That was fun

First exposure to cross country flying today as we did a "border tour". This is basically a trip around the practice areas west of the airport, NW to Sylvan Lake, NW along the southern shore of the lake then S to Glennifer Lake and E to Innisfail Airport then home. About 50 NM total, 0.8h of air time. The challenge today was navigating, keeping constant tabs on where we were in relation to the map. Beautiful day here, winds weren't bad, but there was a fair amount of light turbulence. This made it fun having to juggle controlling the plane with navigating and some of the new communication involved in the flight today. Mark simulated a DF (direction finding) steer which is used if you get lost, you get the Flight Service Station (FSS) to give you a bearing to fly to the airport. I struggled a bit with the descent - it has been 8 months since I've done one (other than an approach of course). All told, it was a lot of fun. My next flight will be the same thing except solo. Weather permitting (and it doesn't look good), that will be Wednesday. 1.2h in C-FZRO.

  • Time this flight: 1.2h dual
  • Time to date: 29.4h dual, 5.0h solo
  • Cost this flight: $267.12
  • Cost to date: $8,149.05

A little more work on the wings

Apr 19, 2015 0.75h Wings

Outboard bottom skins - riveted platenuts for access panels and touched up primer on both skins.

Apr 21, 2015 1.5h Wings

Outboard bottom skins - Beveled skin at overlap with inboard skin. Rough attached access plates.

Pitot tube - Drilled 7/16” hole in front skin and main spar for pitot tube. Flared end of pitot tube and matching end of pitot line. Flaring tool is quite slick and simple.

On April 23-24 I built a fan hood that I'll attach to the fuselage crate (I'll stand it up vertically) to make a downdraft paint booth - I'll have a lot of priming to do, this will keep the fumes down in the garage.

Not a lot of time towards the plane this week, not much left to do, all I have left is the closing of the fuel tanks which I'll do this next week. Fuselage is supposed to ship in the next week, so I should be able to start on that the week after. This week I'm hoping to get some flying in as the weather is starting to open up.

Sim time

The weather hasn't been very cooperative lately - low ceiling and light snow today. The fallback plan for today was the simulator. It counts as hours as well as instrument time - of which I need 5 hours (3 can be in a simulator). I'd been in the simulator once before, back in July when I only had a few hours of time. It is a bit of a strange experience, you see just how much of your sense of motion is determined by your eyes. Today's simulated flight started on the threshold of 34 at the Red Deer airport. It looks wrong because the sides of the runways are just gray and there are no buildings anywhere. The cockpit layout is quite different than the actual plane since the sim is designed to model several different planes, include twin engines. Finding everything for the startup sequence was a bit of a challenge. Mark had set the flight up with no weather but after takeoff he put me into solid clouds with no visibility. I managed to control the plane fairly well using just the instruments to reference. The goal is to learn to determine your plane's attitude by looking only at the instruments. You see if you are straight and level with the attitude indicator with help from the altimeter, airspeed indicator, vertical speed indicator and compass. We practiced timed rate 1 turns (2 minutes=360 degrees), you use your turn and bank indicator to see what your turn rate is. The idea is that if you were to fly into IMC (instrument meteorological conditions), you do a 1 minute rate 1 turn to turn around and get out. Mark simulated a vacuum failure by sticking a piece of paper in front of the attitude indicator - which unfortunately made it really difficult because he blocked the turn and bank indicator without meaning to. We practiced maneuvers in cloud for a while and then started navigating back to the airport using instruments only (ADF). Once we got close, he dumped the clouds and I landed visually. The lack of feedback from the controls is very distracting and really makes it not very helpful training for basic flight. It is pretty good for instrument training though. 0.8h in simulator.

  • Time this flight: 0.8h dual instrument
  • Time to date: 28.2h dual, 5.0h solo
  • Cost this flight: $134.40
  • Cost to date: $7,881.93

Just about finished wing skins

Apr 12, 2015 1.75h Wings

Outboard bottom skins - Used the squeezer to dimple balance of left skin as well as the rear spar and ribs. Had to countersink two holes on the spar adjacent to the flap bracket with the deburring bit as I could find no other way to access these holes. Reattached left skin with a small number of clecos. Started on right skin, removed vinyl and clecoed to wing, ready to match drill.

Apr 13, 2015 1.0h Wings

Outboard bottom skins - matched drilled right skin, deburred outside of skin. very repetitive, but it went quickly.

Received Van’s and ACS orders today.

 Apr 15, 2015 1.5h Wings

Outboard bottom skins - finished deburring skin, dimpled all holes.

Apr 16, 2015 1.0h Wings

Aileron Hinge Brackets - riveted aileron stops to brackets

Aileron bellcrank - installed last bolt in left assembly

Pitot tube - started to drill out hole for pitot tube. Ran pitot line through wing, cut and bent pitot tube.

Apr 18, 2015 3.75h Wings

Access panels - Cleaned up access panels. Match drilled, deburred and dimpled access panel holes, platenuts and access panels. Primed back of access panels.

