Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The story behind the entry

My "weekend" was full of getting things done. One of those things was repainting the gas tank covers on the plane, as black was a perfectly ration de-icing color in Alaska, and an utterly irrational color in Texas that'll boil the gas out of the wing tanks in direct sunlight.

So I roll out of bed bright and early like 6am, whip them off, sand, prime, and paint 'em while it's still cool, and have them in time to go fly before it gets hot, right?

...Not so much.       

Especially not when my husband, whom I adore beyond telling, took a look at the stepladder I was using and finally understood why I'd been talking of getting a 3-step stepladder for the plane instead of the 6-footer that I was awkwardly twisted halfway around trying to use. He took off to nearby city's big box store to get the stepladder for me. Because he loves me, and buys me stepladders that are correctly sized instead of jewelry. Did I mention he's awesome?

When he got back, he found me basically sitting on the tire, playing sudoku on the phone, because without my ride, I couldn't go back to the house to get my mini hacksaw to cut a slot in the one stripped screw. Because of course, out of 44 screws, one stripped past saving, without coming out. So we head toward the house, until I recall in despair that I don't know which of the boxes in the wall of Not Yet Unpacked has my mini hacksaw.

Back to nearby city's Home & Aircraft Depot! ...Where, in his intention to spoil me, the man insists I really ought to buy a cordless Dremel instead. Sure, it's not in the budget, but it'll work on his gun stuff too, and I'll be able to use it on something else on the plane, and... My darling man might not buy me flowers, but he bought a cordless micro dremel for me. I'm so keeping him. You ladies will definitely have to get your own; this man's all mine.

And then off to Fastenal, to get replacement screws. Where the replacement screws I need come in packs of 100. Well, if I have to replace one stripped screw, why not replace them all, and not have to worry about the not-yet-really-stripped ones?

By then, Peter's moving slow and getting snappish, which he's just chalking up to it being a painful day. (My knees were telling me all about the weather forecast, so I wasn't surprised.) I look at the clock, diagnose an unrecognized case of hangry (hungry + angry) underlying the incoming-weather pain, and off we go to lunch. Except the first spot is closed on Tuesdays. Eh, Gyros are tasty, and only two blocks further away.

Of course, this puts us back at the airplane to tackle the last screw well after lunch, which means I'm sanding the tank covers in the shade of the mulberry tree in midafternoon. In North Texas. In August. By dusk, I had two primer coats and one color coat on the tank covers (and the cardboard backstop, and on the fence, because overspray goes with the wind... did I mention that it was a calm day, right up until I started sanding?

...So I ended up putting the tank covers back on this morning. You know, roll out of bed, pull on clothes, grab a screwdriver and ladder, the tank covers, and scoot over for a quick install, right?


Anyway, off to go put it in the logbook in accordance with FAR Part 43, Appendix A, Paragraph C - Preventive Maintenance, where it will join many other entries whose "one simple little job" or "Um, this is going to be a lot more involved than we thought" are disguised in dry understatement. (In the case of my airplane, you can even read between the lines and find, in the very first logbook, "Grounded due to war." 9/11 wasn't the first time we closed the airspace; that was 12/07/1941. If logbooks could talk about the story behind the entry...)


  1. That 1941 entry speaks volumes, and begs for more. Most of us don't have vehicles (of any type) with that much history.

  2. Ah yes, the ONE (*!$&^ screw... Never fails... Sigh