Vol. 5 November 2007
Velocity's Quarterly Whenever-We-Get-Around-To-It Newsletter
This is a ListBox

The Velocity BLT Special
Scott Baker

Project Hot Rod
Duane Swing & Scott Swing

New Toe-Brake Pedals
Ken Baker

The Mishler Nose-Wheel Lock System
Ken Mishler





The Mishler Nose-Wheel Lock System
Ken Mishler

Upon taking off at Sebastian, FL, runway 22, and crossing over runway 04,
the nose on my SUV floated up after hitting the runway seam - then retouched one more time before going airborne. At about 15 feet above the runway the plane started a left bank. Trying to adjust for level flight, I found myself at full right aileron while still making a hard left climbing turn. At 400 ft and 100 degrees into a turn, I did a mental check of my plane’s construction: every nut, bolt, and washer and, oh yeah—visual check, “Are both wings still on?”

I remember thinking to myself, “Newly installed front wheel pant.” (But not quite in those words.) I eventually lowered the nose to pick up speed and the unanticipated turn started to get a little better. At 140kts I felt a change, and the ailerons gained authority over the turn. Whew. It then flew just like it always had for the past 400 hours.

Upon landing, I encountered a nose wheel shimmy that no one should ever
have to go through. What I think happened was that the nose wheel, upon retouching the runway during my take-off bump, turned about 25 degrees to the right. Then during slow flight, the cocked wheel pant acted like a big rudder, turning the plane right even though the ailerons were applied in full left roll. Speed eventually helped aileron authority become more effective and, when fast enough, straighten up the nose wheel pant slightly. But still – a shimmy resulted during touch-down.

Regardless: no one hurt – equipment saved – so now what? Well, I wasn’t coming back out of the hangar until I was sure this would never happen again. Thus: the birth of the nose wheel lock. A long story for one of the scariest ten seconds of my life.

-Ken Mishler

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