Broken Aileron Stud


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I fatigued a stud used to move my aileron.
It snapped off flush to the aileron surface too, so I was really trying to figure out how in the heck to get it out.

My first method was to use my Dremel and cut a slot in the stud and use a screwdriver to turn it out. Well, I learned the hard way that I glued in the stud when the sides of the stud broke off instead of turning. Rats!

Now what? Well I made a few phone calls and thought about what to do. I considered the old easy-out trick. Once I broke a bolt in my engine block on a crappy GT Mustang I used to own and had to use the easy out to get it out of the block. In this case the stud is glued in place and it just will not work.


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Then my brother suggested something to me. Maybe you have heard of it, but I never had thought of it before.

Simply take a piece of brass tubing that has a slightly larger diameter than the screw and use it to drill AROUND the screw.

You may need to put some teeth into the end of the brass tubing, though in my case the dremel left a rough edge and I just put it in my drill and used the rough edge as a blade to cut a hole around the screw threads.

click on the pics to blow them up a bit....




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In the pic above you can see the screw I took out and the one I plan to put in its place. Here is how that happens.

I took a drill a few sizes bigger (5/16 in my case) and drilled a hole a bit bigger than the brass tubing size. I did this for a reason I will get into later.

Then I took a 5/16 dowel and used it to plug the hole I just made. Cut it off flush with the aileron and glue it in place. I used Gorilla Glue for that nasty holding power.




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Once it was dry I now used a drill that was sized for the new screw and drilled into the dowel. I threaded in the screw and then took it back out, cut off the head and screwed it back into the hole, again using Gorilla Glue to keep it in place.

The reason I drilled an even bigger hole was to be able to use a large dowel and drill my new hole inside the dowel itself. I think the screw size was an 8-32 so the dowel size of 5/16 diameter dowel was perfect.

Now I am back in the air in about 24 hours. Thanks Dan for the great idea. It worked like a champ!




Bobby Folsom

Well-Known Member
I had that happen on some engine bolts/blind nuts in a firewall. I took my large soldering iron, heated the bolt and viola - the heat caused the glue to release the broken bolt! It was easy to grab the bolt with a pair of forceps and back it out!



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Yep, me I guess it was actually not a fatigue issue. I think the hardware was probably wonky (engineering term), but I just didn't want to say that. I love my plane and it has been good to me for two years now.