Sunday, September 14, 2008

A "Rainy Day" project, without the rain

The forecast for the weekend was dismal: rain, rain, and then... more rain. A pretty dismal outlook, but hard to gripe about when compared to others further south. With that in mind, perhaps it was incumbent on me to enjoy the far-better-than-forecast weather we actually got as much as possible.

Last night was Co-Pilot Egg's first band competition. She is a freshman clarinet player in the Central Crossing High School band. The band competed in the nearby "33rd Annual Hilliard Band Invitational" last night, and came home with a complete sweep. 1st place in every category of their class, and Grand Champion too!

Here's a moment of Marching Dancing Band eZen(tm) for you to enjoy:

This morning arrived bright and sunny, a veritable slap in the face to meteorologists everywhere. With an encouraging Weather-out-the-Window(tm) forecast in hand, I then consulted a higher authority, DUATS.

Ah, well. That's it then. 24 gusting 36. I wouldn't ride a bicycle in that kind of wind.

Too nice to stay in, though, and the yard got mowed yesterday. A perfect day to pull a job from the deferred maintenance list, and as the airplane is likely to be of use to me sooner than the gas fireplace with the absent pilot light will be, I thought I'd take the opportunity to fix one of the problems my eagle-eyed AP/IA found during the condition inspection. To wit, this wee Bit O' Corrosion:

Co-pilot Rick was one his way down to the hangar to assist, but I thought I could at least get started. The first step was to remove the inspection panel under the right wing to expose the bellcrank to which the aileron control arm is attached. Easy as pie. Removing the nut, bolt, and washers that hold it onto the bellcrank should have been as well, but it ended up requiring some contortions. One of which seems to have irritated something in my neck, much to my chagrin. Sore neck for the next few days. Ugh. With the pushrod detached, the aileron dropped down far enough to allow the removal of the washers, bolts, nuts, and spacers (and lions and tigers and bears) that attach the aileron to the rest of the airplane:

I'm one of the king's men when it comes to putting everything back together again, so I took some notes to help me get all of the pieces-parts back where they came from:

The whole operation was much easier than I had expected. I have no illusions, however, that putting the thing back on isn't going to be a helluva lot harder.

By the time the Co-pilot arrived, the aileron was off and I was cleaning up the corrosion on the aileron and pushrod:

I used the MEK to clean the places that I had abraded with the Scotchbrite pad. I managed to splash a little MEK onto my face, right where I had a little shaving incident. The burn reminded me of those dandruff shampoo commercials:

Out-or-work-actor-getting-by-on-low-budget-TV-commercials #1: "It's tingling!"
Out-or-work-actor-getting-by-on-low-budget-TV-commercials #2: "That means it's working!"

Now this is how a pilot masks for painting:

Those old sectionals aren't entirely useless after all.

The cover coat of gray enamel has been applied and will sit and cure for a couple of days before I try to put the assembly back onto the airplane. Some of the areas where the corrosion was occurring were where the socket used to install some of the bolts had scraped off the paint, leaving the surface exposed and vulnerable to corrosion. I don't want to create the exact same problem by rushing the airplane back into service, particularly since it's so damn windy that I can't go anywhere anyway. Funny how that worked out.

Oh, and how windy was it? Well, 24G36 was just the start. We had sustained 60+ mph winds all afternoon. The power got knocked out mid-afternoon, and was still out Monday morning.

Bonus eZen:


  1. I had read on one of the canard forums a couple of years ago that Mr. B. Rutan had banned The use of mek or even it's presence in any of his plants. Something to do with it's being absorbed through the skin(shaved or otherwise)and being toxic to the liver where it shall reside ever more.
    I know that the canon serves double purpose as movie and still but don't ignore the Oly completely. It does make superior pics after all.
    Congrats on having a more productive weekend than I. I just sat around and read Blogs

  2. Jeff -

    Those are Olympus pix. I just got one kinda out of focus is all.