Jill Tallman

The fine art of safety wiring

June 20, 2013 by Jill W. Tallman, Associate Editor

WireSome of the teens who are assembling two Glasair aircraft here in Arlington, Wash., come from a farming community. They’ve had their hands dirty working with tractors and other types of equipment for years.

So when they got their lesson in safety wiring, they made a connection between that and repairing fences. They soon learned that the “safety” in “safety wiring” carries a lot of meaning. It’s there to keep all those moving parts from shaking themselves loose (that’s a simplified explanation, but bear with me, builders, please).

Glasair’s Ben Wat carefully safety wired–and then rewired—the bolts on the propeller hub for one of the Build a Plane aircraft, explaining that aviation mechanics take pride in doing this correctly—no loose twists, no sloppy “pigtails.” Just as pilots endure scrutiny from other pilots, mechanics grade each other’s work, I’m guessing.

This is just a tiny taste of the education the GAMA/Build a Plane crew are receiving as they craft two four-place Experimental airplanes. The pride of workmanship will stay with them long after they return home to Minnesota and Michigan.

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2 Responses to “The fine art of safety wiring”

  1. Kelly Filgo Says:

    I think it is great that you are showcasing this project and that the sponsor is giving such a great opportunity to youth interested in aviation, but… As an A&P instructor and a mechanic who takes pride in doing the job right, I would not accept the safety wire job as pictured from my students or a mechanic.

    The near bolt has the wire coming out from the flat slightly left of straight , which would allow both bolts to rotate to the left a little bit before the wire pulled tight. In my opinion (and more importantly, according to AC 43.13 1B, figs 7-5, 7-5a, and 7-5b) the other hole on the near bolt should have been used to start the twist. This would allow no slack in the line and be a proper safety wire job.

    Kelly M. Filgo
    Aviation Maintenance Instructor, Texas State Technical College – Waco, TX
    A&P Mechanic

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