I found your article on Seneca tail flutter quite Interesting and it brought back some sobering memories of December 27, 1976, as I am one of the pilots who luckily survived a Piper Seneca in flight break-up, I would just like to add some comments that may help aircraft owners realize the potentially serious problems with trim tab free play.
The flutter testing flights for N33589 was not taken as very dangerous because of our previous success with the Seneca. In fact, I had just completed a series of flutter flights on a Seneca II equipped with Robertson spoilers and tip tanks. The accelerometer traces were good, but the camera that recorded the speeds and altitude malfunctioned. The FAA wouldn’t accept our data without speed verifications, and by the time the bad film was developed the aircraft was reconfigured for delivery. The owner was impatient and wanted his aircraft, The FAA allowed us to deliver this aircraft with some restrictions, and flutter testing was to be completed on N33589.
Colours splashed from east to west
Crisp air tingling my skin.
This is the time I love the best
Spending time with him.
He becons me into his arms of rest
To stay through the nights long hours
He helped me pass the days severe test
As I count the blessings he Showers.
Tis the sunset so sweet it is
As nature’s syphoney swells
As I consider A new how
wonderfully I am blest
On this gold and red sunset.