Right Tank Installed and Top Skins Fit for Final Riveting

June 24th, 2017 No comments

Right tank mounted after testing LEAK FREE and top skins mounted for final riveting

A few weeks ago, I was able to finally pressure test the right tank for leaks. While it didn’t go as smoothly as the left, it still came out very positive. I had also previously primed the dimpled right top skins and they were getting in the way on the bench. So after taking care of some chores this morning, I determined to get some loose ends tied up and be ready to rivet the top skins on soon.

I first had to rivet the remaining leading edge rib to spar interfaces. Since I am largely doing this project solo, I resorted to using Cherry Max rivets for the two most central ribs. This left the two inboard and two outboard ribs to finish. I am not a fan of the offset rivet set that’s required nor the contortions to hold the bucking bar…but I got it done. It took more time than I first anticipated, and my body reminded me of its limits, but each was set, and set OK.

Once that was done, I went about installing the right tank to the wing. There’s something VERY gratifying about installing that big of a part to an assembly. I torqued the bolts appropriately and then also double checked the left tank bolts (it’s been a while…so it was prudent). I reached into the tool cabinet for some torque seal/mark, only to find that all my tubes had dried out. I really need to work more consistently on this project. I’ll place an order for some more and mark each of these bolts.

Once mounted, it was time to reinstall the primed top skins in place and ready them for riveting. I will be double checking for twist, and then one of my kiddos and I will go to it. Can’t wait to move on again. The poor fuselage kit is aching to be worked on.

Categories: Tanks

Left Leading Edge Prep

June 4th, 2016 No comments
Splice Strip Fabrication Complete

Splice Strip Fabrication Complete

With the tanks now fully sealed, it’s time to get back to finishing up the major wing portions. First up is prepping the splice strips, which hold the tank to the leading edges, dimpled, nut plates attached, and primed. I dimpled the screw holes first, then clecoed on the platenut. Once lined up to my satisfaction, I drilled one ear of each platenut and then clecoed through each drilled hole. I was then able to drill the other ear and remove the platenuts, debur, and then dimple the all the #40 holes. It was good to get back to part fabrication after the tanks. Stuff moves soooo much faster without all that sealant business. I did have to remember what tools I had in the shop though. Since the center holes are already dimpled for the screw, it’s very hard to use standard dimple dies for doing the platenut mounting holes as you could smash the screw dimple back unless…you have a small diameter female dimple die from Cleaveland Tool…which I do. I just had to remember I did after a short panic of the “oh no, how will I get these” moment. I also dimpled the ears of each platenut for a perfect fit.

Splice Strip Art

Splice Strip Art

Once all the holes were properly dimpled, I primed both strips and then cleaned up the shop a bit. Once dry, I proceeded to rivet on the platenuts. I found using the pneumatic squeezer to be very therapeutic.

Left Leading Edge Final Assembly Begins

Left Leading Edge Final Assembly Begins

After the leading edge splice strips were done, I removed the left leading edge assembly off the spar/stand. I then went about prepping the parts for the Stall Warning kit that my wing shipped with. For older (I use the term loosely here) kits, Van’s makes this an option for builders to retrofit. My wings are still new enough that it’s standard. I will be installing an Angle of Attack indication system, but since it’s included, I will add this other “safety feature” as well. You can’t have too many ways for the plane to tell you that you’re approaching a stall, can you?

I removed the doubler from the skin, which I had added a long time ago from the kit parts. I had match drilled it way back when I installed it. I deburred and then dimpled it, much like the splice strips, to mount the platenuts and where it will be attached to the skin. Primed it, then moved on to disassembling the remaining parts of the leading edge. Once dry, I installed the platenuts and then for some reason, clecoed it back onto the skin.

Stall Warner Access Hole Doubler

Stall Warner Access Hole Doubler

Once I realized it had to come off again, I removed it, leaving some primer on the skin. It won’t make a difference once final riveted onto the skin in the end.

Back to Just Metal Work

Back to Just Metal Work

Here is the skin in the cradle. I need to remove the vinyl from at least the rivet lines, debur, and then dimple. Once there, will scuff, prime, and then be ready to final rivet. What you can’t see in this photo is the slot that is drilled and cut for the stall warning metal vane that sticks out from the leading edge. I final drilled and connected the holes that where already pre-punched.

