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Old 11-05-2015, 03:30 PM
AX-O's Avatar
AX-O AX-O is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,545
Default The importance of a new set of eyes on your work.

You have heard it before, you will hear it again. I am familiar with the concept and have used it. In fact, before my first flight, I had about 8 folks look at "Dilemma" before the DAR inspection.

Last week I identified that I had a leak on the manifold side due to the engine having troubles idling and the MP only going down to 13 inches vice approx. 10 inches during idle. The plan was to remove and replace all my gaskets on my fuel servo and intake tubes because everything else was fine. Not really a hard job but time consuming. A buddy (nameless to protect the innocent) wanted to come down and spend the day talking planes. So I told him ?you can come down but we are working?.

As we are going over the plan of attack we kneel down next to the motor and he pulls one of my MP lines and it falls out on his hand. As Homer Simpson would say, "Dohhhhh". How embarrassing!

This particular line had a number 2 aluminum hard line flared and connected to an AN fitting on one side then a ?plastic? type line over the OD of the aluminum line going towards the MP gauge. The aluminum line remained inside the AN B-nut but the flare was completely separated. So from the outside looking at the line/fitting it looked fine. We ran a rubber line directly from the engine MP pick up to the MP gauge and the plane idled fine. I later replaced all my lines with new rubber lines. His trip saved me a few hours? worth of work and head scratching.

The story does not end there. As my bud filled his aircraft with fuel I was looking at the trailing edge of his flap where it meets the fuselage (as we all do when we are trying to figure out how you will work on your own aircraft). I noticed that his flap had a small crack starting to form on the trailing edge most likely due to the flexing caused by when the flaps are retracted and they meet with the fuselage. I pointed it out to him and he was not aware of the issue.

So, the moral of the story. Have someone look at your work periodically and volunteer to do the same. When you identify something make the owner/pilot aware of the issue in a tactful way so no one?s pride gets hurt. And at the end feel good about the fact that you helped your bud be safer, you mitigated an issue, and potentially reduced EAB accidents in general.

Go check your MP lines and flap trailing edges.
RV-4 fastback thread and Pics
VAF 2020 paid VAF 704
The information that I post is just that; information and my own personal experiences. You need to weigh out the pros and cons and make up your own mind/decisions. The pictures posted may not show the final stage or configuration. Build at your own risk. Further more, these are my opinions and not those of my employer.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:08 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 868


Similar deal. I was walking past a local hangar a few months back and there was a nice looking 4 that I had not seen before. I poked my head in and introduced myself. The owner told me his sad tale of the problems he was having and all the things he had tried. Same thing, I knelt down to look and spotted something in about two seconds which I pointed out. A couple days later I saw him again and he said fixing what I spotted cleared up the issue. It is amazing what an uninvolved and uninvested set of eyes can see.

I am always glad to have folks come by to look at what I am doing for that very reason.
RV-8 with the Showplanes Fastback conversion
Emp completed except for glass work
Wings completed except for bottom skin and glass work
Fuselage underway
N18451 reserved
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:30 PM
flightlogic's Avatar
flightlogic flightlogic is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,674

I stopped at a non-towered field today after leaving Phoenix... just to inspect the 9A where no one was bothering me.
A fellow rode up on his bike... to talk. Turns out he built a 9A not long ago. I told him about some recent discoveries on mine that needed correcting. He then offered to do a walk around inspection of my 9A. I thought that was a great idea. A bit embarrassing after he started noticing way more than I predicted he would. I got my iphone out to start a note file list of all his observations . Now, it is stored away for the weekend, when I can get to work on the list. The second set of ideas really pays off. Thanks for posting this for everyone to think about.
"Kindness is never a bad plan."

exemption option waived. Donation appropriate.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:40 AM
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vfrazier vfrazier is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mount Vernon, IN
Posts: 1,399

It's sheer insanity to not have other qualified RVers look over your shoulder when you have the chance. It might save your life!

