Pre-inspections Oopsies

One of the benefits of using a DAR is to catch mistakes before the inspection, rather than have the FAA inspector come, shake his head and leave. So although I feel stupid for the following, I’m glad it was caught now than on the day.

I sent pictures and scans to Mathew (the DAR) and a couple of days later he pointed out to me that I had filled in an expired Statement of Eligibility and my data plate was incorrect.

The first I have no idea how that could have happened, except I must have unknowingly been on a “help you fill in the form” website rather than the FAA, but the form I sent in was well expired so I had to fill in another one, pay another $15 for notarisation and send it back to Matt.

The data plate turns out to be blessing in disguise. First the problem – I sent in my registration application the same time I ordered my data plate, and I should have waited to get the certificate back. The certificate clearly shows the the owner of the plane is “Sanders, Paul M” but the builder of the plane is “Paul Sanders”. Sadly I put the former on the data plate and so it is invalid.

So I have to order a new plate but when I went to go back to George Race I noticed that the plate he sends is made from aluminum, while the FAA regs clearly state they must be from stainless steel. So in the end this was a fortunate mistake but Matt would have been in his right to fail me right there on that during the inspection. I ordered a new one this time from Aircraft Spruce.

Later on that day I was watching an excellent EAA video on what to expect for the inspection and the DAR on tape said that a common gotcha was people using nylon ties on the engine mount. Apparently the vibration from the engine will eventually enable the nylon to cut through the steel frame, the frame will fail long before the nylon does. Well, of course I’ve tied lots of things to the frame so that has to be undone.

Fortunately Mr Croke of Homebuilt Help came to my rescue with the suggestion of silicone tape. This tape is heat proof and near indestructible so you can wrap it around anything (it only sticks to itself) and then put the nylon ties around it. So, some work to do back in the engine area.

Also, someone pointed out to me on the Zenith builders site that my method for safety tieing the turnbuckles is not ideal and that I should use the double wire method. They were good enough to include a link to an EAA video that showed exactly how to do it and I will replace the current ties next hangar trip. I’ll also buy some bigger gauge wire, too.