Covering port side .. Finish



Have finally got around to finishing the stiffening strips so I can get the registration on.. What a fun evening that was .. So easy and so rewarding if you get it nicely lined up


Peel off very carefully to not pull the letterin



Now add name


Panel completion – ASI and Altimeter

Having decided to run two sets quite late on .. I needed to plumb he aircraft accordingly to accept a split feed to supply both front and rear cockpits with suitable tubing and rubber to all the gauges

  • Rear – ASI needed feed and static
  • Rear – Transponder needed static
  • Rear – Altimeter needed static
  • Front – ASI – as above
  • Front – Altimeter – as above

This means you have quite a bit of piping and quite a few rubber connectors

I had started these but Adrian noted that the thinner walled rubber could twist or kink so I should use thicker walled

Took a few evenings preparing and getting elements ready then brought it all together .. Another quite relaxing evening of routing and tying and ensuring things didn’t twist. Also it’s a good time to think of how you might maintain and access post build … So build in suitable lengths of ‘play’ so you can get it out of the panel without it hitting a tight spot

Adrian advised looping the rubber connectors so they had natural curves to ‘arrive’ at the rear of the respective instriment


Avionics – expert check

As Jersey is pretty self contained we are not exactly overrun with avionics experts so when Adrain (Norman) pops over for his regular visit he is definitely a man to catch.

Having got the Trig all working I still wanted to get an expert check over and he kindly offered to give it the ‘critical’ eye .. Again .. He does this all day every day .. I put new systems into Trust companies and Banks …

We spent a while reviewing my wiring techniques and the Trig units and general setup. Before he came I spent a while routing and re routing the working harnesses to give what I felt was a more professional setup and appearance. This meant copious but managed use of cable ties but I found this bit to be quite therapeutic .. There’s something about routing and wrapping cables that makes the whole thing suddenly feel closer to THE day of readiness


Had riveted the above PTT earthing in but advised that a a screw would give better long term earthing

Cables neatly tied and routed I could ask Adrian ‘dumb’ questions about intercom cone connectivity and how PTT should earth through the body and tie off on Trig connectors. I was genuinely surprised when all those pins and PTT and earths worked first time !

I had riveted the little headset and phone brackets to the down tube in front and rear cockpits and they looked rally neat and unobtrusive but my long term mentor Mike (F) had noted that a single bent flap of alloy with two rivets over time would work loose with people pushing and pulling headsets in and out .. In fact one was showing small signs of flex already .. So these were removed and new ones made with a wrap around design and 2 rivets front and 2 rear … Nothing is going to move these now !



Adrian did pick up my inability to completely cut the edge off the cable ties .. Indeed my son Benjamin who works for Williams F1 noted that one of his mentors in engineering used to drag the backed his hand over ‘completed’ cable ties to make the point ! I now know how much to cut off !

Adrian finished with a full check of the transponder using his specialist kit .. You could see nice big fat readings of all key bits so happy days !


Inspector – pre LAA paper sign off

Bob .. My local inspector .. Did the final full pre check with me a couple of weeks ago

He was very thorough .. Of course … And it did feel like an end of school .. See me later moment ! But just like your IMC renewal .. We treated it as a big exercise in engineering … Explaining the background to why he might pick certain things up and why not.

in general he was very happy with what had been done and very complimentary which was mildly embarrassing ! But a nice feeling when ‘cross professions’ meet and compliment 😃

There were, of course, some items to review.

  • He wasn’t happy with 2 or 3 wing rigging cables .. They were nice and tight but the number of threads showing were a little too many
  • This caused some discussion later with another local engineer which was fascinating and informative .. How many threads is enough !? .. One theory is that the diameter of the thread and the nut it’s going into have a proportionality .. Ie once it starts to bite .. 4 full turns and you have gained maximum connection strength .. After that the shear strength will not be enhanced by further turns …. I guess the difference here is that a turnbuckle has a deeper body than a nut so naturally holds more thread BUT I guess the ‘mechanics’ STILL dictate that the weak point – once threaded in by however much- is still that the bolt / thread will shear irrespective of how far in the body it is ! ?
  • Is t engineering amazing ! why isn’t it mandatory on all school syllabuses !!!!
  • Anyway .. Cos the Boss wasn’t happy they were replaced .. He was quite right as was PHS .. Don’t want to become a statistic in GASCO !
  • He also noted that a couple of the 9 aileron bolts were a bit long and could be shorter .. Not impeding but did look long when you step back and compare .. One also just made it to the nyloc so was just too short – easy fix
  • i had left the split pins out of the rudder as I had intended to remove it again .. But once up at the airport I felt loads of rigging and de rigging was educational but not conducive to letting her ‘settle’ and I had missed putting them back in before he inspected ! Rooky error !

That was pretty much it so not too much to tidy before the letter can go to the LAA

So why the gap …

So close to finishing and yet work has managed to got through the roof along with what I call normal flying !

At work we have what is called a Management Buy Out which basically means that the years of frustration trying to get funding for big or small business change projects and programmes suddenly disappear and you can do all those exciting meaningful add value projects and get the resource to do it .. Means a very busy three years but hey .. Better than being bored …

The other, nicer part is that because I spent over 6 heads working for the government out here I met and now know loads of people in all sorts of roles … From our Chief Minister (equiv of Prime Minister) through all he various ministries and departments.

This means I get asked if I can pop various politicians over to various French locations for political meetings and events. The recent Somme commemorations saw a contingent from Guernsey and Jersey, various Heads of government needing to be picked up and ferried to Abbeville and Caen and Cherbourg and back. All this in a week where we generally had BKN below 100 .. Made for some interesting and challenging flying … Did about 15 hours flying last month, including a business hop to Luxembourg .. Long way in a PA28 ! And around 5 hours IMC .. Which is all good practice for Jersey approaches !

Have managed to secure the ability to work late at night in the hangar which is great for big catch up completions ….. To follow in blog ….

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