Final TC Visit, Fuel Tank Calibration….and then a Setback

The best way to make sure you are ready for your final inspection is to have an EAA Technical Counselor do a final inspection just prior to having the FAA coming out.  That way you can fix all the things that would be a problem during the FAA’s airworthiness inspection.  The last thing we homebuilders want is for the FAA to think we don’t know what we are doing by having lots of squawks.

Fortunately for us our Technical Counselor, Joe Norris, is a former Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) so he knows exactly what is going to be an issue during the airworthiness inspection.

Here Joe is inspecting the throttle and mixture linkages.


Joe checking the AN hardware on the flaperon._MG_7606

Joe checking the fuel tanks and markings._MG_7642

Joe reviewed our FAA paperwork just to make sure we didn’t miss anything.  Other than a few minor items, Joe felt we had everything in order.


With the thumbs up from Joe, Phil and Jerry could now rivet in the channel covering up the stick._MG_0066

So we were down to only calibrating the fuel senders.  Step one was to drain out the usable fuel._MG_7593

And here is where we suffered a setback.  During our fuel calibration, we decided to switch to an auxilary battery since we had drained down the one on-board.  Unfortunately, we mistakenly hooked it up in reverse.  NOT good for our avionics!  Shortly thereafter our PFD went dark.  We left the hangar that day depressed.

The good news is both Dynon Avionics and B&C Specialty Products have provided excellent customer support as we troubleshoot our error.  Our thanks go out to both companies.


So here is where we stand.  The damage isn’t that bad but we had to pull the PFD and transponder to ship back to Dynon.  The airworthiness inspection will have to wait until after AirVenture 2014.  Disappointing but we will overcome this setback and have her flying right after convention!


Until next time…probably after AirVenture 2014.

Posted in Firewall Forward, Fuselage | 664 Comments

Fuel Flow Test and a Visit from Jack

EAA strongly encourages all homebuilders to perform fuel flow testing prior to flight testing.  Although not required for certification, the time to figure out if you have any fuel flow issues is on the ground.  For more info on fuel flow testing, watch the EAA webinar on Fuel System Testing.

Tim, Charlie (me), John and Tom preparing for the test.  I’m removing the fuel line at the carb inlet. _MG_6837

Not to waste any time, while we are doing the level flight test Jerry is working on installing the ELT in the tail section._MG_6851

Level flight testing complete, now it is time to test for high angle of attack by tying the tail down._MG_6952

Tom checking the angle._MG_7004

Testing in process.  As it turns out, we do in fact need a fuel pump when the aircraft is in a high angle of attack with minimum fuel on-board.  Perfect example of why you do the test!_MG_7014

Experimental sticker installed on entrance to the cockpit._MG_6567

EAA chairman Jack Pelton stopped by to check out the progress and give the staff some encouragement._MG_7114

Of course he couldn’t resist trying on the aircraft.  _MG_7126

Jim installing an access panel._MG_7332

Kyle putting some sealant around the fuel tank filler neck.  We used DAP Alex Ultra 230 with the 50 year life available at Lowes (expect a Hint for Homebuilders on this in an upcoming Sport Aviation)._MG_7344

Tracy working on a few more baffles for better cooling._MG_7159 _MG_7162

ELT and antenna installed._MG_7015

Jeff applying the N numbers while I safety wire a turnbuckle. _MG_7293

Jeff squeegeeing the graphic to remove air bubbles._MG_7298


Until next time…

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

It’s Alive! Weight & Balance and Engine Run

A couple of major milestone are in the books:  weight and balance complete and we fired her up for the first time.  Yes!

I’m thrilled that she will make to AirVenture under her own power!

Charlie getting the scales ready for our weight and balance._MG_4787

Tracy and Matt checking for level with a smart level inside the cockpit.  Tim giving it a visual check._MG_4719

On the scales._MG_4733

Tracy dropping a plumb bob and Tim marking the floor to establish our datum point.  We had a sheet from Zenith but we still want to establish our own measurements._MG_4763

Tracy and Jerry measuring our marks. _MG_4878

Running the numbers in our weight and balance spreadsheet._MG_4892

With the weight and balance complete, we are ready to roll it out and see if it will start._MG_4924

Adding a bit of fuel for the engine run. _MG_4965

With Tracy at the controls and Jerry holding the fire extinguisher, we are ready to give a try._MG_5039

YES! YES! YES!_MG_5043

She sounded great._MG_5064

Tracy and Tim checking the indications on the Dynon SkyView._MG_5086

Giving the engine a good post run inspection._MG_5103

Checking for leaks._MG_5108

The happy team basking in the glow of a successful engine run._MG_5118

If you want to watch our 30 second video of the start up, here you go.

