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Stay Inspired

EAA is your guide to getting the most out of the world of flight and giving your passion room to grow.

Time for the Annual? Age of Airplanes.

by Ian Brown, Editor, Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

October 2015 - When do you do your annual inspection (or have it done)? Mine’s due soon. Maybe I’m picky, my checklist is way too long, or I'm just plain disorganized, but it can take me two weeks to complete mine! Whoa, you may say, that sounds like a lot to me. Well let me explain. In my understanding of what needs to be checked or maintained, all aspects that could affect safe operation of an aircraft are included. I also maintain a list of items that I’ve put off until the annual—like oil changes, paint touch-ups, and so on.

I know local mechanics who seem to complete the annual on a Cessna 150 in a day, if all goes well.

Items that I find time-consuming are greasing the wheel bearings, checking the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) batteries (around 40 screws to remove to get to it), the engine inspection, oil and filter change including cowl removal and replacement, and following and documenting my 12-page inspection checklist.                                                                        

A rare warbird flypast happened in the United Kingdom recently at Royal Air Force (RAF) Duxford. You can see a short video here of 17 Spitfires in formation. Remember to turn up the sound. You can also find an hour-long video of the whole air show if you have the time to watch it. Apparently there are only three of those Spitfires that actually saw World War II combat, but among the others are reconstructions and aircraft that were completed in the months after then end of the conflict. As a side note, you might be interested to see the wind turbines in the background at around 14 minutes into the video. They seem to be quite close to RAF Duxford.

Among the movies I missed at Oshkosh was Living in the Age of Airplanes, but I saw it in IMAX recently. It offered some thought-provoking ideas about the development of civilization. For example, most of man’s existence on this planet has been limited by his ability to travel at no more than 5 kilometres per hour. The wheel, the steam engine, and the internal combustion engine all played a part in changing this, but the huge spike in our ability to travel the globe has come in the last hundred years with the success of aviation. Although the movie does not really have a lot to say that would relate to our interest in aviation, it does do a creditable job of showing why we love flying. Spectacular views from the air of some of the world’s most unique geography are a keystone of National Geographic film productions, and this one is no exception.

The due date for your Annual Airworthiness Information Report (AAIR) will be March 31, 2016, for all aircraft next year. All owners who have provided Transport Canada (TC) with a valid email address will receive this notification electronically in the first few weeks of January, and the email will include a link to allow you to file your report online. If you have changed your email address, it might be a good idea to update it with TC.

On behalf of all our readers I would like to offer congratulations to Jill Oakes, who was honoured by the Northern Lights Awards Foundation (NLAF) and is a member of EAA Chapter 63. Jill received her Education Award at a ceremony on October 3 in Toronto, along with six other women. You can read more in the associated article in this issue.

If you are looking for a free aircraft project to build with unique lines, there is one available in Quebec. It looks very nicely done so far, but the builder was forced to leave it behind for donation to a good cause. The Vari-Viggen, designed by Burt Rutan, was inspired by the SAAB 37 Viggen. It is 60 percent complete with almost everything you need to complete except the engine and the propeller. Located at the airport of Louiseville, Quebec CSJ4. Gaston Girard (438) 495-5253. It was designed for a Lycoming O320 in pusher configuration. How about someone picking it up and starting a TeenFlight project?

As always, we’re looking for contributors. Please email me if you have a suggestion for an article, or if you have any other comments about our newsletter. Don’t forget to check www.EAA.org for the latest workshop tricks and videos, along with webinars in the archive.

Safe flying…enjoy the fall colours!

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