So the story starts off Tuesday last week, when I'd arranged for a local L4 Amateur-Built Inspector to do the pre-flight final inspection on Aurora Australis
. On Monday morning, I loaded up the 4WD with tools, fuel, a couple of spare parts and a jerrycan of fuel to fill with Avgas on the way. Problem being, on the way home from the airport the after flying that afternoon, I had tyre issues with the 4by so I took the KRviatrix's car the following day.
The hangar key lives on the 4by's keyring.......
So....I drive an hour and a half to the airport, and as I'm walking back from the fuel bowser, I see her fluorescent-yellow car (the only man-made thing besides the Great Wall of China that can be seen from space)
in the car park, the penny drops as to what I've done, and an expletive was uttered that was heard for miles around. No one else could get into the hangar and as a result the inspection was put off till today.
We started off with an official weight and balance that gave the following:
Left main: 368.5
Right Main: 369.0
Nose gear: 244.0
TOTAL: 981.5 and a BEW CG of 76.57.
This is around 20Lbs heavier than I was expecting, but I have a full 8qt of oil in the sump and I don't think I factored that in when I last weighed the plane, so there's 13lbs or so right there...This is also without gear or gear leg fairings too, so that will go up another 5lbs or so when they're added.
End result? With a regulatory MTOW limit of 1320Lbs, I have a payload of 339Lbs. So I need to get back into the gym to increase my fuel-carrying ability!
Now, onto the inspection and what was found...The local CFI also looked over, into and through the -9 and between the 3 of us we've identified the following require attention prior to signing off the RV for flight:
- Install standoffs between items zip-tied to the engine mount & some form of insulation under the ties when attached to the engine mount.
- Install standoffs on the +ve battery cable to better secure one portion.
- Seal the fuel lines and snap-bushings in the wing root to guard against CO intrusion.
- Remove the gear leg fairing hose-clamps I'd left on.
- Clean the fluid off the LH brake pad that leaked a couple of months ago.
- Rectify aleak at the brake fluid reservoir that I thought I'd sorted last week. It is still there. Still...
- Leak check the pitot system
- Shorten the Pitot & AoA lines around the aileron bellcrank to prevent interference
- Attach the Pitot/AoA lines to the wing to prevent work-hardening
- Replace standard washers with -L washers under the upper gear tower bolts.
- Tweak the LH fuel vent tube to prevent abrasion on the rudder torque tube.
- Replace and better-attach the LH brake line to the firewall & under the Lower L longeron.
- Better support the RH brake tube under the lower longeron.
- Add a dab of sika to the fuel line as it enters the selector housing to prevent any abrasion.
- Re-check and tighten all Jam nuts - 2 were found loose.
- Replace the LH control stick-to-aileron pushrod washers with -L's.
- Add a dab of sika to the ADAHRS cabling to better secure it.
- Add a dab of sika to the wiring in the R wing to better secure it.
- Secure the elevator trim DB-9 plug to the rear bulkhead.
- Install the grease nipple in the NLG and grease the fitting - I completely missed installing this.
- Back off NLG axle nut one flat and/or regrease NLG bearings to improve tyre rotation.
- Tighten the RHS Brake line B-nut in the cockpit.
- Add heatshrink around the LH & RH FQIS wires where they enter the fuselage.
- Add a radio-call placard to the panel.
- Double-check the passenger warning placard wording.
- Tighten the lower-left baffle tie-rod.
- Clean out the swarf behind #4 cylinder.
Most of this is house-keeping and I'm somewhat annoyed I have such a big list to attend to. I'm particularly annoyed at myself for missing not one but two
jam nuts and the grease nipple in the NLG. Once this is done we'll go over the list to make sure everything is set, take a few photos for the aircraft data file and submit the paperwork to RAAus HQ to officially finalise the registration process.
As I'm busy for the next couple of weeks, I'll have to wait until after Christmas to get stuck into this list, but fortunately, it is a longish list of relatively minor corrections. I'll order some new plastic and aluminium tubing from Vans tonight, as well as a new T fitting for the brake fluid reservoir and go from there.
Here's an old photo showing one of the issues raised, you can see the brake line has the potential to abrade against the fuselage and/or longeron. If you do this too, consider a dab of sikaflex every 6" or so.