Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The friendly regional DAR stopped by on Tuesday morning.

Overall it was a pretty easy experience. A fellow 701 builder, Curt Thompson, was there to observe the process and see what the DAR would look for in a 701. He also wanted to avoid any mistakes I had made.

The appointment was for 10AM and the plane was mostly already opened up, IE all access hatches, inspection plates, ect. Only the top cowling had not yet been removed.

I had a table setup with all the paperwork in order.

The basic safety inspection started at the nose, moved back to the cabin, to the pilot side wing, control access hatch, the empennage, passenger wing and finally back in the cabin.

Generally he checked that cables and wires were properly secured, gas and electrical separates, bolts were tight and proper length, ect. He also checked control continuity and correctness for the engine, flaperons, elevator, elevator trim and rudder.

Placcards were also checked.

As always what you worry the most about never receives attention. I spent a long time worrying about details like the registration numbering. The FAA has very strict guidelines concerning the spacing of the numbers. He just looked up and made sure it was there.

Then there were things that I was sure he would think were wrong, but are by plans. The prime example are the control surface hinge bolts. The Zenith design uses a bearing surface squished between two bolts, no cotter pin. I have spent so much time explaining that the bolts are never under rotation that I had bookmarked the plans page. He had just done a 750 so it never came up although he did check the bolts.

Of course he found some minor issues, but nothing that would block an airworthiness certificate. I was able to address his punch list within a few hours.

After a break and a lunch I reinstalled all inspection plates and the cowling. That was then followed by a complete walk through taken from my POH for both pre-flight and 1 month inspection routines.

I had not touched the plane for a few weeks so the combination of running electrical for the inspection and the Garmin GPS trickling a small charge gave me a hard start.

Runup went well and I took my time doing it to charge the battery. I taxied the plane onto AWO 34 and performed a few taxi tests. Everything went smoothly, but I really didn’t do much. Airspeed comes alive on the Dynon at ~25MPH just as the nose wheel gets light.

I decided to trim the wing root covering some more to help reveal the forward wing-root cover bolts. I also found a few bolts without torque-seal.

No comments: