Re: Previous Spar Damage

Dave Dugas

Your letter sheds new light on this spar subject. I've been reading these posts about the possibility of having a defective spar, and wondering what to do. I always check the spar carefully during my annual inspection and a couple of times during the year. I've never seen any sign of a problem. I have hundreds of landings, including 2 ground loops and a few landings that could have been ground loops. My airport has huge cracks in the taxiways, and during the first 150 hours, the runway had bigger cracks than the taxiways. I broke 2 tailsprings during this time. Since then the runways have been repaved. My Q2 has been flying since 2000, but has been on the gear since about 1985. I have confidence that the LS1 canard on my Q2 is airworthy, but from this point forward I will inspect it with a more critical eye.
The incident with Mr. Follmer could very well be a significant factor in the failure of James Postma's Q2. By other LS1 owners reading this report, it stresses the importance of any degree of damage to a composite structure, and the importance of damage history to non-builders of the Qs they have purchased.
James reported his broken spar to inform the group to be on the alert for similar weaknesses. I hope that the responses to his report didn't discourage builders or owners of Qs from the enjoyment of flying a great, fun airplane.
Sincerely, Dave Dugas

britmcman@... wrote:
Hello All:

If the plane owned by James Postma that suffered the broken spar happened to
be that plane built by Mr. Follmer, then we might have a suspect cause for a
pre-existing condition.

You can find an interesting report at


that states the following:

"NTSB Identification: LAX00LA301 .
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). 14 CFR Part 91:
General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 15, 2000 in CORONA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 6/25/2003
Aircraft: FOLLMER Q200, registration: N8427
Injuries: 1 Minor.
The amateur-built airplane collided with ground obstructions during a forced
landing on an interstate highway following the in-flight separation of a
portion of one propeller blade. An FAA airworthiness inspector examined the
airplane and interviewed the pilot. The pilot reported that the airplane was in
cruise flight when it suddenly began to shake violently. The pilot believed he
had lost part of the wooden propeller and turned to return to the departure
airport. The shaking through the airframe became intense and the pilot was
unsure of the continued integrity of the airframe. He decided to land on a major
interstate highway beneath the airplane. During the landing rollout, the
airplane was quickly catching up to automobiles on the road ahead and the pilot
intentionally steered the airplane to the right shoulder to avoid a collision
with the vehicles. The right wing contacted a light pole and slued the
airplane nose first into another pole. The second collision with the pole
shattered the propeller into small splinters. The airplane continued down an
embankment and collided with additional brush. The FAA inspector searched the area
and was able to identify one propeller blade tip in the propeller fragments
scattered over the site. The second tip could not be located. According to the
pilot, the aircraft owner built the airplane prior to 1990 and obtained an
initial airworthiness and registration certificate, then placed the airplane
into storage. The airplane did not fly from 1990 until weeks before the
accident. The pilot was in the process of flying the initial 40 operating hours for
an unrestricted experimental airworthiness certificate and had flown the
airplane about 11 hours.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of
this accident as follows:
The failure and separation of one wooden propeller blade for undetermined
reasons. "


Phil Lankford


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