line. when I pulled my foot back "down" toward the floor board, the rudder pedals moved just fine.

This had never happened to me before, and it think it occurred because of the significant inverted flight befoe the spin. I think I just allowed the weight of my foot to move toward the top of the airplane while inverted, pushing my shoe into the space above the pedal.

Rudder pedal foot straps would cure this, as well as filling the upside down U-shaped gap at the canopy line of the fuselage. I haven't decided yet which way to go. The rudder pedal straps would interfere some with the front seat passenger, though would be easier to install.

Steve Johnson
MX2
Nashville, TN
Steve Johnson
MX2
Nashville, TN
AeroDynamics
#3 Posted : Wednesday, February 25, 2015 6:43:04 AM(UTC)
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Location: Craig, Colorado

I know this is an old topic but would really appreciate it if you two gentlemen will respond as I am looking into an exact similar issue.

Much appreciated.

Gjunkie1
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 25, 2015 7:00:22 AM(UTC)
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Hi Craig,

What's up? What info are you looking for?

Thanks,
Steve
Steve Johnson
MX2
Nashville, TN
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#5 Posted : Wednesday, February 25, 2015 7:23:21 AM(UTC)
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Hi Steve, much appreciated.

I am looking into the fatal mishap of one time world champon Glen Dell in an Extra 300 18 months ago. During my own testing I have experienced the same foot-slipping as you did, and at least one pilot I am using mostly as a technical advisor (he was the Red Bull technician for the late Glen Dell) experienced foot slipping as Doug did.

If you'd care to speak to me I'll be glad. Maybe a personal message and we can exchange email addresses.

Andries
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#6 Posted : Wednesday, February 25, 2015 7:46:53 AM(UTC)
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Hi Andries, my email address is gjunkie1@aol.com to make things easier. I know only what was in the news about Glen's accident, but it did look like a spin event if some kind in the videos.

Steve
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#7 Posted : Wednesday, September 09, 2015 11:03:54 AM(UTC)
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My plane is experimental, so I was able to make modifications to the side panels to avoid this situation. I installed aluminum panels, held in place with Adell clamps, so that my feet wouldn't slip off and get stuck in the fuselage tubes next to the rudder pedals. Also, I have been using straps to keep my feet on the pedals with negative maneuvers. This happened to July Mangold many years ago. This is a very easy fix. Flying unlimited.
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#8 Posted : Sunday, September 13, 2015 6:08:44 AM(UTC)
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When doing negative Maneuvers I think it's always advisable to have straps on rudder pedals to hold your feet in place. Patty W
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