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Bits and Pieces

Inspecting your Aircraft - It's a State of Mind

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

Ian Brown

As I write this I note that snow is forecasted for my home airport on April 2, but overall there is a warming trend. (Finally!) In the land of my birth there is an expression: "There's nowt se queer as folks." Considering our winter, I think that equally applies to the weather. These days there's nowt se queer as a Canadian winter. Let's all hope that April brings with it the start of an excellent flying season.

We're saddened to report that Jack Dueck, founding editor of this newsletter, lost his bride of 46 years, Jean, on April 4. "Jean never met a person to whom she didn't give a little bit of brightness," Jack said. A light has gone out in High River, and I'm sure all of her friends will miss her. Speaking on behalf of Jack's Canadian flying friends and acquaintances and all at EAA, we offer our deepest condolences to him and his family.

This month marks the final installment of Jack's informative series on flight testing, and we are moved to include with it a photograph of Jean seated in the RV-9A she loved so much.

Did you ever dream of a flying adventure somewhere in a far-off land with beautiful scenery? Dr. Kathryn Reducka and her partner Bruce Wheaton took the trip of a lifetime to New Zealand, where they flew a Cessna 172 over some unimaginably beautiful scenery. Bruce describes it as canyon flying, and I guess that about sums it up. Read Kathy's article and decide for yourself whether you'd like to add an Airadventure to your bucket list. There are opportunities like this in South Africa, too, and I'm sure there are other exotic destinations where you can get lodging, local flight certification, and access to a suitable aircraft.

I'll be attending Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, Florida, from April 9 to 14, and by the time you read this I'll be writing up a report on events of interest to Canadians for the May issue. I know many Canadians are planning to attend, including several who have been volunteering there for years.

I would like to recommend you to our Canadian EAA chapters, if you are fortunate enough to have one close to you. Some of the more active chapters have excellent, up-to-date websites, too, with great resources even if you don't live within reach. The EAA website has a chapter locator function that allows you to find chapters in your province. Our EAA - Canada Facebook page is available if you would like to use it to communicate with other Canadian aviators.

We welcome back Bill Evans after a brief break due to illness. His article this month is on preparing yourself for the inspection. His depth of experience in this subject promises to give us all a great insight into inspecting our aircraft ourselves. While the series is primarily focused on homebuilt aircraft, there is absolutely nothing against the owner of a certified aircraft adding to his safety by carrying out a detailed inspection in addition to that required by a certified mechanic. It's interesting to note Bill's use of the word "paranoia" as a normal state of mind when looking for snags. Perhaps we should all be a bit more paranoid about the process of checking out our aircraft. We had a friend who flew overhead a few months ago, and two of us noted a strange sound and told the pilot about it. It turns out that we had both heard a vibrating hose at 1,000 feet above us. The restraint had loosened off.

I'm planning on starting up the rebuild of my RV-9A after returning from Sun 'n Fun. If any of you have experience in rebuilding a flipped-over RV, I'd like to hear from you. I know I'm not the only one who has had to do this. I did manage to find a very nicely completed empennage kit. The prop and engine have been rebuilt, but there is plenty still to do including the canopy.

Ian's Canopy

Many of you who have been receiving e-mails from Dr. Jill Oakes in Winnipeg, Manitoba, will recognize her energy and drive to promote aviation in the province, especially for women. I received an e-mail from her promoting the B-17 Flying Fortress Sentimental Journey visit to the Commonwealth Air Training Program Museum in Brandon, Manitoba, on August 22. The aircraft was restored by the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.

With that, I'd like to wish you all a great fly-in season. May you all have safe flights and happy landings. There's nowt se queer as Canadian weather, but hopefully we'll see some clear skies, light winds, and balmy temperatures.

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