Wedekind Safety Sleeve Installation
On L'Hotellier Fittings

Introduction - In 1997 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Airworthiness Directive (AD) 97-08-06 to address an issue of unaltered L'Hotellier fittings which can become uncoupled during flight. This can obviously result in the loss of control of the aircraft. What would typically occurred is that the L/Hotellier capture/release mechanism was not fully engaged during assembly and/or worked loose during flight. My old glider came with L'Hotellier fittings on both the airbrake and aileron connections.

There were four (4) possible solutions to prevent the inadvertent disengagement of the L'Hotellier fittings from happening:

Drill a Hole, Insert a Pin/Wire - LEAST EXPENSIVE CHOICE

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Method: Drill a hole in the L'Hotellier fitting's release mechanism to allow the insertion of safety wire, safety pin or a safety clip. This is the default minimum solution.

Drill a Hole, Insert a Schempp-Hirth Spring - EASIER OPERATING CHOICE

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Method: Drill a hole into both the release mechanism and the body of the mechanism cup. Use of a captive wire "spring" that is permanently installed on the L'Hotellier ball joint. One end of the spring rotates into the hole in the L'Hotellier ball joint engagement push

Uerling Sleeves of LS Safety Sleeves - EASIEST OPERATING CHOICE

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Method: Use of a (often knurled) nylon Uerling sleeve. This rotates the sleeve over the L'Hotellier ball joint and physically prevents a premature release.

Wedekind Sleeves - MOST SECURE CHOICE

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Method: Use of a Wedekind-Sicherung spring-loaded sleeve which captures the L'Hotellier release mechanism.

A presentation of my installation of Wedekind sleeves can be found here

L'Hotellier Fitting Maintenance - Here is a document that explains maintenance and inspection of L'Hotellier fittings.

My glider initially came with safety pins. Soon afterwards I upgraded to Uerling sleeves. Finally, I installed Wedekind sleeves which ended up being the very best option.

Please see this document which details my installation of Wedekind-Sicherung sleeves on a DG-101G ELAN and contains many images of the complete installation process along with sources for the parts.

Good luck. Do a positive control check before each flight. Fly safely.

Miscellaneous Information
  • A very good description of the different solutions with images is shown here.
  • Jim Phoenix's pictures and instructions of Wedekind installation on a Nimbus 4 from his web site are shown here.
  • Nick Juergen's Wedekind instructions are available here.
  • Here is some more documentation that I have gathered.

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