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Airworthiness inspection on Saturday!

A few things to get ready for the inspection

  1. drill out/replace rudder bottom fairing screw that got stripped.
  2. drill out/replace platenut from right wing root fairing with stripped screw
  3. obtain new MGL backup battery. – DONE
  4. install new MGL backup battery.
  5. remove pop rivets from old IOX mount holes/deburr
  6. vacuum/clean interior
  7. wipe down interior of tailcone
  8. remove floor panels
  9. glue warning placard to panel – enhance sticky backing
  10. put UHMW tape where pax stick wiring rubs floor
  11. remove center tunnel cover
  12. remove flap actuator cover
  13. bend wheel pins into permanent shape
  14. check travel of all control surfaces – Bring flight test binder
  15. safety-wire prop governor
  16. check tire pressure
  17. retrieve washers from baffling
  18. clean shop area, put away tools, clean up debris
  19. create inspection paperwork area.
  20. have tools/equipment ready to fix squawks.
  21. bring checkbook.

I’m really hoping all that gets done on Friday so Saturday can be a painless, easy affair

To Do: Wrapping up.

Let’s get ready for first flight.   These lists are known tasks.


  • Pitot/Static test
  • Compass Calibration
  • Landing Gear fairings
  • Tighten ELT antenna
  • New Tailwheel Fork
  • Paint Fiberglass – Cowls, Gear fairings, Spinner, Wingtips, Stabilizer and rudder tips
  • Debug AP button on stick
  • Attach Placards and “EXPERIMENTAL” warning
  • Attach Data plate
  • Get another set of eyes on the FWF setup.
  • Rudder to Spinner checkout of every fastener visible.


  • Flight test cards
  • Get logbooks for Engine, Prop, Airframe
  • Condition inspection
  • Program Letter
  • Weight and Balance
  • Call DAR – Check schedule, desired aircraft condition
  • Get Document pouch
  • Print blog, bookmark photos of me building
  • Put blog in binder

Ground tests

  • Engine run-in – use recommended settings on VAF


Another list of stuff to do.

  • Safety wire prop bolts, recheck torque
  • Finish mech fuel pump overflow line
  • Separate EGT/CHT wires, ignition wires, and alt air Bowden cable per Jim’s recommendation
  • Install pax crotch strap bracket
  • Resolve stick-to-quadrant interference – move sticks outward a bit or move quadrant
  • Relocate alt air cable pull to eliminate stick interference
  • Relocate cabin heat pull to eliminate stick interference
  • Label purge, cabin heat, alt air and audio input
  • Label Audio Input
  • Fix pitch trim travel
  • Connect pitot and AOA lines.
  • Verify ARINC connection from GNS430 to Odyssey EFIS.
  • Separate/anti-chafe cabin heat SCAT tubing.

And some other stuff:

  • Order Crow harnesses
  • Begin paperwork journey
  • re-up 3rd Class medical cert
  • get BFR
  • sort out tailwheel/aerobatic training
  • Get insurance
  • Find a DAR

This weekend coming up

A new to-do/to-bring list for the hangar.

To Bring:

  • Drill
  • Extension cord
  • Power Strip
  • Box with strobe bulbs and tail lamp connector
  • Shop Vac
  • Sailboat shackles to replace lame Van’s tailwheel chain clips (West Marine)
  • Skateboard!  (The porta potty is far.)

To do (once I get there)

  • Torque rudder hinge bolts
  • Mill off enough filler so rudder and elevators travel freely
  • Reprime carved out stab surfaces
  • Pull out interior and store in boxes (Might bring some stuff back home so it doesn’t get filthy)
  • Install Rt side crotch strap bracket
  • Prep for wing install
  • Pull the cowl off so interested parties can have a look and give me squawks about my firewall-forward installation.

Being an hour away from the project does a few things:   It makes you think about what needs doing in the time you’ll have to do it, and it makes you visualize all the steps necessary to get it done.  It also brings home the need to make lists of supplies, tools, and tasks.  The Age of Puttering is pretty much over.  During the week, I should probably be doing paperwork and getting ready for registration and other things.

Checklist for firewall forward close-out

Fuel pump overflow tube – figure out how to drain this somewhere that won’t set you on fire. Buy some high-temp fuel line, maybe a flare-to-barb connector.

MAP sensor – Going to need a connection from the port in the center of the sump to the RDAC. Again, high-temp fuel line, and some interesting fun with an angled NPT fitting.

