We have one report from a VariEze builder/flyer who lives and hangars his EZ in Ohio. He noticed small bumps rising up on the top of each elevator along the aluminum torque tube. He could depress these bumps a little with his finger. He has removed each elevator and cut the glass and foam away along the top of each elevator, exposing the aluminum torque tubes. He reports that he has found "severe corrosion pits where each bump was located." We have not seen this corrosion yet - he is sending us a sample of the affected tube. We will report further in the next CP. He says that this corrosion occurs only under the foam and glass. These is no corrosion at all on the exposed ends of the elevator torque tubes.
Pitch control is absolutely critical to safe flight. For this reason, any report such as this must be taken seriously. All EZ, Defiant and Solitaire flyers should inspect the leading edges, the tops and the bottoms of both elevators for bumps such as we have described here, before next flight, If any evidence of bumps or corrosion is found, ground the airplane and remove foam and glass locally. Inspect the aluminum tubing under a bright light. Please report any problems found to RAF as soon as possible.
Any builders who have not yet built the elevators should treat the aluminum tubing with Alodine before starting on the foam and glass elevators. Do not omit this step! Remember, the corrosion, if it exists, is not visible on the exposed part of the tubing. It is under the foam and glass and cannot be seen without removing the foam and glass. Do not remove foam and glass without evidence of bumps or swellings that may or may not be soft. Do let RAF know of any evidence of corrosion.
The above report came out of Ohio where it is hot and humid in summer and cold and damp in winter. Anyone who lives where there is much humidity and/or near the coast should be especially concerned and should check the area called out before each flight.
We have checked all of the EZs at Mojave with no sign of any problems but that probably was to be expected, this being a desert with only a few inches of rainfall in a good year.