Replaced ADS-B Module and Wrapped Up Maintenance

I wrapped up the heater valve swap by reconnecting the SCAT tubing and control cable and then reinstalled all of the interior aluminum covers and seat pans. Before reinstalling the cowl, I checked the breather vacuum valve in case I needed to clean it. I’ve been checking this every oil change and it never seems to get worse than this.

Before reinstalling the interior, I needed to swap the ADS-B module. Dynon recently contacted me about swapping this because they apparently found a hardware defect and they want to replace all of the units in the field. Although I don’t relish removing all of the interior and baggage wall to get to this, I don’t mind since I really appreciate how proactive Dynon is about resolving issues like this.

The new unit is identical from the outside, so it’s a trivial swap (unlike when I swapped from the SV-ADSB-470 to the SV-ADSB-472).

Replaced Heater Valve

I recently noticed that my cabin heat wasn’t working. After a quick inspection, I realized the control arm on the heater valve had broken off of the flapper valve. The valve is a stainless steel unit from Plane Innovations which I upgraded to because I wanted to keep all steel components on the firewall.  I emailed the company about the best way to repair the valve and they rushed out a new one free of charge. I wish more companies had this kind of customer service.

Unfortunately, getting the old valve out requires pulling a substantial amount of the interior out. The heater valve is behind the tunnel cover which is under the fuel pump cover. The fuel pump cover sits under the forward seat pans, so the seats and carpets need to be removed.

My son helped me remove the nuts holding on the heater valve. This is one of the few items that regrettably I didn’t attach to the firewall with nutplates. It would have made replacing it far easier. Unfortunately, adding nutplates now is virtually impossible, so we just bolted the new one on the same way.

Here’s the failed heater valve. The spot welds simply failed due to the high vibration around the firewall. The new valve has five spot welds instead of four, but I’m not optimistic this will prevent this from happening again.

The Blog is Back!

Welcome to the new, WordPress powered version of my RV-7 blog! After nearly 2 years without updates, the blog is alive again!

This site has been managed since the beginning with some blogging software called MovableType. The company that owns that made it closed-source several years back and my hosting company stopped supporting it. This meant the pages were visible, but I couldn’t log in and add new entries. After months of not having the time to deal with it, I finally found a company that would migrate all of the blog entries from MovableType to WordPress. After some additional cleanup, this is the result. There are a few things different about the new site:

  • Larger thumbnails
  • Image thumbnails now link to full-sized versions to make it easier to see details
  • Much better appearance on smart phones and tablets
  • Better organization and navigating of categories
  • Fixed countless grammar and spelling errors
  • Fixed all of the upside-down pictures

Please use the contact link at the top of the page to let me know if you find anything amiss with the new site.

Oshkosh 2017

After a 2 day stop in Salt Lake City to visit family, Madeline and I made it to Oshkosh 2017! This is the second time I’ve taken the RV to Oshkosh, but the first time I’ve flown it in via the FISK VFR arrival and parked in homebuilt camping.

We arrived on the Sunday before the show around mid-afternoon which is probably the busiest arrival time for the whole show. I started monitoring the arrival frequency about 40 miles out and as expected it was crazy busy. There was nonstop chatter on the frequency and the controller was chastising pilots for being stacked up or flying side-by-side. It sounded like it was going to be a cluster-fuck, so I asked Madeline to help me look for traffic as we got closer. As we approached Ripon, the chatter died down and we were virtually alone on the arrival!

The controllers directed us to runway 36, and after landing we turned immediately into homebuilt parking where a guide on a scooter ended up escorting us to a new lot that they just opened this year that is only a few hundred yards from show center!

We’re basically due west of the forum buildings and coincidentally only a few hundred feet from the Factory Five booth. This is the first year that Factory Five has come to Airventure and there was a fair amount of interest in their booth the whole week. We just started our own Factory Five car this summer and it was great to chat with the founder of the company for a bit at the show.

Formation Clinic

I attended the 2016 West Coast Formation Clinic in Madera, CA this weekend. I got in 5 two-ship flights and made some good progress in station keeping and learning procedures and hand signals. On the second day, the more experienced pilots did a large formation with multiple passes over the airport.

The clinic was well attended and the briefing room was packed before and after every flight.

Finished Repairing Gear Leg Fairings

Fortunately, I was able to pop off the extra glass and flox mixture I used for the gear leg fairing attachment.

I then fabricated and epoxied some 0.063″ aluminum strips onto the fairings. I curved the upper ends to follow the curvature of the gear legs.

I drilled some extra holes in the strips and then countersunk them so that the epoxy would flow through and help lock the strips to the fairings. After the glue cured, I sanded everything flush with the strips.

Repaired Gear Leg Fairings and Replaced Tailwheel Control Arm

One of the fiberglass ears at the top of the gear leg fairings broke off on the left fairing.

The one on the right is cracked all the way through and is likely to break soon.

I had used electrical tape to hold the brake hose to the gear leg. This broke in most of the spots, so I took it all off. I didn’t get a picture of it, but I just wrapped the electrical tape around the gear leg and then used some zip ties to secure the brake hose.

I pulled the tailwheel fork off to clean and lubricate it. While it was off, I swapped the control arm with one that has a hole for a tie-down hook.

Continued 2016 Annual

I cleaned out the coking that occurs in the check valve that dumps into the exhaust pipe. It was maybe 20-30% blocked and is easily scraped out.

Since I added the tee into the breather line to add an extra check valve as a safety measure, the hose clamp on the upper side of the tee was rubbing against the engine mount. I shortened the hose below the tee to get the hose clamp to clear the mount.

This allowed me to just use the adel clamps to secure the check valves to each other and to the hose. You can also see that I painted the place on the engine mount that was scratched.

One of the two welded brackets for the heat shield near the alternator also broke. I’ll have to order another one of these.