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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Pitts Paint and Fabric Problem

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Pitts Paint and Fabric Problem


Thread: Pitts Paint and Fabric Problem

Message: Re[2]: Pitts Paint and Fabric Problem

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: Jeffrey Lo <Jeffrey_Lo at>

Date: Mon, 03 Mar 1997 22:40:38 UTC


Text item: 

There was also an incident at the 1995 Delano contest where an S2B lost 
a patch of fabric from the top of the center section during a pullout 
from a vertical downline.  I was working the corner and saw a couple of 
pieces of something dropping behind the airplane.  It turned out to be 
the fabric.  I think it was probably 3-4 square feet of fabric.  The 
plane was fairly new then, probably less than a year.

Jeff Lo
Jeffrey_Lo at
1988 Pitts Special S1S N230MP (under rebuild)
San Jose, CA

                                                   March 3,  1997

     The incident involving Roy Speeg's Pitts S-2B was much
more serious than just the paint peeling off the fabric.  The 
fabric itself split at the leading edge of the upper right wing 
and peeled itself back toward the spar.  The tear was about
3 feet in length along the leading edge and peeled itself 
back about 2 feet.  This happened while the aircraft was in 
flight.  I happened to be flying Roy's airplane when the 
failure occurred.  Actually, I was on a vertical upline when 
I first noticed it,  so the airspeed was relatively low. 
However, it is possible that the rip occurred earlier but was 
not severe enough to be able to see it from the cockpit until 
it progressed further.  Fortunately, the entire area affected 
was inboard of the aileron so there was no significant 
adverse affect on controllability of the aircraft and I was 
able to accomplish a normal landing with the aircraft.

     I also own a 1991 Pitts S-2B and I have had no problems
with either the fabric or the paint.  The fabric on my airplane 
is cotton but the fabric on Roy's airplane is dacron which 
should be stronger than cotton and less susceptible to this 
kind of failure.

                                                   Sheldon Apsell
                                                   Newton, MA
                                                   Pitts S-2B  N11AN

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Subject:       Re: Pitts Paint and Fabric Problem
Date:          Mon, 3 Mar 1997 14:22:25 EST
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