Prepping Stall Warner Parts

Prepping Stall Warner Parts

I was on a roll for the day…so I prepped the parts for the warning micro-switch cage. You have to countersink for several screws and rivets. I also had to clean up the vane some…as it was roughly welded and had some sharp bits still attached on it. It’s made of stainless steel, so it took some good filing to get it right. Once all the aluminum parts were prepped and ready, I shot them with primer.

Stall Warning Assembly

Stall Warning Assembly

Here is a shot of all the parts of the Stall Warning assembly together. I will be riveting in the nose rib along with all the other ribs when the time arrives, but as it stands, the subassembly is done and ready to go in the wing. I presume that the vane will rest on the bottom of the slot in its resting state, as there is NO other stop, other than the rivet head just below it for the platenut that stops its travel down. I don’t recall that being the case on those flying/finished aircraft, but I could have missed it. It will take some adjustment to get it right and working when flying, so we’ll see how all that works later.

Stall Warner Kit Prepped and Ready

Stall Warner Kit Prepped and Ready

Once all the parts were ready to go in final, I called it a night. You can see in the above picture, I did leave the primer off around the lower hole. That’s intentional, so as to give the ground lead from the switch a good, clean contact. Next up is the deburring and dimpling of the full left leading edge skins and ribs. Then final assembly and install permanently onto the wing. Nice to make a post NOT about the tanks!

Categories: Major Wing Sections

And…They’re Done!

June 4th, 2016 No comments
Right Done Done!

Right Done Done!

Had another GREAT day getting the last of the last of the sealant tasks for the tanks done. As you can see above, I sealed the right tank pickup and cover plate on. I opted to NOT use the cork gasket as many other builders have done. I also replaced the standard 8/32 x 1/” Phillips head screws with Stainless Allen cap screws and washers instead. IF I ever need to remove these covers while the tank is mounted to the air frame/wings, I can use a hex key rather than a screw driver. A provision that I hope to never have to use, but one that was cheap and easy to do, just in case.

That's All Folks!

That’s All Folks!

Here you can see both, side by side, fully sealed. I did make a good fillet around each screw head with sealant after dipping each screw in sealant before installing them. Just extra hopeful leak free insurance. I also did a little fillet around the BNC connectors for the capacitive fuel senders, also just in case.

Left Tank Cover Plate Done

Left Tank Cover Plate Done

Here is a close up. The sealant is about the nastiest stuff made to man…other than used baby diaper deposits. I plan to let these sit for a week, then I’ll be able to pressure/leak test. If all goes well, we may be able to claim success. I was able to get these done about mid-day…which meant I could now move on. I was able to do just that. Until the pressure/leak check, I’m moving back over to the Wings. Hears hoping…no more sealant for a LONG time!

 

Categories: Tanks

Tanks Finally Sealed…Almost

May 30th, 2016 No comments
Left rear baffle

Left rear baffle

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! What a FANTASTIC day it was for me. I closed up both tanks today. I am SOOO close to being done with this nasty, horrible, and obnoxious sealant. Started off with the right tank. Cleaned every surface I could think of with MEK. I had made a good effort to scuff the baffle a bit more aggressively in the places where the sealant was going to mate with the rest of the tank on the Saturday prior. Once all the parts were clean, I committed to just getting at it. I was able to borrow my fellow builder and all around good guy Todd’s pneumatic sealant gun that works with the sealant cartridges I have been using. I do have a mechanical version (much like a caulking gun), but his lays the sealant soooo nice.

With tools, gloves, clecos, and anything/everything one needs to get messy with sealant, I went right at it. First I laid a nice bead of sealant along the forward edge of the rivet line on the top and bottom sides of the skin. Next up was a healthy glob at all the corners. I then laid a bead on the inside edges of the end ribs, then finally buttered each of the end flanges of the interior ribs. At this point, you simply slide the rear baffle down into place, squeegeeing the bead of sealant down as the baffle seats in its final location. It gives a nice satisfying squishy feel as you seat it. You then cleco each hole in the skin to baffle interfaces.

