MASTERY Flight Training, Inc.
247 Tiffany Street Rose Hill, Kansas USA 67133 316-737-1141 fax 316-776-0856
Beechcraft A36 Bonanza Split Flap Event
submitted anonymously for the purpose of pilot education
I had a "split flap" situation on my A36 as a result of maintenance during an annual. This facility had performed a five-year [check] on the flap actuators and somehow screwed up the re-installation. I discovered the problem as I was doing my post-annual flight check to make sure everything worked well before I went off for the Christmas Holiday.
After an uneventful flight I put approach flaps out as I turned base leg*. As soon as I did that, I started to roll left which subsequently required me to hold about a half deflection of right aileron to compensate. I tried to raise the flaps but they were stuck in a split configuration (right down to approach, left up) To aggravate the situation, there was a crosswind from the right on landing requiring even more right aileron. I kept my speed about 10 knots fast to enhance aileron authority and landed on a very long runway. It ended up being a non event as we got down fine but certainly did elevate my heart rate a bit. My passengers were not aware anything was up.
[*This experience also serves as a reminder to delay extending flaps until all turns are complete and you are wing-level. As anyone who has flown a "spiral demonstration" with me or other instructors can attest, a roll to the left while in a left turn and close to the ground can cause you to lose precious altitude very quickly, or set you up for a cross-control, accelerated stall from a relatively low pattern speed in your attempt to compensate.--tt]