Nearly done the bulkheads

May 24, 2015 2.75h Fuselage

F-705 Bulkhead - Trimmed edge of flange on outboard seat belt anchors. Fabricated F-705G angles and F-705J angles. Cut F-705K plate, ready to bend. Deburred edges of F-705D, F-705E and F-705F. Drilled out the electric wire run hole on F-705A.I bought a cheap bending brake that I’ll use to make the 4 degree center line bend on the F-705K plate.

May 25, 2015 2.5h Fuselage

F-705 Bulkhead - Put bend in F-705K plates with the bending brake. It didn’t work all that well as the material was too thick for it, but I got the approximate angle in. Mounted F-705J angle to F-705F with a ? spacer separating the top. Drilled holes along aft face. Cut the seat belt adjustment shims. Clamped the shims and the plates to the top of F-705F and drilled it out. Deburred everything to this point. Drilled ? hole for the rudder cables in F-705D. Clecoed F-705A/D/E/F together and match drilled.Clamped F-705G into place and drilled them. I also drilled out the notch in F-705G, it just needs to be cleaned out.

Forced landings and crosswinds

Dual flight today. We went out to practice area 3 and Mark demonstrated a simulated forced landing and then had me do a couple. Nothing too difficult, my second one was better to be sure, the Hutterites at the colony probably didn't appreciate me coming in to "land" on the field next to them though. I didn't go below 500'. We then returned to the airport and that messed me right up. We did a straight in approach to 11, which I had never done - wasn't sure when to start my descent. I was late, but I managed to get it in. We then went for a couple of circuits as there was a nice crosswind to practice with. Funny how I totally forgot how to do circuits - my first one was a mess. The landings weren't too bad and we called it quits after 3 landings. 0.9h dual in C-GTQL

  • Time this flight: 0.9h dual
  • Time to date: 32.4h dual, 8.1h solo, 40.5 total

More solo work

Went out for some practice work in Practice Area 3 again. Worked on my basic procedures and then came back for 3 circuits. By the time I came back, the day was starting to heat up and with it came the convection. It made for really bumpy circuits, but managed them okay and wrapped it up with 1.0 hours solo in C-GJSK.

  • Hours this flight: 1.0h solo
  • Hours to date: 31.5 dual, 8.1 solo, 39.6 total

Making bulkheads

Productive week working on the fuselage bulkheads.

May 17, 2015 3.75h Fuselage

Center section - collected all parts for center section (F-904 bulkhead). Deburred support ribs.  Fabricated F-904M stiffeners from angle and F-904J from aluminium tube. Drilled 7/16”, ½ and ?” holes in support ribs (F-982B and F-983B) and installed snap bushings. Drilled all of the ?” holes on F-904A/B/C/D and installed snap bushings. Clecoed and clamped forward and aft assemblies, ready for match drilling.

May 18, 2015 3.5h Fuselage

Center Section - Match drilled holes in F-904A/B/C/D, drilled holes through F-904G vertical bar to aft center section. Riveted F-904C/D/G to center section. Drilled holes in F-633 Control Column Mounts. I then trimmed away a portion of these mounts as described in the plans-to call this trimming is silly. These brackets are massive, made out of .250 angle, cutting out the center bulk was a task too big for the band saw. I did it by using my drill press to drill repeated holes along the cut line and then using the band saw to join the holes to cut away the piece. Cleaned it up somewhat with the belt sander and Scotchbrite wheel. These pieces sure got hot with all of this work.

Some solo practice

I went up for some solo practice tonight. We pushed the flight back to 7:00, hoping for the winds to settle down from the 19 gusting 25 that we had late afternoon. It looked not too bad, 15 kt wind crossing 16 a bit, maybe 6 kts. My takeoff was interesting, plane jumped up like crazy and I had to let it weather-vane maybe 30 degrees left. I climbed out and turned west at 4000' and proceeded to practice area 3 due west of the airport. I spent about 45 minutes in the practice area, working on turns, climbs and descents. I needed the practice, my descents in particular were sloppy. I got much better at it tonight. I headed back to the airport and joined right downwind 16 and brought it in quite nicely. The headwind was strong, but it wasn't crossing much when I put it down. Feeling pretty comfortable flying tonight, felt like I was a pilot. 1.1h in C-GMWH.

  • Time this flight: 1.1h solo
  • Time to date: 31.5 dual, 7.1 solo, 38.6 total
  • Cost this flight: $190.58
  • Cost to date: $8.966.69

Precautionary landings

Went up for a dual lesson on precautionary landings. It was quite windy, gusty from the south. We went off to practice area 5 which is east of the airport. Once there, Mark demonstrated a simulated precautionary landing, which is all about finding a landing site, inspecting it via a high and a low pass and then coming in for a landing - 3 circuits more or less. We of course did an overshoot rather than landing in some farmer's field. I then took over and did the same process on another site. I then flew back to the airport, crossed mid field and joined right downwind for 16. The landing was tricky, wind was gusty, shifting and crossing some. We got it down okay (I think Mark helped a bit). 1.1h dual in C-GTQL.