Until next time…


Posted in Firewall Forward | 789 Comments

4 Sessions, Lots of Progress, First Radio Call!

We had four build sessions since our last update.  EAA SportAir Workshop instructors Dick and Bob Koehler were in town over the weekend to lend a hand.  With their help, we made so much progress.  Here are just a few of the things completed:

  • Oil door in cowling
  • Angle of attack probe mounted
  • Primer line run and secured
  • Installed and wired 12V outlet
  • Ray Allen stick grips installed
  • EGT sensors installed and secured
  • CHT sensors installed and secured
  • Spark plugs installed and torqued
  • Fuel lines completed
  • Fuel flow sensor installed and secured
  • Oil temp sensor installed and secured
  • Breather tube installed and secured
  • Engine dataplate reinstalled

As the wiring guy, Tom had the unenviable task of working under the panel._MG_9965

The joys of aircraft building….climbing into the tail section.  Not even sure who this is!_MG_0166

Installing the dataplate on the engine.  You have to be extremely careful or your can drill all the way through the case (which would totally ruin your day)._MG_0286

Lots of adel clamps installed with the goal of securing and cleaning up all the hoses and wires.  Oil pressure sensor installed._MG_0345

Jerry with the nutplates riveted on the AOA mount.  These were the first driven rivets Jerry has ever done even._MG_0351

Matt installed the seat belts and shoulder harnesses._MG_0366

Here is a good shot showing our Ray Allen stick grips installed.  We went with the G205. _MG_0387

Once Bob and I had the primer line run, Tim stepped in to secure it and some wiring. Tim making sure the stick and primer/wiring bundle don’t rub._MG_0730

I used EZ Turn “fuel lube” to seal the NPT side of our fuel line fittings.  (You don’t use it on the flared fitting side, just the pipe thread)._MG_0410

Always skip the first thread and be careful not to have any sealant on the end of the fitting as it could block the fuel flow._MG_0408

Installing the fitting on the fuel pump. _MG_0415

Dick mounting the master relay and starter relay._MG_0588

AOA probe mounted.  Time to take it off and paint the mount._MG_0605

A beehive of activity.    _MG_0725

Tracy cutting the oil door. _MG_0737

Tom holding the dip stick to make sure the oil door will be big enough to make it easy to check the oil._MG_0744

Jerry installed the static ports._MG_0849

Static port installed._MG_0852

Jim working on an access cover. _MG_0858

Lots of activity going on._MG_0761

I spent some time making the hoses to run from the firewall to the carburetor.  These stainless steel braided hoses are pretty easy to make and look great installed.  Here I am cutting the hose._MG_0705

Tightening up the fitting.  Note the tape I use to make sure the hose end doesn’t slip._MG_0774

After completing the hose, I ran some mineral spirits through the hose and blew it out with compressed air to make sure no debris was in the line._MG_0684

With the hoses complete, we should be able to test the fuel system soon._MG_0881

Tracy re-installing the prop with the spinner back plate in position. _MG_0813

Cummings Spinner installed.  Looks much nicer with the spinner.    _MG_0868

Tom testing the stick selector circuit._MG_9839

Bob and I securing the carb heat cable.  _MG_9846

Dick and Tom working on the panel.  (No way Dick was climbing in there)._MG_9924

Everyone head down and working hard._MG_9946

Dick heating up some shrink tubing to complete some wiring._MG_9953

Tom and Tracy doing some wiring._MG_9958

With the comm antenna installed, Tom called OSH ground for a radio check….loud and clear!_MG_0174

Until next time….

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Access Panels, AOA Bracket, and Engine Baffling

We are working hard to tie down all those loose ends that are just part of any aircraft build.

Jim making an access cover for the left wing._MG_4976 _MG_5001

Tim making new engine baffling.  The old stuff was pretty beat up but worked as a template._MG_5023 _MG_5060

We are going with the Dynon Angle of Attack (AOA) system.  The mount arrived so we needed to enlarge our original pitot-static probe hole._MG_5071

Jerry drilling the wing skin for the AOA mount._MG_5152

Kyle making a couple of access doors for the baggage compartment. _MG_5137

We ran the rudder cables under the flaperon control tubes which was not per plans. Here Tracy is correcting the error._MG_5111

Tim test fitting the engine baffling while I secure the mixture control with a cushion clamp._MG_5157 _MG_5160

Tracy and Charlie (me) installing the cowl to check the fit.  We had to add blisters for the spark plugs and re-work the airbox area._MG_5294

Looks like it fits good now._MG_5300

Until next time…


Posted in Firewall Forward, Fuselage, Wings | 6 Comments