Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Looking Closer

After walking a few miles to work through 6 inches of snow on ice, I started the work day already dog-tired.

Look again at that tire - the dirt on a tire tells you a lot about how the airplane is riding. If the dirt is all at the center,the tire is probably overpressured. If it's way out and wide, the tire has too little air pressure. In this case, the airplane is riding way high and centered because it's missing a significant fraction of usual weight - no wings, no fuel, no passengers or pilot... If you see this on a working plane, you need to fix it.

See how the dark stain starts where the exhaust pipe comes out of the engine, not where the exhaust coming out of the pipe might stream back and hit the skin? That's a good indication that I had an exhaust leak.

Sometimes just looking at the plane for a while without anything in mind lets me see new things. For example, when lying on my back and looking at the bungees, I noticed a few fragments of hide of nauga sticking out from under the metal plate behind the bungees. The mud flap was not supposed to hang down, after all, like a mud flap on a truck - it was once tucked underneath the rear metal plate and screwed down, like a very flexible inspection cover.

When I took it off, three fragments of nauga came with, and a sizeable rock. Clearly, the small potion left wasn't doing its job - I should check inside the belly for any other rocks or dirt I can clean out and lighten my plane. In the meantime,here's a shot of the rear cover in the paint booth.

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