Looking for some advice...I have a inch and a quarter dent in the leading edge of my elevator. Any ideas as to how I can pull the dent ? I can't access the inside of the leading edge to push it out. Should I just use tape or body filler ? Would appreciate any ideas from other builders who have dealt with this issue.

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I would talk to Zenith regarding repair options. I would imagine they would recommend removing thew damage and doing an insertion repair or external patch repair. 

Take the elevator off. Drill out the needed rivets to open / access the skin.  Repair the dent by working the inside of the dented skin area with a lightly oiled table spoon with your thumb inside the table spoon.


I second Bobs method because I have had to do it. If you are not confident in achieving a perfect result, call one of the automotive paintless dent repair guys because they do this work all day long.



As long as there is no structural damage under the skin I would fill the dent with light weight filler. Be sure to prepare the aluminum before putting the filler on to assure it will stick. I used this product from ACS

I used a 1 x 2 sanding block that's about 2 feet long. This long block keeps the sand paper very flat and makes it easy to feather without cutting into the aluminum. Hold the block on each end and
Pivot the block from the end without the sandpaper. I used dry marker around the dent so I could tell how far to sand.

I agree with Bob McDonald. It's not as big a deal as you might think to drill it all apart and fix it with an oiled spoon. One afternoon and it's over with, and if it happens again you will have the experience under your belt.

All dents , especially in a curved surface like a leading edge,  are a little different and may require a variety of methods and skill to properly remove . .  Dents may have raised areas around the perimeter in which case the simplest method of filling will not be successful or look right.  The center may have some stretched metal which requires some skill to shrink properly . Most dents up to a certain size can be successfully removed by  using the" dolly off " method. This requires having access to the backside of the dent though and requires some skill and understanding of the metal,  where to hammer , where to place the dolly ,the shape of the dolly,  etc.etc.  The alloy is 6061, probably T-4,  which is not too unlike working light gauge sheet metal. Depending on where the dent is in the leading edge , you might be able to access it my removing end cap and using a heavy steel bar inside as a dolly.  if the edges of the dent are not hard and the center is not too deep and stretched,  this method can be employed without even breaking the paint surface.  I spent  many years as a young man owning and operating an auto body shop specializing in heavy collision work,  frame repair and painting.  Still build hot rods today at 71

If you can post a picture to show the shape, the size and the location of the dent, I may be able to suggest you a fix. When I bought my CH 701, it came home with a dent on right of the horizontal stabilizer leading edge. The dent did get me pre-occupied in most flights, thinking of way to fix it. It was a big relief when I finally found the way to fix it and kept the paint on.

Thanx for everyone who has been posting and trying to help me out on this issue...I will post a couple of pictures next week...

Looks very cool. I suspect you would get the same result by pushing from behind the dent.

Tape up all holes and rivet joints and shoot compressed air inside.  Doesn't take much air pressure so be careful.  

I'm a paintless dent repair technician and I'm building a 750. DO NOT fall for the YouTube fixes! There are a million videos out there on ways that can definitely make a dent look different...not better. Stu is absolutely right about the "raised area around the perimeter" and/or stretched metal. The oiled spoon idea is better than temperature shocking a thin piece of metal...especially on a flying surface.

Call a local PDR tech to at least get an estimate. Call more than one! Ask them (while they're looking at it) how they would access it and if glue pulling is a possibility. Also, explain that it's an experimental...some guys won't touch an airplane because they believe they need an A&P to sign the work off. Pick a PDR guy with a lot of experience/good references...there are hacks in this field too, unfortunately.

YouTube is a great place for certain things. Picking someone to fix your plane that does this kind of work every day makes good sense. Would you visit a doctor or consult YouTube for a how-to if you suspect you had colon cancer?


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