Aviation and Aerobatics: Pitts Wing

The Pitts didn't get out of the maintainance hanger with just a little fuel tank work. In December it dropped a wing.

Aviat service bulletin number 25 and FAA AD 97-17-07 cover the aft wing attach points on every Pitts but the S-2C. It seems the attach fittings are a wee bit light and subject to cracking from the stress of so many bodies planting a foot at the wing root to climb into the plane.

The AD requires 50 hour inspections. My A&P duly complied. He said he saw a crack.

Now I'm not going to argue with him. Parachute or no parachute, wing separation in flight is not an adventure many of us would pay to sign-up for. I'm generally happier when the wings stay attached to the fuselage. So I paid to fix.

The pictures and captions here tell the story. We removed the wing and applied the Aviat approved reinforcements to strengthen the attach fitting. I flew it again for the first time since October on February 28, 2004. It's now happy again in Doug's Cozy Den overlooking the airfield at Poughkeepsie.