From here, it is now time to use your ground off or close tolerance pop rivet gun. Remember how I thought painting the freshly modified nose was a good idea? It wasn’t after all. Paint simply chipped off as I was using it. None the less, it was still effective in getting the job done. You first need to rivet the baffle to the top and bottom holes on each of the interior ribs with some cool little closed end rivets. The mandrel does not go all the way through on these, but is captured inside the actual body of the rivet. This solves the problem of at least fuel leaking through the rivet, but does not really solve the problem of it possibly leaking around the rivet. Van’s tells you to “twirl the rivet” in sealant before inserting…and while that coats the side of the rivet with some sealant, the holes have to remove most of it. None the less…as the rivet expands, with the coating of sealant, the hope is, that it creates a “fuel tight” closure to that hole.

Once you’ve done the top and bottom holes, I then proceeded to attach the “Z” brackets to the baffle/ribs. This is done with the same closed end rivets, but of a longer length. Van’s warns you to make sure that the orientation is correct, and for good reason…because once they are on, they are on. The modified pop rivet gun worked great. With all the “Z” brackets now on, you move on to riveting the skins to the baffle. My pneumatic squeezer made quick work of this task.

Hopefully a good enough bead

Hopefully a good enough bead

Once all the riveting was done, I added some more sealant to the outside of the corners to build them up a bit. I also likely put sealant on places that didn’t need it, but what the heck…just in case. In looking at as much as I can see of the beads done, they look pretty good so far. I am going to borrow a borescope and see if I can get a real good look all the way through, but if the beads look like the above photo all the way through, I think I will be OK. Once all this was done, I repeated the process on with the left tank.

Both now curing

Both now curing

Here’s the right tank, in all it’s sealed up glory. All I have left is to install the cover plate(s) and then pressure test. So glad to have the major parts done at this point. Fingers crossed that they are leak free and I can move on to just metal to metal joining.

P.S. I HATE TANK SEALANT!

Categories: Tanks

Sealing the Fuel Pickup Tubes

May 28th, 2016 No comments
Done and Curing

Done and Curing

Spent the afternoon, after running all over town to find some “crow feet” wrench adapters (DON’T get me started on Sears!) and other lawn care items, sealing up the last of the tank penetrations. I used a cartridge of B 1/2 and made quick work of the left and right pickup tubes and anti rotation brackets. I also torqued the vent and return line nuts (with the crow foot adapter and torque wrench).

Right Tank Fitting Overkill

Right Tank Fitting Overkill

I always wondered how folks were insuring that the nuts on the vent lines, and by virtue my return lines, couldn’t back off. Technically, they are inside the tank and other than losing the high point of the fuel tank on the vent line, the risk is minimal if they did back off, but still…I didn’t like the idea of lines “potentially” coming off over time in a relatively sealed up area of the plane. So…once I had the pickup tube done…I simply gooped up the nuts with some sealant and called it good.

Left Tank Fitting Overkill

Left Tank Fitting Overkill

Hopefully, I never have to get them off…ever. I don’t think I would be able without some serious work. That said, I don’t think I have to worry about them ever coming off when I don’t want them to. I’ve done cleaner sealant work, but I have also done worse. I’m just glad I am closer to not having to deal with sealant any more.

Categories: Tanks

The Final Tank Tool

May 25th, 2016 No comments

[Update 5/30/2016…Don’t paint the head. It didn’t stick as well as I thought when using it on the “Z” brackets]

Old is New

Old is New

One of the tools that one requires to properly finish the fuel tanks is a close quarter pop rivet tool (which are becoming harder to find these days) or even using a close quarter wedge like Cleaveland Tool sells to set the fuel tank rear baffle “Z” bracket pop rivets in place. If neither of these are desirable, you can always grind down the nose of a regular pop rivet tool. That’s exactly what I decided to do. Interestingly enough, I had a spare Stanley MR77C due to me thinking I ruined it once, so I bought another only to discover later the original was OK. So, having two, I committed to converting the “old” one to a close quarter version today.