I recently was helping with the condition inspection on a 15 year old RV-6A. It had been inspected previously by the owner and one other mechanic. I was poking around and was astounded to find 3 bolts near the left main gear leg/spar carry through that had nuts on them that were visibly loose (gaps). These should have been easily seen previously.

It pays to have a fresh set of eyes look over your work, no matter how experienced you are!
Vince Frazier
F1 Rocket and F4 Raider components
1-888-F1AIRCRAFT (1-888-312-4727)
RV and Rocket Accessories, Tailwheels, Tools, & More
1-888-8FLYBOY (1-888-835-9269)

F4 Raider - under construction
F1-H Rocket "Crazy Horse" - sold
RV-4 "Chief Pontiac" - sold in 1994, purchased in 2018
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:34 PM
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Neal@F14 Neal@F14 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Posts: 2,182

More eyes == more better. Always.
Every time I have the cowl off my plane I always have all my airplane buddies at the airport come by to scrutinize. And I do the same for them. Sometimes they might not want me to but I force myself upon them anyway . Afterwards we have a couple brews and discuss the day's findings. We are our brothers' keepers after all.
Neal Howard
Airplaneless once again...
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:04 PM
AX-O's Avatar
AX-O AX-O is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,545

Well another one for you. So i did a flight review yesterday in an RV-7A. This particular -7A has about 75 hrs on it. I am taller than the owner and as i was demostrating and explaining a proper preflight i found a loose jam nut on the top of the rudder. The owner could not reach to inspect it.

After the flight i checked all the jam nut again and the were fine but in the process I also found a AN bolt on the elevator that was too long. I was able to spin the washer under the nut. I missed it on the first check.

I check those jam nuts everytime! I found 3 loose on my old plane after someone posted on VAF about it.
RV-4 fastback thread and Pics
VAF 2020 paid VAF 704
The information that I post is just that; information and my own personal experiences. You need to weigh out the pros and cons and make up your own mind/decisions. The pictures posted may not show the final stage or configuration. Build at your own risk. Further more, these are my opinions and not those of my employer.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:12 PM
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hgerhardt hgerhardt is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: torrance, ca
Posts: 744

Around the 50 hour mark on my -6, I found 2 loose jam nuts on the heim joints. Checked torque on the rest and most were undertorqued. My airplane has all parts primed before assembly and I attribute the looseness to the primer extruding a tiny bit under the washers. Doesn't take much for the preload to become greatly diminished. Obviously I now check torque on those at every annual, but they've held torque just fine after that initial retorque.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:50 AM
Maxrate Maxrate is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: League city, TX
Posts: 612
Default Electronic eyes

Agreed! The great thing about the VAF is the wealth of expert information a builder has at his fingertips. After completing the HS service bulliten and trying to get the elevators back on I couldn't get the things to rotate smoothly unless I slightly loosened the hinge bolts. I decided to do some more research. After a quick use of the search function I came across this. If I had to hire someone with an expert set of eyes to physically SHOW me how to properly attach/rig the elevators it would make this project cost prohibitive. I did the fishing line trick to verify all attach bracket holes were in line then I knew the only thing that could be off was the rod ends. Vans calls for a 13/16 distance from the spar web to the hole center on the rod end. How am I going to achieve this I thought? Again a quick search turned up this. What a great idea. Now I had the exact measurement! After a slight adjustment to one of the rod ends, and following Walts advice on tightening sequence all bearing bolts are tight and the elevators are smooth as butter.. If one is wiling to take his time and follow the expert advice offered on this forum he/she can turn out a fine product. Of course I'm going to get a human set of eyes on the plane before I try to go fly it.
Mark Malone, RV7
Wings complete, SB 14 complied with, canopy and cowling in progress, Up on the gear.
N442MM reserved

2021 Donation gladly paid..

Last edited by Maxrate : 11-10-2015 at 08:00 PM.
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