Fixing left wheel pant

Decided to finally tackle the left wheel pant.  Shortly after I got it painted, the lower aft intersection fairing became delaminated.  This was due to the local airflow flowing into the gap between the wheel pant halves.  And what did this cause?  A noticeable reduction in airspeed (drag) and slight yaw.  I’ve been coping with it by the redneck maintenance program – duct tape.  At least it was white duct tape that matched the paint. 

So today I went to town fixing it.  Put some reinforcing glass over the delaminated part and built up the front edge with micro/epoxy.  Tomorrow I am going to apply some glass to the front half of the wheel pant to cover the gap.

left_wheelpant

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Plugged firewall hole

When I was fixing the nose gear, I had to enlarge the hole in the firewall for the new bolt.  After I was done fixing it, I covered the hole with some aluminum tape.  Not the ideal solution.  So today I fixed the hole by enlarging it to 7/8″ and putting in a new stainless steel hole plug from Home Depot.  I made a plate out of .032 aluminum to take up some thickness so that the plug would stay seated better.  I also applied a generous coat of red RTV so seal it completely.

firewall_plug

Updated GRT software

Made it out to LZU today after work.  Hoping to go fly but I only got a chance to update the software in my GRT EFIS to V29E.  At the same time I updated the AHRS software to version 0.24.  There is this warning (below) about updating the AHRS software.  Because I paid $300 for a pitot-static check, I think I might lose my very accurate altimeter settings (i.e scale factor and calibration numbers):

A bug was found that caused a discontinuity in the altitude calculation near 12,000 when the altimeter scale factor was set to a value other than 1.000.  No problem occurs if the altimeter scale factor is set to 1.000.The altimeter scale factor should be checked before or after loading this software.  It is accessed on the altimeter calibration page, which is accessed from the main settings menu.  The altimeter calibration page must be set to “ON” to review the settings in the AHRS.  The altimeter scale factor appears as the 3rd entry on this page, and is labeled as “scale factor”.

If the scale factor is set to a value other than 1.000, then the altimeter calibration will be affected by this software change.  The accuracy of the altimeter must be verified before the next flight.

If the scale factor was already set to 1.000, then this software update will have no affect on the altimeter accuracy.

If the scale factor is not 1.000, it should be set to 1.000, and rough calibration of the altimeter should be performed by setting all altitude corrections (the 5000, 10,000, 15,000, etc. entries) to zero, and the altimeter bias should then be set so that the
altitude and baroset agree with a known accurate source (such as ATIS).  This will provide sufficient accuracy for VFR flight.

After that was done, I removed the front half of the wheel pants to check the tire pressure.  Had to put a few pounds in.  Put the plane back together so it’s ready for the next time.

Fixing the NLG

Yesterday the goods to fix my nose landing gear showed up from Genuine Aircraft Hardware.  Good people to deal with.  So today a good friend of mine helped me get the plane back in flying shape.  First order of business was to remove the nose gear assembly.  Not a problem.  Then we came up with a plan of attack.

Ideally we’d like to ream both the mount and gear leg at the same time.  However we couldn’t guarantee the parts would stay lined up.  So we reamed the engine mount first and then the gear leg.  We set the NAS6605-28X bolt in the freezer while we went across the hangar row to chat with another buddy and fix a CHT probe on his gorgeous C-182.  After that was done, I lubed up the bolt and proceed it to insert it from the bottom.  Took a hammer with me in the plane – it needed some tapping to get it in.  Eventually we stepped up to the rivet gun.  Once it was in we tightened it a little at a time.  Unfortunately it took 5 washers (one under head, 4 under nut) to get it on there properly.  Not the ideal situation but it’s not coming out. 

GAHco drill and reamer NLG assembly

Made a jack, jack

Copied idea from buddy’s website who I believe copied the idea from the RVator.  Here’s my take.  Still have to drill some holes in the top blocks to anchor the bottle jack.  But it works for now.  A $20 solution to a $300 problem.

Jackstand

Fixed the breather hose

Been meaning to do this for a while… so why not while I wait on the parts to fix the NLG.  Previously it was held in place in a very ghetto fashion.  Not that this is any better but it should help.  Holes are drilled in the tube further up so it can breathe.  But it’s not airtight at the bottom.  This contraption just holds it in place a little better.  Maybe the bottom of the plane will be less oily as well.  Only time will tell.

Breather Hose