Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Well, until yesterday I was fine with the factory design. Until after deploying the flaps at 60 mph and flying for a few seconds I felt a bump and a slight pitch down and looked at 70 mph on my airspeed indicator. I thought how careless of me and pulled the nose up to return to 60 mph and continued my approach. On final I noticed something was different. I was not and could not stay on my normal angle using my normal pitch and power settings. I looked out at the flaps and they were up. I reached down and the lever had lifted up and out, and aft, of the forward (down) notch. Ah, So that’s why my airspeed suddenly went from 60 to 70, I thought. I immediately returned the flap handle to the forward notch and put her in a slip. She came down like an elevator and I got back on glide path and on my approach speed. Now I’m concerned that it may happen again, If it happens again I am going to change to something that stays where I put it. Probably go with the Zenith option kit.
Joe Spencer put this video up on YouTube of that exact scenario. https://youtu.be/eLJf-4brTxw
there’s only a small bungee barely holding pressure on the stock flap handle to keep it in the notch. I built my own handle very similar to what Zenith sells currently, which is a copy of one of our members here. Ron Leclerc has some pictures in the photo section, just search “flap handle”.
Thanks Jason. I removed my cabin doors a couple week s ago so with the wind noise I never heard anything but I did feel a slight nose drop and then noticed the airspeed increase. I’ll have a look at your design. What I find odd about Zenith’s design is the multiple increments when they ch aged to an Up or Down only setting years ago. Not sure what the intermediate settings would do for you and not seen any chatter about the benefits. I will wait to see if it happens again before acting in case it was pilot error.
problem with the automotive parts is there is a weight penalty, there was at least one individual who several years ago built their own and there was video on u-tube, sorry I don't remember who that was. Right now the best design is probably the Zenith design that they offer as an option. I built my own, but the disclaimer is that my project is stalled right now and has not flown, but it may give you some ideas if you decide to build your own. https://youtu.be/8PcSXAmqMw8
I wonder how many younger folks on here might need an explanation of what an automotive parking or emergency brake handle is. Knew a millennial who borrowed a 70 something Impala a couple of years ago and couldn't figure out how to activate the high beams. Had a bit of trouble getting the windows down but he figured it out pretty quick. He'd seen it on a movie. But they don't put those floor switches in movies, so that totally baffled him. Makes me ponder sometimes what some of the young folks think of airplanes with such antiquated equipment and systems. There's still a lot of planes flying out there with LORAN, Narco radios, and the like. Lots of them still function just fine too.
I have the factory optional flap handle on my 701 and love it. It is very easy to move through the 3 positions to deploy them or raise them.