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Technical Chat Tips and Advice, including flying the Luscombe

Moderator: HTB

 #6625  by Robert Lees
 Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:53 pm
1. AIRFRAME: Thoroughly inspect the wings. There should be two (2). Preferably a left and a right. Count the struts. There should be two (2) if a iron wing; four (4) if a rug wing. Inspect the tail. It should be on the airplane.

The vertical fin should have one (1) rudder attached. The horizontal stabilizer should have two (2) elevators attached. The complete tail group is required for the aircraft to be airworthy.

Count the wheels and tires. There should be two (2) of each. One tire should be mounted to each wheel. Two tires on one wheel is not acceptable and will result in a non-airworthy condition, and this must be corrected before returning the aircraft to service. Check the brakes. They may or not be there, and if there, they may or may not be in working condition. It doesn't matter. Inspect the tail wheel. If it is marked "Scott" or "Lang" it is okay. If it is marked "Maule" all bets are off.

Inspect control continuity. If there are squeaks and groans when the stick or rudder pedals are moved, or if there is no control movement, or if there is "slop" in the cable runs, it is definitely a Luscombe as indicated on the data plate. This completes the airframe inspection.

2. POWER PLANT (an oxymoron on a Luscombe): Turn both magnetos to the "off" position and pull the propeller through four times. A resistance should be felt each time. This is a compression check. If no resistance is felt during one of the four pulls, your average compression is about 60. If no resistance is felt in two of the four pulls, your average compression is about 30. If only one pull feels a resistance, your average compression is about fifteen to twenty. 45 or better is considered airworthy.

Use STP to increase the compression, and Marvel Mystery Oil to reduce the compression to normal Luscombe levels. The power plant inspection is now complete.

3. PROPELLER: This is the funny shaped wood or metal thingy bolted to the front of the power plant. Carefully measure both blades from the center of the crankshaft to the tip of the propeller. Do not cheat and pull the measuring tape tighter on one blade than the other. Legibly write down these measurements on the hangar floor. Check the leading edge (blunt side) of each blade. Each blade should have a leading edge. This confuses a lot of mechanics, because the leading edge faces up on one side and down on the other.

There should be no nicks in the leading edges. If there are nicks found, use a belt sander with 90 grit flooring paper to carefully smooth-out these nicks. If nicks are found on the trailing edge, the propeller is obviously mounted backwards, and it should be reversed to the correct position. Be sure and use all of the propeller bolts. Wrap the bolts with some metal string so that they are properly "safetied". This completes the propeller inspection.

4. FUEL SYSTEM: There are many different combinations of wing tanks, fuselage tanks, bladders, and Timm tanks commonly installed on Luscombe aircraft. Check to make sure that the wing tank(s) is/are installed in the wing(s) and that the fuselage tank is installed in the fuselage. A wing tank in the fuselage or a fuselage tank in the wing is not considered airworthy and will result in the aircraft being grounded. If corrective measures are required, be sure to drain most of the fuel out of the tanks and weld the tanks into their proper place, as flimsy straps and brackets are ugly. There are many different fuel valves installed in a Luscombe. They are all crap as originally installed.

Any fuel valve, or water faucet for that matter, is preferable to the "factory" fuel valves. Check the gascolator. It must be there. If goldfish are found in the gascolator's glass bowl, it is a good sign that there is water in the fuel. Using a fork and spoon, carefully remove the goldfish, and return the aircraft to service.

5. DOCUMENTATION: Use a sticky post-it-note and write down everything, including the propeller measurements taken from the hangar floor. Include your Social Security number for validation. Use ink, not a pencil and please spell stuff corecktely. Use as many post-it-notes as necessary and stick them on the INSIDE of the aircraft and engine logbooks. Read the time on the tachometer, verify with the airframe and engine logs, subtract your date of birth, and enter the resulting time and date. This is important, as you will be doing this again next year, and we all know how much fun it is to do a really thorough inspection as outlined above.

The annual inspection is now complete.
 #6638  by Nige
 Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:42 pm
Right, Rob,

So that's the inspection of the airframe you feel that's suitable to consider her airworthy [bearing in mind this is from a Taylorcraft owner/pilot] - now what about yer average Luscombe pilot...? How does he/she stack up?

Nige. :wink:
 #6663  by Mike Culver
 Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:45 am
Can you tell where it's leaking? If you remove the aluminum strip that covers the bottom of the wing where it joins the fuselage, it's not uncommon to see seepage around the fuel gauge. This is usually a matter of tightening the 4 screws that hold in the gauge. Note: Do not use sealant here -- it merely causes problems the next time that you want to remove the bladder.

1947 8E
 #6664  by Steve Martin
 Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:05 am
Na, ! good bit of cellotape and some super glue...will do the trick...or if you're a gum chewer, stick that in as well... :lol: :wink: ...I'm sure thats in the (re-written) check list somewhere !(If thats the checklist for Luscombes...God help the Taylorcraft boys!! :roll: )... A hotter blow torch may also do the trick and melt more rubber to seal it ...Hee hee !
 #8281  by Nige
 Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:49 pm
Thanks Monique,

Keep keeping us with any advice you may have, we all never stop learning! :lol: