Q: On a recent pre-annual inspection of my “sweet” flying Champ I noticed the plastic tips on the alternator (see photo below) missing from most of the fins. I think the missing tips have been gone long ago, but no problems at all.
I can’t find any recalls, ADs, or even specs on alternator problems. Is this a condition likely to fail an annual?
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A: Paul, thanks for including that good picture of your alternator. It certainly shows the problem well.
My guess is that it probably won’t meet the standards to be acceptable during an annual inspection.
It looks like possibly one of those cable ties got caught in the alternator and it wouldn’t take much to knock those fan blade fins off.
This may have happened during a rough flight when the ignition wires were being shaken, allowing the cable tie to contact the alternator.
If your aircraft were being operated in an experimental category, I don’t think this would be an issue.
The IA signing off the annual will have the final say.