Modified and Ready for Action

Modified and Ready for Action

All I did was grind away at the nose, little by little, until I felt I had the clearance needed to get right on the head of the rivets and adequate clearance from the “Z” bracket side. I made sure to do this while the handles were in the “open” position so that the pulling mandrel was seated in the start or bottomed out part of the nose. Once ground down to my satisfaction, I disassembled the head and cleaned up all the grinder marks to a smooth finish on both the head and the pulling mandrel. Most would call it good at this point…but not me. I decided to spray paint the now paint free surfaces of the head to protect them, which quickly turned into painting the entire head. I actually chose a contrasting color, so as it hangs in the shop next to the unmodified version, I can quickly know which is which. A little overkill to some. Oh well.

Just Right

Just Right

As you can see by the bracket above, it’s just right and will set all these dang pop rivets nicely, and I was able to make an ignored tool from the past, a nice useful tool for the near future need. A little bonus is now being able to show the kids and friends how a pop rivet gun works with a cool cutaway version. Was nice to get out to the shop again and do something RV related. No “tool” excuses now getting in the way of finally closing up the tanks for good and moving on. Hopefully soon as the weather is warming and the air is drying here in Utah.

Categories: Tanks

Service Bulletin 16-03-28

May 21st, 2016 No comments
Right Wing Doublers

Right Wing Doublers

As one can clearly see, it has been some time since the last log entry again. However, it turns out that the “slow build” has proven OK at times. Van’s Aircraft recently released another Service Bulletin. The last one they issued is required on a completed assembly (horizontal stabilizer) and I still need to accomplish it. This new one is on the wings, which in my case, are still very much open. I decided that for the $10.00 in parts, I’d get them in the shop and see what can be done to incorporate the fix into my “in progress” wings now.

Left Wing Doublers

Left Wing Doublers

Van’s did mention in the SB that accomplishing as a “preventative measure” is not recommended on “wings that have been fully assembled” but as we know, mine are far from the “fully assembled” stage this point. That said, once getting the parts separated and deburred and cleco’d in place, it’s clear that a good re-write of the order of assembly is required, even for the new wing builders. If you follow the current order on the plans, you won’t be able to get two bottom skin rivets installed (see above picture) and perhaps not be able to set one rivet on the aileron gap fairing nearest the doublers now added. I “think” if you replaced the respective rivets with “cherry max” type pulled rivets, you could actually get the doublers in place with little impact to the build order. I will have to let it sit perhaps until Van’s shows us “new” wing builders how it should be done.

Categories: Major Wing Sections

Finishing Up the Tank Internals

October 30th, 2015 No comments
Capacitive Sender Work Complete

Capacitive Sender Work Complete

Today I decided that I would get the internal tank components as close to tied up and complete as possible. All that was on the list was sealing the inboard capacitive sender connections/wiring, securing the wires in one tank to the vent line, and torquing down the fitting nuts for the vent and return lines.

I purchased a little cup of B 1/2 sealant from my local parts distributor a couple of weeks ago, specifically to do these last little items before being ready to do the “big” seal of the rear baffles on both tanks. The quantity of sealant was more than adequate, and the pot life was just right for hitting these little jobs. I first cleaned up the wires and vent lines with MEK. Then I prepped the work area for sealant (actually was letting the sealant get to room temp), then mixed up the batch. I packed most of the B 1/2 into a medicine dispensing syringe and then started smearing away. As you can see from the above picture, I covered the entire inboard plate connection(s). I have heard that folks have had fuel leak out the BNC connection at the wing root because fuel had migrated through the wire to the post. While I cannot for the life of me figure how a properly soldered connector could permit fuel to leak through a solid wire, I figured a little more sealant over the connectors and wires would certainly keep fuel from wicking through all the way to the connector. Additionally, sealing the connections also adds some vibration resistance and stability. Needless to say, these aren’t going anywhere soon.

Once the sealant was spread and double checked, I turned to prepping the cover plate/pick-up line parts for sealing and assembly. Up to this point, I had simply hand fit them together. I took the protective plastic off the covers, deburred them, and cleaned them up with MEK and re-assembled. At this point, I can seal them together, which will likely happen after completing the baffles (or at the same time).

All that remains is torquing down the nuts for the return and vent lines. I am trying to decide if I should throw some sealant on the threads for this task. It would be a real pain to have to open up the tank to redo these if they ever came apart. I’ve read both ways…which didn’t help. I also need to rig up a system to get the proper torque as well. Some have used highly calibrated hand sensors (brain), others have put extensions on their torque wrenches and done the math. Either should work for me. 😉

Getting real close to a full day of sealant and then no more! SOOOO happy that day is approaching!

