I wanted to touch up the
cowling—smooth it, so to
speak, but not too much.
If I got it too smooth and
A coat of Krylon red spray paint and nose art inspired by his wife, Kay, decorate the cowling
of Lauran’s RV- 8.
was only one rivet, and there were
no streaks coming from it. Maybe
a remnant from a small fuel spill. I
wiped it clean, and long story short,
it’s never reappeared.
While I was under the wings,
I moved on to the landing gear,
wheels, and brakes. Take off the
wheelpants and you can see it all:
tire, wheel, brakes, and connections.
Good stuff to pay attention to. The
company that makes my brakes sent
me a key chain with a small plastic
rectangle. That little rectangle piece
is exactly the thickness at which
you should replace your brake pads.
Pretty clever, huh? I held it next to
my brake pads and determined I had
plenty of wear left on them.
Then I moved to the empennage and took off the fairings and
checked the attach bolts. I found
where I attached the horizontal stabilizer to the fuselage. I had marked
the position of the nuts with a stripe
of red paint. (Okay, it was fingernail
polish, but don’t tell anyone.) That
was before I knew what Torque-Seal
was. That find took me back to the
beginning: So much to learn and so
far to go.
On to the canopy in search of
cracks. I’d worked hard on the canopy, two weeks alone just trimming
it. I didn’t expect cracks, but you
never know. I thought I found one,
shiny, it would ruin my
reputation for cosmetic
but no, it was a blemish. That’s my
story and I’m sticking to it. I check
it every time I preflight. It’s still a
In the cockpit I replaced an errant
amp gauge that had been acting
up. Removing the instrument panel
allowed me to look at all the wires
and connections. I don’t remember
how I did it, but all the connections
were connected and they all still
work. From the instrument panel I
looked down at the wing attach bolts.
Funny, while flying, I don’t really
think about them. I just trust them.
The condition inspection was also
the impetus I needed to do some of
the things I said I’d get to later but
never did. I never quite got around
to putting on the gear leg/wheelpant
intersection fairings. Until now. And
the cowling needed a little “touch
up.” I flew the airplane for a year
with but a coat of primer and, as is