Control Surface Flutter
One of the most common causes of flutter is loose linkage between the servo and control surface. This is easily corrected but often overlooked or ignored. It only takes a moment to jiggle your control surfaces by hand to see how much movement is there and determine its origin. Servo gears get worn, clevises get worn, and control horns get worn. Not if, buy when your surface flutters you will likely crash if immediate action hasn't taken place. If you ever hear a low-pitched buzzing sound, reduce throttle and land immediately, if you haven't already crashed...
Flutter can occur at any time on any control surface if the conditions are correct. All of your controls are subject to flutter but the typical pecking order is: AILERONS, ELEVATOR, then RUDDER. This isn't always the case though! If you lose a control surface because of flutter here is the likelyhood of crashing and here is your percentages.
Other causes of flutter are; Airgaps, Loose or broken hinges, and speed.
Sealing the Airgaps on your control surfaces not only minimize flutter, they also improve the efficiency of the controls. This is a good thing.
Loose or broken hinges must be repaired, as this gets perpetually worse with every flight.
Speed. If you fly your airplane beyond it's intended envelope you are rolling the dice every time. Sooner or later flutter will occur unless preventative measures were employed.
One thing about flutter is, it makes LOTS of NOISE prior to blowing up! If you react quick enough there is a chance you can save your airplane. Immediately cut your throttle and land.
Copyright © GSWAM 2006