Cooling blast tubes for mags and alternator – still need to drill the holes for the mag tubes, but the hard part is positioning the one for the alternator.

Safety wiring – tach cap, drain plug, anything else I can find.

To Do: FWF

There are a LOT of fiddly things firewall-forward. I’m going to attempt to list all the things I can think of that need to be done here, but I’m sure I’ll miss a lot.

1. Secure spark plug wires at cylinders This is actually done. I’m listing it because it might change.

2. Secure probe wires. Not sure how to handle this Done

3. Wire engine sensors Done. Still need to do MAP tube, but that’s not a wire, so nyah.

4. Finish running alt air control cable.

5. Install breather tube

6. Finish securing main wire bundle

7. Seal airbox/filter interface

8. Get proper governor nuts/lock washers

9. Get governor spring.

10. RTV baffles.

Some of this might be post-airport. The pre-airport list is on a corkboard in the living room.

Baffles: To Do.

If you don’t know what any of the terms or parts are, this won’t make a damn bit of sense to you. This is more for me to have a written plan of the order of operations to hopefully avoid some future FUBAR. So I’m going to lay out what I think is the proper op order for getting the baffles on and trimmed, the cowl finished, and the airbox done.

See, this is an interlocking puzzle, kind of like a Rubik’s Cube, but none of the pieces are square and there’s no colors to tell you when it’s right. You just need to end up with a shape that meets certain requirements, i.e. everything fits without rubbing on something else and nothing makes the prop stop spinning.

First thing to do: Clean the shop. I swear, sometimes I don’t even know why I bother having a tool box. Everything winds up strewn all over the place anyway. It’s reboot time, because when something I’m looking for is buried under crap I should have put away and it takes me 10 minutes to find it, it’s time to fix that.

So, the baffles:

1. Order new front left inlet ramp. This is because I may have already trimmed too much off the front edge to get the thing to fit inside the cowl. Have to check. I can still use the old one for lineup and getting the shape right, but there might not be enough meat on the front of it to brace the air filter.

2. Make the bracket that connects the ramp to the engine. With this in place, I’m not trying to hit a moving target as far as shaping the opening of the fiberglass snorkel/airbox, and also the angle of the front upper baffle that goes around the prop governor. OBTAIN PROPER BOLTS FOR BRACKET. Big, meaty 3/8″ Grade 8 bolts that connect to the pad just below the governor.

3. Find the rest of the airbox kit, especially the W-channels thqt hold the filter in place. I know they’re in there somewhere, I just have a filing system for parts that closely resembles the Sargasso Sea.

4. Make a collar for the opening of the fuel servo’s intake to assist in fitting/trimming the snorkel. Yeah, that should have FA to do with the baffles, but like I said, it’s an interlocking puzzle. The takeaway from this is that sorting out the snorkel before cutting any holes in the baffle means there’s no need to cut the snorkel in half and re-glass it.

5. Cut/grind off the extra ears on the starter so they don’t interfere with the snorkel.

6. Cut a relief into the snorkel so it clears the alternator bracket. This is a common mod. Why Van’s sells a part that doesn’t work out of the box with 90% of installations is a mystery to me.

7. Maybe not actual step 7, but finish the conical gusset, trimming, and fastening for the right-hand side, which seems to be working OK.

8. Glass in the top cowl inlet ramps. These will be necessary for the next step.

9. Begin the iterative process of trimming the top sides of all baffles down so the top cowl fits and the baffle seal strips will seal.

To do list: Cowl fitting.

I’ve added a new category to this chronicle, which is currently approaching Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ series in its span and scope. And horror. Don’t forget the horror.

Anyway, I think it might be helpful to post the occasional list of things to do in preparation for a task or to collect all the fiddly bits that make the difference between a phase of the project being completed.

(Ya think, genius? Where was this 7 years ago?)

(Hey, look through the blog, there are a few, they just didn’t get their own category before, now pipe down and let me finish.)

So, for fitting the cowl, it looks like I’ve got the baffles about as roughly assembled as they’re going to get, barring a couple of things on the aft left one that need a good riveting.

1. Prep the prop: Extricate the spinner from the back of the hub and make it available to line up the upper cowl.

2. Make some 2 1/2″ spacers out of PVC to simulate the depth of the prop hub between the flywheel and the spinner plate.

3. Acquire a set of suitable bolts to anchor the spinner backplate to the spacers and flywheel.

4. Get upper cowl down from rafters.

5. Cleco or rivet (not sure which) the top deck skin on.

That should cover it, for now. If I need to add more, I’ll update later.