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Bits and Pieces

New Aircraft Inspection Contributor, Canadian Mosquito Flies Again!

By Ian Brown, Editor – Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

Jordan, new mom, and Twin Otter pilot
Jordan, new mom, and Twin Otter pilot

Bill Evans with his Sonerai Sportsman
Bill Evans with his Sonerai Sportsman

When I was a newly minted private pilot, around the summer of 1998 I took my nephew, Jordan, on his first flight. Wind the clock forward 14 years and my nephew is now a commercial pilot flying Twin Otters for Montreal-based Air Inuit. He had an exciting flight recently, having been the co-pilot on a flight to pick up a mother in labour. Here is the happy mom with her new baby. I hope to have an interview with Jordan in a future issue.

This month Brian O'Lena, manager of EAA's Young Eagles program, sent us an excellent summary of the program as it relates to Canadian participants. As you will see, there are several considerations specifically relevant to Canadians. Early winter is an excellent time to fly Young Eagles, with denser, smoother air and less activity at our airports.

We also have a new contributor, Bill Evans, who will focus on inspection techniques for homebuilders. In his new series, he will give us both practical and theoretical advice on how to safely carry out a condition inspection.

Bill worked from 1966 to 2003 at Air Canada, most of it in Montreal but also in Saskatoon. From 1969 to 1977 he was a mechanic working in what they call today heavy maintenance. From 1977 to 1982 he was a licensed mechanic in line maintenance at Dorval. In 1982 he accepted an assignment to teach mechanics about the B-767 which at that time was a new design. Upon leaving technical training in 1984 he accepted a position as an aircraft inspector. For one year, 1991, he worked as a technical writer, creating the various job cards for the B-747-400.

From 1992 to 2003 he resumed his duties as an aircraft inspector. After 1998 the company reorganized, after which many inspectors became lead licensed aircraft technicians until retirement in 2003. Also a pilot, he began flying in 1973 and came to hold glider, private, and commercial licences. In 1976 he earned his Class 1 instrument rating - multiengine. His aircraft have been a D-35 Beech Bonanza and a Schreder HP-11 sailplane, and today he owns a Jabiru-powered Sonerai II LS.

You may have read about a Canadian Mosquito which has gone through an extensive restoration program in New Zealand. Until recently the Mosquito lived at the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley, BC. KA114 saw brief service in World War II in 1945, after which it was sold to a farmer. The aircraft fell into very poor condition and was moved to the museum until it was bought by Jerry Yagen of the Fighter Factory, which provides all maintenance for warbirds at the Military Aviation Museum.

Jack Dueck, previous editor of Bits and Pieces, is chairman of the EAA Canadian Council. He sent us a report on the council and a fascinating article about how to determine the best glide speed for your homebuilt.

The rebuilding of my RV-9A is going well. I managed to find an almost finished empennage in Florida at a good price, which basically leaves replacement of the nose gear, engine mount, canopy, and the aft lower fuselage to do. There was an excellent article by Nick Galati in the November issue of Sport Aviation on countersinking Plexiglas. If you skipped that page and are planning to drill some, I'd advise you to take a peek. I'll certainly be rereading it before I start my canopy.

We always appreciate your feedback, so please "like" us, or better still, comment on an article or get engaged in writing something for your fellow readers. We're fortunate to have EAA support a uniquely Canadian newsletter. Let them know you acknowledge their assistance. Check in to our Facebook page. We often post news items that miss the newsletter deadline.

If you missed the webinars in the month of November, check them out in the archives. You will find great content on chapter fund-raising, flying safety, and flight testing, plus a whole lot more.

I would like to wish all our contributors, EAA staff, and readers a very pleasant holiday season and a happy and safe 2013. Fifty years ago it was "correct" to wish a Happy Christmas, but to those reading this who celebrate other holidays, I sincerely wish you peace, love, happiness, and good times with your families.

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