Categories: Tanks

End Ribs Sealed

October 12th, 2015 No comments
Right Inboard Rib

Right Inboard Rib

Since today was Columbus Day, I didn’t have to go to work. I committed to doing some real work on the tanks instead.

First up was cleaning all the inboard/outboard ribs, skins, and surrounding areas. I taped off the skin flanges with electrical tape to keep the over squeeze in check. Additionally, I cleaned up the T-405 and T-410 that have to be installed after the inboard ribs are riveted in.

Once cleaned, I mixed up my first cartridge of sealant and put it in the gun and started to go to town. I started by buttering up the inboard rib of the right tank. I put a significant amount of sealant on the nose of the rib to insure good squeeze out, since this is where a good amount of leaking can occur if not properly sealed. After the rib flange was buttered up and the rib was inserted into the skin, I inserted a cleco in every other hole and began squeezing rivets from the leading edge aft, alternating from the top to the bottom sides of the tank. I did have to use my “no hole” squeezer yoke for 4 rivets near the vent fitting and the BNC connector for the fuel senders. Not a big deal, but glad I had it. I used my standard yoke for the rest of the rivets.

Once all rivets were set, I buttered up the back of the T-410 and T-405 and put in place in the leading edge. I had to switch over to the rivet gun at this point to set the AN470AD4-8s (though the plans call for 7’s). I made a mess inside the tank, but got them set. Then it was all about creating fillets both on the inside and over the rivet lines on the exterior and around the brackets. I covered every exposed head and tail of every rivet inside and out. What fun!

Right Inboard Inside

Right Inboard Inside

Not the cleanest work I’ve done, but should be leak free. It’s not easy getting my big hands in these small areas.

Right Outboard Rib

Right Outboard Rib

Once I got all the sealant where I wanted it, I removed the electrical tape and exposed a nice clean edge near the rib flange. I switched gears to the outboard rib. I had already riveted/sealed the T-410 to this rib, so all I had to do was butter up the rib flange and then repeat the same process of riveting as I had used on the inboard rib. Fortunately, since it does not have all the penetrations as the inboard rib, it moved pretty quick. The pace was also helpful as the pot life of the sealant in the cartridge was starting to hit. While it was getting stiff, it was still workable.

Right Outboard Inside

Right Outboard Inside

Prior to inserting the rib, I did make sure that I bent the vent line up towards the skin after it leaves the retainer clip that was riveted on with the fuel cap flange. This will just help keep the line out of the fuel level quicker and keep it from expanding out/draining from the vent line when running the tanks at full and in the Utah heat. Here you can see the vent line as it bends up as well as the fillets on the interior of the rib. You can see the large fillet at the leading edge. It never ceases to amaze me the way that the sealant is SOOO important to a leak free tank. Based on the design of the ribs, there is no other option.

Wire Dabs

Wire Dabs

At this point, I was trying to see if I could still use the sealant and place the small dabs on the wire/vent to hold the capacitance sender wire in place. The sealant was really getting hard to work with and very thick. Once I got these dabs on, I gave up on the rest. I will have to finish the little items with another batch of sealant later.

Once I felt this tank was as done as far as I could complete, I cleaned up the tools, got rid of all the gloves, rags, popsicle sticks, etc., and then restocked/reset and repeated the process on the left tank.

All in all, it was a good and very long day out in the shop. Next up will be to finish the wire dabs and terminal sealing of the capacitive plate connections and then prep for the rear baffles. These parts will soon be tanks and able to be tested for leaks (they better not). I can’t wait to be done with this stinking sealant and tight places. We’ll see what the next build session yields.

Categories: Tanks

Capacitive Sender Wiring Complete

October 3rd, 2015 No comments
Right Tank Inner Capacitive Plate

Right Tank Inboard Capacitive Plate

Can it be true? Did he work on the plane?!?

It sure is. I sure did.

I had a good day in the shop cleaning up some items, working on a couple of other projects, and while dancing around the tanks on the bench, decided to finish up the attachment and wiring of the capacitive fuel senders. It’s been almost 17 months since last working full steam on the plane. Life certainly has its way sometimes of setting priorities for you.