  • Time this flight: 1.1 dual
  • Time to date: 31.5 dual, 6.0 solo, 36.4 total
  • Cost this flight: $244.86
  • Cost to date: $8,776.11

Finished the firewall

May 10, 2015 3.5h Fuselage

Firewall - Fabricated the F-601E-1 stiffener and F-601P spacers for the firewall. Clecoed all of the pieces to the firewall and match drilled.I somehow lost the chuck key for my air drill so I could only use it for 3/16 holes. I tried using my angle drill for the ? holes, but it was so loud it annoyed me. I pulled out my cordless and used that, the lower speed was good since I was cutting stainless steel (just enlarging holes). I used some coconut oil as cutting oil, it worked great. I drilled the holes in the 5 pieces I fabricated. Not super pleased with the F-601J brackets, they ended up just a little off of square.

May 12, 2015 2.25h Fuselage

Firewall - Fabricated F-601Z doubler, drilled on the drill press and match drilled to firewall. Attached and match drilled F-6122-1 bracket. Deburred all edges, except the firewall itself and all holes except the forward side of the firewall as my little cordless screwdriver that I use to deburr holes was needing a charge. I found a chuck key at Canadian Tire that works well, which of course meant I found the original chuck key.

Flying blind

Got out for a simulated instrument flight today. The "hood" went on shortly after takeoff and stayed on until final approach. This hood is a visor that blocks the view outside, all I can see are my instruments. My instructor gives me directions and I execute them based solely on what I see on the instruments. We did turns, climbs and descents. It was a bit more challenging because of a lot of turbulence. I thought I controlled the airplane quite well with the exception of a few times where I got pushed around too much. I do need some practice on arresting my descents. The landing was difficult, partly because I didn't really get to connect with my approach as I was under the hood right up until I was established on final. The wind was crossing a bit, but I managed to keep it straight and put it down smoothly. 1.0h in C-GYHA.

I started the flight with a taxi showdown (I lost quickly) with a big Lockheed Electra L-188, an airtanker operated by Air Spray. I held short of taxiway B as he came up toward me on A. That is one big plane, 4 props, nearly 100' wingspan. There are less than a couple of dozen of these planes still active, most are water bombers and are operated by Air Spray out of Red Deer.

  • Time this flight: 1.0 dual
  • Time to Date: 30.4 dual, 6.0 solo, 36.4 total
  • Cost this flight: $222.60
  • Cost to date: $8,531.25

Beginning the fuselage

May 7, 2015 8.0h Fuselage

Unpack, inventory and organize - Fuselage kit arrived this morning and I took the day off work (mostly) to receive it and start on organizing it. This is one big job. After 8 hours I’ve just about completed inventory. Small parts take a long time. I’m sorting the more common items (screws, rivets, bolts, nuts, washers, platenuts) into my parts organizers. A couple more hours should allow me to finish and put the various subkits away so I can reclaim some space in the garage.

May 8, 2015 1.75h Fuselage

Inventory and organize - Finish inventorying the small bags and sorting into bins. Stowed most of the subkits and all of the skins on shelves. Still can’t find my garage.

May 9, 2105 1.75h Fuselage

Firewall - First a little more cleanup and then I fabricated the F-601J brackets out of ?” thick 2” x 2-½” aluminum angle. This is some heavy duty stuff, finding a way to cut it was the challenge. The band saw worked, but it was very slow. The die-grinder with a cut-off wheel was completely useless. I finally pulled out the old trusty (new actually) hacksaw and did the cuts to length with that. I used the bandsaw to knock off the corners as shown in the plans. A little cleaning up with the belt sander and the Scotchbrite wheel and they were done.

Solo tour

Went up for the solo version of the border tour today. Looked like a nice day for flying, negligible winds and mostly clear skies. Looks can be deceiving. A lot of turbulence. I had some difficulty keeping my altitude in a number of places as I was getting tossed around a couple hundred feet at a time. Navigation was easy enough, although I did have some trouble spotting the airport - I flew based on where it should have been and that worked out fine. The landing wasn't too bad considering how much I got tossed around while turning final. The student in front of me called off his landing because he got tossed up quickly out of his glide path. I enjoyed the flight, the challenges weren't too much to handle. 1.0h in C-GZYT.

  • Time this flight: 1.0h solo
  • Time to date: 29.4h dual, 6.0 solo, 35.4h total
  • Cost this flight: $159.60
  • Cost to date: $8,308.65