Vashon Ranger Problems

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Pilot Rick

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Jan 4, 2021
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35
This is really bad. If you go on the guy's website you will see so many problems with this design.
 

Voidhawk9

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Mar 26, 2012
Messages
517
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Timaru, NZ
Could be early teething problems for a new design? Something certainly needs to be done about some of these things, however. That trim servo mounting looks like something out of Raptor (if it were metal).
However the complaint about the composite prop is nonsense - wood cores are common in composite props even in the certified world.
 

pylon500

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Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Messages
348
Location
Taree Airport Australia
This is all a bit worrying.
I was initially impressed when the Ranger hit the scene, both from it's simplicity, advertised performance and the manufacturers supposed design ethic.
Then I saw the elevator servo mount :eek:
That was a SERIOUS oversight on a primary flight control.
Most of the other problems on that guy's website are bad, but in most cases a little overstated.
-
Rain; Most LSA's I know leak if flown in rain, but that could be better...
Un-commanded trim; That needs some work!
Altitude hold; Sounds like an adjustment problem (made worse by the weak servo mount)
Fuel imbalance; I bet a few instructors pout there had a giggle at that one.
Legals; Who would have thought buying a plane would have you step into THAT sort of minefield?
Composite propellor; Yep, it's right there in the description, wood+fibreglass=composite.
Nose gear; OK, I was suspecting this to be the typical castoring nose shimmy, but it just looks like in imbalance.
IFR capabilities; Are you allowed to fly IFR in LSA's in the USA, we're not allowed here in Oz, that said, it looks like it's got enough info to get you back to the ground if you get caught up in IMC. I've done it with a 'bat and ball', but a flashy EFIS screen would be a lot easier.
🤷‍♂️
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
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Dec 16, 2007
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14,777
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Port Townsend WA
The Vashon skins are pre-painted to save cost of paint and keep the price low.
Paint might seal some. Ask an unpainted Zenith owner if they leak or not.
 
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rv6ejguy

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Jun 26, 2012
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4,223
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
You would think that a company based in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington metro area might have some experience with rain. :-/
If I am not mistaken, Ken Kruger, ex designer at Van's designed the Ranger and the pop riveted RV-12. Hard to believe he got so many things wrong here.
 

jedi

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Aug 8, 2009
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2,442
Location
Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
.........
IFR capabilities; Are you allowed to fly IFR in LSA's in the USA, we're not allowed here in Oz,...............
A properly equipped LSA can file IFR. Most can not fly in IMC because of a lack of lightning protection. This is an issue on the composite LSAs. Perhaps it is ok on the all metal Ranger. Check the operating limitations as that is the determining document.
 

User27

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Apr 5, 2015
Messages
103
Location
England
It is a fallacy that small aircraft get hit by lightning - check the accident statistics, no single engine small aircraft crash because of a lightning strike. Therefore lightning protection is just redundant weight and cost. Can you show the regulation that requires lightning protection for an LSA or homebuilt to fly IMC? Thunderstorms kill pilots each year, but not lightning.
 

mcrae0104

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Oct 27, 2009
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If I am not mistaken, Ken Kruger, ex designer at Van's designed the Ranger and the pop riveted RV-12. Hard to believe he got so many things wrong here.
I'm not sure I would fault Kruger just yet. This is only one report, and we don't know whether it's a design issue or a manufacturing QA/QC issue.
 

Voidhawk9

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Mar 26, 2012
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517
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Timaru, NZ
I've seen the aftermath of a DA-42 following a lightning strike. Not pretty, delam on the nose, one winglet almost entirely gone... they were lucky the electrics came back on.
 

Marc Zeitlin

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Dec 11, 2015
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899
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Tehachapi, CA
First, I'd just like to say that listing a plane for sale and then creating a detailed database of all the design deficiencies with the plane, is about the driest form of ironic deprecation that I've seen in a LONG time.

... Can you show the regulation that requires lightning protection for an LSA or homebuilt to fly IMC? Thunderstorms kill pilots each year, but not lightning.
So in the old FAR's, for Part 23 aircraft, it was 14 CFR Part 23.1306, viewable here:


and for the latest version of Part 23, it's 14 CFR Part 23.2515, viewable here:


They're pretty much the same, except for 2515 having the "get out of jail free" card of the statement that

"unless an applicant shows that exposure to lightning is unlikely:"​

Now, neither LSA's or E-AB's are governed by Part 23, unless their OL's say so, so these are just informational in this case. For the case of the Vashon Ranger, the POH, available here:


Section 2-2 clearly states that:

"Flight in IFR/IMC Conditions is prohibited"​

And with respect to E-AB aircraft, generally their OL's will restrict flight to day VFR "unless appropriately equipped per 14 CFR Part 91.205 for Night/IFR flight."
 

BBerson

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The wood prop covered with fiberglass is a composite of wood and fiberglass and resin.;)
A "composite" can be made of two or more of anything.
Servos sometimes move when off.
 

Marc Zeitlin

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Dec 11, 2015
Messages
899
Location
Tehachapi, CA
Servos sometimes move when off.
Yeah, but mounting the servo to tissue paper that flexes a ridiculous amount is completely unacceptable - if someone brought me a plane for a CI that had a servo mounted like that, the CI would NOT get signed off, and a stiff reinforcement would be required. I cannot imagine how any DAR signed off a plane with a servo mounting like that, even with the self certification of LSA's. No wonder the plane wanders all over the sky in altitude - there's so much compliance and hysteresis in the pitch system that oscillations are guaranteed. It's a joke.
 
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