So…where are we?

I needed to install the outboard plate in the right tank, and the inboard plates on both tanks. I decided to work on the inboard of the left tank first. I needed to find the appropriate length of both wires and then trim them to final. Once this was done, I thought…”how in the world am I going to get in here and strip these for the connectors?” Then I realized that stripping the wire was going to be the easier part. Make sure to leave a little slack on the wires. What is extra can be wound around the vent tube to remove that slack later. Getting the connectors on would be much more difficult. I was able to get my quality wire stripper on both ends with surprisingly little trouble. I purchased and use the IDEAL Stripmaster®  sold by SteinAir. Pricey, but worth it. It does a perfect job of cutting the insulation to the correct profile as “required” by aviation standards.

Once the insulation was stripped, I tried to figure out how I was going to use my cheapo wire terminal crimp tool to securely get the terminal ends onto these short and somewhat tight spaces for these wires. My cheapo tool was really made for a kid doing a science fair project. I’m not sure why they are even sold. You first have to crimp the wire portion with no indication if proper squeeze. Then you have to crimp the insulation side with no real proper slot which can actually ruin the connection. I think I may actually toss this tool (or give it to my sons).

el Cheapo Crimp Tool

el Cheapo Crimp Tool

 

Fortunately the wire for the outboard plate can be unwound from the vent tube and better access is possible. The BNC to inboard plate however is not so giving. I decided to run out to my local electronics warehouse for a lunch break and get a quality ratcheting crimp tool. I have been meaning to for some time, but hey…I had a good excuse to go get another tool. Fortunately the store had one, and they were willing to match the lowest price I could find.

The Correct Crimp Tool

The Correct Crimp Tool

Though still tight, the above tool was able to successfully get into the limited spaces and offer a one stop crimp with a single motion. The beauty of this type of crimp tool is that it does both the wire and insulation crimps simultaneously. The ratcheting action also allows for proper squeeze as it will not open again until the proper depth as been reached. I was able to get the connectors inserted into the tool, close until just starting the squeeze, position the wire in the connector, and then complete the squeeze. One and done.

Left Tank Inner Capacitive Plate

Left Tank Inboard Capacitive Plate

After completing the crimps of the connectors, the last step is to attach them to the plate. This task is frankly better suited to a Russian Child Contortionist. Once the screw is inserted on the inboard side of the plate, getting the plate in a position where one can both get a screw driver on the head, and a wrench on the nut on the other side is something of a puzzle. Toss in my larger hands and the tight space, I was left thinking for some time and trying MANY angles. I was able to succeed on the left tank after some real time spent and some frustration.

Once complete, I ran the right tank outboard plate/wire and repeated the wiring chore for the inboard plate. As you can see from the top picture as well as the one just above, these are nicely installed and secure with good wire strain relief on both tanks.

As I was prepping for the contortion task repeat for finishing the wiring of the left tank, I caught a glimpse of a tool that would have made attaching the connectors to the inboard plate of the right tank SOOOO much easier. In using it on the left tank, I was right.

Essential Tool for Finishing the Capacitive Fuel Senders

Essential Tool for Finishing the Capacitive Fuel Senders

If you don’t have one, get one. I have two. They are perfect for tight spaces. One side accepts standard screw driver bits, the other has a socket for a 1/4″ drive socket wrench handle. This one saved a considerable amount of contorting when completing the connection to the inboard plate of the left tank. Mine are from Craftsman, and if I remember correctly, Sears may have just given them to me as part of a promotion. GO GET ONE or a set!

Right Tank Wires

Right Tank Wires

Felt good to get these steps out of the way. Next up is sealing and riveting of the inboard/outboard ribs. At the same time, I need to seal the inboard connectors to the plates and seal up the wiring connections. I also need to dab sealant every inch or so on the wires wrapped around the vent tube. Then…if all goes well…I’ll soon be closing up the tanks FOREVER!

