How do you check the correct operation of the rudder when it's tied to the nose wheel?

falstro
  • How do you check the correct operation of the rudder when it's tied to the nose wheel? falstro

    Preflight checklists often contain the item

    • Flight controls: Free and correct

    However, if the rudder is tied to nose-wheel steering, is it even possible to check if the rudder is correctly connected (unless have a rear window and can see the rudder during taxi)?

  • Every plane I've ever flown with a linked nose gear, the rudder will make noise when it hits the stops. On top of that, the nose gear linkage is disconnected when you use more than a certain degree of deflection. If you push the pedals past that point and feel resistance, your rudder is working.

  • Every small airplane that I've flown that uses the rudder pedals for nose wheel steering uses bungee cords or springs so that they will stretch when pushing the pedals without the aircraft moving. This allows the pedals to move without requiring the nose wheel to do so as well, and you can check them in the normal manner.

    Larger airplanes that use the rudder pedals for nose wheel steering have a method of turning the nose wheel steering on and off, so the check could be done before the steering is engaged. That being said, most larger aircraft do the control check during the taxi (that's when most airliners are doing it) and there is nobody out there to make sure that the rudder is actually moving the correct direction. In my airplane, the response for the flight controls is "free and self-centering" (since we have hydraulic flight controls) and we don't verify the actual direction of rudder movement. That's a maintenance function.

  • It depends on the construction of the aircraft, if you have a linked nosewheel you generally cannot check this in preflight. Once you start up and are taxiing you would have a look out the back and check. When turning left I check compass, di, turn/bank all showing the correct response and rudder left. Vice versa for turning right.

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