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Finger Brake Lever Extensions

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:45 pm
by GimpyPilot
Hi,

I fly my Liberty quite often with a good friend who is a builder. He has built a LongEZ and a Berkut. He is a skilled engineer and machinist, and has a five axis CNC mill in his hangar. He is accustomed to operating under experimental rules and as such modifies his airplanes carefully but at at his will, instead of those of Part 23. He really does enjoy the Liberty a lot and is always adding things to my wish list of modifications, that of course I can't really do without paperwork and the FSDO.

One of the easiest, and probably most effective items we've dreamed up, are finger brake lever extensions. We haven't done anything in the way of testing or experimentation but it is easy to imagine how a bit more lever arm would give us a bit more braking authority with less finger fatigue. I recently had an off into the dirt experience after a very long taxi and a sharp turn for other wayward ground traffic. It didn't quite work out because my fingers had cramped up and I couldn't get the tight turn I wanted at speed that was perhaps a bit too fast but not fast enough for meaningful rudder authority. Fortunately it was embarrassing but a non-event otherwise. I believe longer levers may have really helped out in this situation. Of course the levers are presumably right sized for easy operation along with the throttle but I wonder if we could make it better. Has anyone thought for experimented with this idea in the past?

Michael