Wednesday, December 28, 2016

delivery for painting!

So, what’s the first thing you do when you get your airplane back together?  In my case, I promptly flew it to AV8 Paintworks in Marion (KMNN) and spent 2 hours taking it apart again.  Cowling, spinner, tail cowling, rudder, flaperons, inspection plates—all off.  I got the control cables disconnected for the horizontal stab and Chris (painter, pictured below) commented that he could paint the tail with the Stab in place, so I didn’t have to remove that. (Good news; I was glad because it’s a royal pain to install.  Bad news: i had already disconnected the cables, and will need to pull the bulkhead to re-tension them when I get it back together.)

IMG 5515

Looks like he’s wiping a tear of joy at having a project to work on!


IMG 5517

She’s all taken apart again, but will look better than ever in a few weeks!

1st Annual Condition Inspection

This is somewhat late (and actually post dated).   I finally finished the annual inspection!  I hired Shane, of Shamrock Aviation, to do the engine inspection as he has the professional expertise and tools.  He had a fairly short squawk list that was easy to take care of.  He said that the engine installation looked good, and that I should have a happy relationship with it.  As is the case with darn near every phase of this project, the rest of the inspection took much longer than I anticipated.  You may have read that I have paralysis by analysis when I have too much on my plate at any one time, and this was no exception.  I finally got things in gear and finished up on 12/28/16, nearly 6 weeks after I started.

The only significant find I came across was evidence of a small leak at the fuel cutoff valve.  I was able to tighten the fittings without any trouble, and I think that they were a bit loose as these were the first flared fittings i had ever done.


IMG 5495

fuel leak at shut off valve.


IMG 5496

all taken apart :(


IMG 5498

on sawhorses for wheel checks


I got things buttoned up the week before Christmas.  It was a bit cold and icy on the ramp.  When I applied power to the warmed engine to try to balance the carbs, I started to slide on the ice.  In my fear driven state, I must have really punched the brakes, as the L brake line suddenly went soft and bottomed out.  By the time I had the power back to idle (almost instantaneous) and the ignitions killed (about  1 or 2 eternities later) and the plane stopped without hitting anything, I instinctively must have pumped the L brake 3 or 4 times before I realized what that meant.  Sure enough, got back in the hangar and there’s a puddle of brake fluid dripping on the floor.  It took 2 days to clean that up.  I tried reproducing my Rube Goldberg nozzle & fill system, then borrowed a vacuum brake bleeder that is meant for car systems before I finally borrowed a pressurized brake bleeder system (meant for airplanes) from Shane.  (I try to avoid relying on him for tools and expertise, but since I’m currently one of his top customers with N7623V, he had no problem lending me the brake filler.) 

IMG 5506

blew a brake line!


IMG 5507

missing rivet!

On 12/28, I mechanically balanced the carbs (foregoing the pneumatic sync for now) and returned to the air.  I flew 3 touch & goes, then headed over to Marion to deliver the plane to AV8 Paintworks for painting!



The following Service Bulletins were verified as completed and/or accomplished during kit assembly:  SA 3-17-11 by inspection on 11/20/2014; SB 04-02-01 NA by shipping date, SB 10-03-17 during kit assembly 4/4/15; SB 10-04-28 NA by shipping date; SB 10-12-14 superseded by SB 16-05-23; SB 11-09-13 by inspection 4/17/16; SB 11-12-14 NA by shipping date; SB 12-01-30 NA by shipping date; SB 12-8-09 NA by shipping date; SB 12-09-26 superseded but SB 12-11-09; SB 12-11-09 NA by shipping date; SB 13-02-06 NA by shipping date; SB 13-03-21 informational only; SB 13-04-05 NA by shipping date; SB 13-08-29 NA by shipping date; SB 13-12-12 NA by shipping date; SB 14-01-17 NA (SLSA only); SB 14-07-23 superseded by SB 14-09-10; SB 14-09-10 superseded by SB 14-12-16; SB 14-10-14 superseded by SB 15-03-15; SB 14-11-03 complied with by installation of doubler 6/4/15; SB 14-12-06 complied with by removal and replacement with improved F-1206 bearing bracket brace 6/11/15; SB 14-12-16 complied with by replacement of throttle return springs 4/4/15; SB 15-03-05 complied with by replacing carb floats 4/4/2015; SB 16-04-10 complied with by testing correct wiring of com radio 12/10/2016;SB 16-05-26 complied with by adding “USA” to data plate 12/10/16;


SB 16-04-23 complied with 12/10/16 by inspection with no cracks around/in WD-1230 nose fork, next due 12/31/17;   SB 16-08-01 complied with 12/10/16 by inspection and no looseness found in stabilator bearings, next due 12/31/17; SB 16-08-24 complied with 12/10/16 by inspection with no evidence of loose rivets on engine mount WD-1204, next due on 12/31/17.


I certify that this aircraft has been inspected on 12/28/2016 in accordance with CFR 14 part 43 appendix D and found to be in condition for safe operation.      TTAF 25 hrs, David B. Hill, RLSA 3132802 



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

carbon fiber panel

the same guy who’s going to paint the plane also does a lot of fiberglass and carbon panel work.  I really didn’t like the flat black spray paint job that I did back 2 years ago (1/5/15).  It was flaking badly and just looked like it would get worse.  As part of the annual inspection, I elected to pull the entire panel and deliver it to him for a cosmetic carbon panel overlay.  Getting the engine controls threaded back through the fire wall and onto the engine were the time consuming part of that project, but it does look much better!


IMG 5500

cosmetic carbon fiber overlay on main panel

Friday, December 2, 2016

36-06 Main Wheel Fairings fitted

But that’s not all.   Two weeks ago I took out the entire instrument panel and delivered it to AV8 Paintworks at Marion to have it covered in black carbon fiber.  This is due to the fact that i originally painted it with flat black out of a spray can.  The paint is flaking badly, so I wanted to do something about it.  Since the plane is down for annual (a subject I’ll get back to eventually) I thought it was a good idea to get it done while doing the annual.

November was a crappy month to do anything on the plane.  I had to travel for business and still keep up my full schedule.  Other than getting the panel out and up to Marion, I really didn’t get much done.  Because I’m (tentatively) scheduled to get the plane painted this month (December) I’m pretty agitated about needed to finish the annual and finish the wheel fairings so they can all be painted at the same time.  Unfortunately, when I have multiple conflicting goals—and I don’t feel comfortable with either of them—I have a tendency to fall into the “paralysis by analysis” mode.  That was pretty much all of November.

The day before yesterday, I got to the hangar and made a deliberate decision to get something done.  I chose the wheel fairings.  About 5 hours of cutting and tweaking, I think that I'm over the most difficult part (putting epoxy&flox inside, where I can’t get to it.)

Remember how much I sweated getting those holes lined up?  I even went to the trouble of back-light drilling.  For reasons I can’t explain, but am no longer surprised by, those holes don’t line up when I actually put the fairings on the wheels.  I spent an entertaining hour trying to figure out how to get a light source inside the fairing that had a complete wheel in there.  I ended up taping my phone (with the light turned on) to the tire and attaching the fairing and drilling again.  Since the next step is to use flox/epoxy to build up the inside, I realized that the mixture will fill the slightly offset hole that was laboriously created a few weeks ago.

Anyway, I’m going to finish up the wheel fairings, then continue the annual inspection.  It’s not logical, but it works for me.


IMG 5489

Left Main Wheel Fairing Aft


IMG 5491

Right Main Wheel Fairing