By Lee Beery



Having had a great deal of "hands on" maintenance with so many Vargas, I soon learned that not all Vargas were created equal, especially when it comes to moving them on the ground with a tow bar!  The reason is wheel alignment.  I think our Varga was as bad as they come.  At first I thought the problem was brake drag but that was not it.  The left main axle was towed out several degrees, in other words, the left tire was always pulling the aircraft to the left.  Strange as it is, this problem is not covered in the Varga Maintenance Manual but here's how to check and correct it.  Position a one or two pound coffee can in front of each main tire.  Place a two by six wood board (it must reach both tires) on the coffee cans and up against the tires.  Now rest the inside, short edge of a carpenters framing square against a tire and note how the other edge of the square aligns with the two by six.  To change the axle alignment, simply add or remove washers at the connecting point of the upper and lower torque link.  On our Varga, I had to remove the torque links and turn them over to get the proper movement.  Removing all of the washers would not bring the axle back to zero but by turning the assembly over, I could now add washers and obtain perfect alignment.  We have noted that with the wheels aligned, tires properly inflated, the aircraft moves easily and requires less right rudder on take-off.