Categories: Tanks

Great Day for Pilot/Builder

March 29th, 2015 No comments

CommTempCertSnippet

Following up on the prior post made a month ago, I did it! I am now a Commercial Pilot. The Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) did note that he’s never seen a limitation like that, but hey…it happens. For those wondering why the limitation, I don’t have my Instrument Rating yet. I did complete these a little out of the “normal” routine, but I had my reasons.

Civil Air Patrol allows for pilots who wish to get advanced ratings, the opportunity to do so. This ends up being a significant cost savings over public offerings as the aircraft are cheaper to use, and the instructors are very happy to help. Since the Commercial Certificate requires the use of a Complex airplane to get the rating, sometimes you have to go with the flow. CAP has very few complex airplanes in the fleet. I was able to snag and transfer in one from Colorado on a loaner basis. The fear was that it is old, and CAP looks to be wanting to consolidate and reduce the expensive aircraft in the fleet. So…this one could go to the bone yard quick as it is on the “expensive to operate” list. Therefore, time was of the essence.

I passed my written a month ago. Once I was able to clear my schedule and work with my instructor’s schedule, we knocked it out. We flew 4 times in 1 week and I soloed the rest. I had 10.1 Dual Complex and another 5 solo all said and done. In there were all the maneuvers, landings, ground, complex, etc. to meet the regs. It was a MARATHON!

Needless to say, I am pretty pleased with myself and feel that the process made me a better pilot. Now on to the instrument rating, so I can remove that limitation.

Eventually, I may actually get to building again. I do believe I am building in some fashion…at least it’s aviation related.

Categories: Hangar Chat

Good Day for Pilot/Builder

February 23rd, 2015 No comments
Commercial Knowledge Test Passed

Commercial Knowledge Test Passed

I am sure that some have seen that I haven’t been building much and are worried. Fear not, I am still going strong in other Aviation areas and will get back to the build very soon.

Based on some prodding by several pilot friends (one in particular), I have decided to pursue/complete my instrument rating and commercial certificate. Due to “CHEAP” access to a T182 RG, I am knocking out the commercial first, which I know is unusual, but as one that isn’t flying for a living, the instrument restrictions don’t bother me and I will take care of them soon enough anyway. I need to get it done now in case the access to the RG goes away.

I was able to knock out the last “big” commercial requirement the weekend of Presidents Day when I flew the bird home, at night, with my instructor, with enough time to get my Dual Night XC done. All that I have left is a little simulated instrument time and the maneuvers. I also completed my complex endorsement that weekend as well.

TODAY however, I took a big load of stress off, and PASSED my written for Commercial Pilot Airplane. I’ll let the report speak for itself. I am pretty pleased.

I did clean up the shop some this weekend, gearing up to get back at and finish the tanks soon. Onward and upward!

Categories: Hangar Chat

Endorsed!

November 11th, 2014 No comments
N216KW - Nice to have good friends with great planes.

N216KW – Nice to have good friends with great planes.

So, since I work in Banking, I had the “option” of working or not today. I looked out my window after waking a little later than I usually do and noticed that the sky was nice and clear. Knowing that the weather was going to deteriorate in the latter portion of the week, I decided on a whim to see if my fellow CAP pilot/Osh’12 companion/CFI/RV-6 owner extraordinaire was available for some more tail wheel/RV transition training. To my great excitement he said he was and was more than willing to let me buy the gas today. Kent is a heck of a guy.

So we decided I would meet him at KOGD in a few hours and go up for an hour or so in the pattern. I usually fly the Sundowner up there from U42, but unfortunately in the business of life, I let the Pitot Static Cert lapse. No worries, I have a car. So I ran a few errands and then met him at his hangar at 1030. We were airborne in about 30 more.

We stayed local, had some cross wind, and the pattern all to ourselves. It was a good day to fly/demonstrate landings. Flew for 1.2 and in the end had a working plane, nearly empty tanks, and a good smattering of various landings ranging from Good to Meh. 😉

I paid half the fuel bill and asked…”so, good enough for a signature?”

“Yup!”

So, I am now officially endorsed to fly tail wheel/conventional landing gear aircraft as PIC!

TW endorsement…check!

Kent did ask if he and some other builders needed to effect an intervention on my build. 😉 Maybe, but today was sure a shot in the arm as far as motivation goes.

Good Veterans Day, with a great Veteran!

Categories: Hangar Chat