Have you ever had an annoying problem that no one has been able to fix? The one item that every time you fly your plane drives you absolutely crazy?!
You may have been living with this annoyance for some time and called tech support at the manufacturer for help. Website forums are just filled with opinions and off-the-wall solutions that you may have even tried. It happens that even the most knowledgeable mechanics will be baffled by your problem.
Premier just experienced this problem and it happened to be on an important plane! Something in the flap circuit was shorted somewhere and would pop the circuit breaker…but not all the time, confounding us. The problem just happened every time the boss flew the plane, but we could only duplicate this when the aircraft was in the shop.
Needless to say, the boss was not very happy when we could not duplicate the problem or isolate it. We would ask him to test fly the plane and he came back with the same problem. There were hours spent looking at wiring diagrams and isolating autopilot and trim systems from the flap circuit. We would have the plane up on jacks, gear up, and every other possible configuration you can imagine. Time on the phone with the manufacturer was not at all helpful. The problem turned out to be so simple and unrelated to flight or any other system it was laughable.
The problem turned out to be a camlock fastener. The reason it would not show up in the shop is the pilot’s side access panel had to be removed to get to some of the flap wiring. When we removed that panel the dead short in the flap circuit was removed and the flaps would operate normally. It happens that the manufacturer had changed the routing of the wiring for the electric harness to pass directly behind the pilot’s side panel that accesses the battery compartment. One of the wires for the flaps would get caught behind the locking portion of one of the camlock fasteners when the panel was installed. Over time the wire wore through the insulation causing the short. Repairing the wire and isolating the wire from the camlock solved the problem.
After that, I did receive calls from owners of similar aircraft and after explaining what to look for, they made very grateful return calls to me because this was going to be one of those annoyances that nobody can fix.
We took the hit for the cure, but we gladly share the fix to help you if we can.
— Ray Bysiewicz, VP Maintenance and Business Development