So yesterday, I joined EAA 723 at Camarillo airport. I dunno why, but I’m drawn to Camarillo. Maybe it’s because my cousin finished and flew that little hot-rodded Vari-EZE out of there many years ago, maybe it’s because it was the first place I took passengers when I got my private ticket, who knows? But I like Ventura county, and I like KCMA. It also doesn’t hurt that the EAA hangar is right near the Commemorative Air Force hangar, where there are a multitude of interesting flying machines to gawp at. Everyone seems friendly, and the guest speaker for the meeting was an FAA official, who gave us the rundown on ramp checks and a few FAR’s that are very much misinterpreted by the likes of you and I.
The goal of this is to find a nest for my bird where I can final-assemble, certify, and test fly 313TD. Currently, there isn’t any room in either of the hangars, but one gentleman is 20 hours into phase 1 on an RV7A and another is getting ready to go fly, so maybe a spot will open up soon.
Another benefit to membership is that the chapter has a flatbed trailer suitable for moving a project to the hangar, which I will hopefully need very soon. Yet another is several more sets of eyes looking at workmanship and assembly techniques.
As for actual work on the plane, I got the left intercylinder baffle and the replacement fuel pump installed, which is nice. All the wiring is re-secured where it was, and the fittings on the sensor are properly installed with thread seal.
Today, the morning was spent with my neighbor’s vast crew-cab contractor truck, schlepping stuff to and from two different Ikea stores, one in Carson, one in Costa Mesa. We’re doing this kitchen remodel, and our designer was a complete monkey: he ordered a ton of stuff we can’t/didn’t use and failed to get a bunch of things we need, so Shelley and I had to kill our morning putting everything right in preparation for the final cabinet install tomorrow.
I did get some work in on the plane, but it’s cold in Los Angeles right now, down in the 50’s during the day. You East-coasters, Northerners and Midwesterners chuckle all you want, but the little space heater in my shop wasn’t able to take the edge off, so it kind of sucked to be out there today. Cold hands bashing on metal structures when wrenches slip reminds me way too much of college street surgery, changing out a part lying on my back under a car in an icy parking lot. One of the many reasons I moved out here and stayed.
So no, it didn’t go well. First event of the day was an oh-shit moment, when I snapped the head off one of the bolts holding the throttle bracket on. That was a study in anger manangement, and I had the presence of mind to self-soothe through the initial impulses of throwing the torque wrench through the sliding glass door. Tantrums do not fix airplanes.
Fortunately, there’s an O’Reilly Auto store not a city block from my house, so I picked up an EZ-Out (sorry, screw extractor- generic) and through some miracle, managed to get the offending bolt out of the sump. I guess I’m now 1 for 5 using those things. At least I didn’t snap the drill off inside the broken bolt like I did with the wing attach adventure from a couple of years ago.
I installed the breather tube and safety-wired the mixture bracket bolts after torquing them with a different torque wrench (A Snap-On dial-type I bought used) and those are fine. I’m hoping I’m nearly done messing around with Adel clamps. Space is getting tight.