To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything. – Otto Lilienthal
Personal Aviation Day Stage One
removing cowlings, inspection covers and interior panels
lubricating hinges, rod ends, and other moving parts
draining and changing the oil,
filling brake fluid
repacking and greasing wheel bearings
- maintaining tire pressure
cleaning and waxing
replacing inspection covers, interior and cowlings
- I also run down parts, run errands and of course, write the check.
Only a certified FAA mechanic can do the actual inspection and repairs. In some cases the latter can be delegated but under direct supervision.
Aircoupe Yoga Time
The coupe is a small airplane with tight quarters both inside and out. I affectionately call the annual, Aircope yoga, due to the pretzeled positions one must take in the process. Yes, there are photos….
This year, there were some extra repairs such as changing out the tach, replacing three aileron rod ends, chasing down a fuel line issue and replacing the front tire.
Annuals are a mixed bag. You really want to have things in tip top shape, but when something goes on the “squawk” list it means time and money. As a pilot, I prefer flying to fixing anyday.
The day the annual was to begin started with a friend and I ferrying the plane to the airport where the maintenance shop is located. Of course we took the long way around visiting several airports to get there. Why waste an opportunity to get some flight time?
Once the plane was relocated and the cars repositioned, it was time to start disassembling. This we did until close of business. The Westport gang are great to work with.
Then came the third part of my Personal Aviation Day. Each week my local chapter of the EAA has a work night to progress the chapter biplane building project. I joined the gang for a few hours to add my bit to that effort.
I am grateful to live in a city where one day can hold so many facets of aviation life, without undue travel time. Wichita, the Air Capital of the World, accommodates such days with ease.
We all have a definition of a perfect day. Although yours may not involve airplanes, What does yours look like? Please comment below and don’t forget to subscribe!!