Gust locks lock the control column in place, preventing random movement and possible damage of the surface from wind while an aircraft is parked. They are nothing more than a strap, a tensioner of some type, a loop and a hook. It takes a small investment somewhere in the neighborhood of $69 and only a matter of a few seconds to install. If you do not use a gust lock, you should.
The weatherman may have predicted a calm evening with clear skies. But how much are you willing to gamble that the weatherman is right? Unexpected thunderstorms are quite common and move in quickly with gusty high winds. If you’re lucky, your aircraft may only sustain slight damage to the hinge points that can be repaired by local blending. But the real possibility remains the damage may require the repair or replacement of the brackets and other attachment pieces. Or worse yet, it could sustain damage to the front spar of the rudder, elevator and/or ailerons. Damage to these parts requires them to go back into the fixture for spar replacement; the spar is the hub where everything else is attached. If the part is near its life limit, then you’re faced with the decision of, “Do you repair or do you replace?” Either way, you’re committed to major dollars (possibly tens of thousands of dollars) and downtime.
If you don’t, the damage associated with not using one could cost tens of thousands of dollars and hours to repair.
The P/N for the older style gust lock is 7600828-001. Those currently cost $68.90. There is a newer two-strap version listed in the newer models IPC, P/N 12645-144-015, which currently has a price of $171.60.
If you have questions about gust locks or other Learjet tech issues, contact your Duncan Aviation Learjet Tech Rep.