Flying near and at Va

The call “Mayday Mayday Mayday” is not a call you want to have to make. This is exactly what happed on 1st May 2021 whilst an EDGE 540 was practicing aeros over Tempsford airfield, UK operating out of Lt Gransden.

From a vertical down line to level flight a double left aileron roll was initiated, after 180′ of roll the aileron central attachment bracket decided one more cycle was enough and let go. The aileron broke upwards and outwards immediately.

All World Championship Air Race pilots need to take note. Pylons at 120 meters, flight at 90+ meters a second, thats roll from left knife to right knife & stabilise every 1.3 seconds. Typically doing 180 – 200 kts. With a Va of 170 on the Edge 540 application of rapid and full aileron at these speeds is beyond the design structural limits.

This is not the first Edge 540 to suffer an aileron departure in flight. Take note and care this applies to all aerobatic and high performance aircraft, design limits are a balance between weight savings and safety, not every time are limits adhered too.

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