Outboard bottom skins - Primed inside of both skins

9 hours spent on the wings this week. 45.5 hours to date. All that remains is finishing of the access panel platenuts, beveling the outboard bottom skins, sealing up the fuel tanks and finishing up the pitot tube flaring and fittings. I won't rivet the outboard bottom skins on until much later, after I decide what I'm doing for lighting. With the fuselage 2 weeks away, I may yet run out of work for a few days.

Starting on the wing skins

Apr 5, 2015 1.25h Wings

Fuel tank - Finished fuel sender and pickup assembly for both tanks. Ready to close up and seal once the Aircraft Spruce order comes in (I added some machine screws that I’ll need to close the access plates - they weren’t included)

Aileron brackets - I purchased a 21/64” drill bit and made a couple of delrin aileron stops. I installed one and I’m not sure I like it - it does come up into the slipstream quite a bit. I’ll decide later whether I want to put the second one in or take the first one out.

Apr 6, 2015 1.0h Wings

Outboard bottom skins - deburred edge of right skin. De-vinyled, deburred edge and rough mounted left skin.

Apr 9, 2015 1.25h Wings

Outboard bottom skins - match drilled left wing skin, about 340 holes.

Apr 11, 2015 1.25h Wings

Outboard bottom skins - Deburred left wing skin and dimpled the inner holes with the DRDT-2- everything else can be reached with the squeezer. I built a support table for the DRDT-2 earlier today.

Only 4.75 hours on the wings this week, spent a bit of time sick this week. 36.5 hours to date on the wings.

Bad solo

This was a bad flight. I was supposed to go and work solo on my full flap landings. As soon as I was in the air, I knew that wasn't going to work. The winds were swirling and gusty and basically not nice. I was flying 29, my first landing was basically a hard touchdown followed by a series of bunny hops. I lost so much runway that I scrubbed the touch and go and taxied back for the next departure. My second circuit was better, ballooned it a bit and brought it down hard. I decided that #3 would be my last one. It was a bit of a bounce but was okay. I was ready to call  it a day early, only 0.7h in C-GZYT.

  • Time this flight: 0.7h solo
  • Time to date: 27.4h dual, 5.0h solo
  • Cost this flight: $121.28
  • Cost to date: $7,747.53

More progress on wings

Mar 29, 2015 2.5h Wings

Tie-down bar - With assistance from my skinny armed son, we managed to remove the tie-down bar. I drilled out and replaced the problem platenut and we re-installed the tie-down bar. I ordered some AN3-5A bolts and some replacement platenuts.

Fuel tank - I re-attached the fuel tank. I purchased a ¼” drive socket set and the ratchet is small enough to swing inside the wing - so re-installing the bolts isn’t terrible.

Mar 31, 2015 1.5h Wings

Aileron Bellcrank - Figured out torque wrench. Mounted and torqued both aileron bellcrank assemblies

Ailerons - Drilled and mounted and torqued all 4 aileron brackets.

Apr 2, 2015 2.0h Wings

Aileron brackets - Struggled with drilling the delrin stops, tough to get the hole centered and my drill bit was 1/64 too small anyways. I may do that later. I assembled the right inboard bracket, including shortening a screw.

Aileron -I rough mounted the right aileron on the wing so I could align it. I went to put the bellcrank alignment plate in and soon found that I had the wrong bellcrank in the wing. I used logic and put the -R bellcrank in the right wing and -L in the left. Apparently logic wasn’t used with the part naming and it should actually be the other way around.

Apr 3, 2015 1.25h Wings

Aileron Bellcranks - mounted the bellcranks

Ailerons brackets - assembled left inboard bracket, shortened screw.

Ailerons - mounted the ailerons, aligned by using a straight edge against clecos in the tooling holes in the end rib. Using bellcrank alignment bracket, I mounted the aileron bellcrank to aileron pushrods, setting them to the correct length to match aileron alignment.

Apr 4, 2015 0.5h Wings

Fuel tank - Largely unmotivated day, elbow bothering me too much. I separated and cleaned up the anti-rotation brackets. I then pulled the fuel tank access plate off of the left wing and fit the fuel pickup with the anti rotation bracket.  I bent the arm for the left fuel sender arm, was unable to find a way to cut the arm to length - need to buy a bolt cutter. I did research and ordered parts necessary for the pitot tube as well as some tite-seal to finish off the fuel tanks.

Only 6.5 hours on the wings this week - starting to run low on jobs to do. 31.75 hours to date on the wings.

The fuselage kit will be shipping the week of April 27th.

Short field

Went up for a lesson with Mark on short field takeoffs and landings. Conditions were much better today. The short field takeoff is peculiar. The takeoff angle is disturbingly steep. The landing is tough as well since you come in with full flaps and your descent angle is quite steep, it feels like the plane is falling out beneath you. We practiced for a while, but I will need more time to be sure. 0.9h in C-GMWH.

  • Time this flight: 0.9h dual
  • Time to date: 27.4h dual, 4.3h solo
  • Cost this flight: $200.34
  • Cost to date: $7,626.25