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Elevator control play?

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Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2018
Reaction score
Lawrence Municipal (KLWM)
Hi All,

On a recent flight, I noted a little bit of fore and aft 'play' in the elevator control of my J3. In level flight, with the airplane trimmed, I can move the stick fore and aft by 3/8" to 1/2" before I actually begin to move the elevator. The entire pitch control mechanism appears to be tight and free of any play in the cockpit area, so the play seems to be aft of the cockpit. I asked my mechanic about this, and he said "that's normal in a J3, but I'll take a look." If it's 'normal', I've never noticed it before in about 5 years and 250 hours!

Looking at the pitch control system diagram, I suspect the issue is the torque tube bearing where it attaches to the bellcrank behind the rear seat.



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