Missing Rivets



This is the root rib on a horizontal stabilizer. The rivets that fasten the rib to the spar are completely missing!

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Vic Syracuse
Vic is a fixed-wing and helicopter commercial pilot, CFII with ASMEL/ASES ratings, an A&P/IA, DAR, and EAA technical advisor and flight counselor. Passionately involved in aviation for over 40 years, he has built 11 aircraft and logged over 10,000 hours in 72 different kinds of aircraft. Vic volunteers as a Young Eagle pilot, has his own sport aviation business called Base Leg Aviation, and has written two books on aircraft prebuy and condition inspections.


  1. In the total picture this is not necessarily unairworthy. Yes this is an over site by the builder but in the total picture the fasteners in the rib to skin and skin to spar probably provide the necessary strength to carry the normal flight loads. This condition needs to be corrected and probably before the next flight but to call it unairworhty is an overstatement.

  2. Yes, but look how nicely the bolts are marked with torque seal….so much attention to detail he missed the rivets! Form over substance. Yikes!!!


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