Daily Coverage

July 28, 2016, Thursday at Oshkosh

Dan and Alice Baisley Get Married


image_6Alice asked that her pictures not be shown on the web.

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GPA 3rd National Gathering – Bowling Green, KY

Note: If you have some great pics of the event, be sure to send them to me so I can add them. Thanks.

IMG959682Garner cannot make it this year, but he sends his love.  Minnie is doing well, the kids are great (as always), and he is enjoying his days as a handy man in his piece of Texas.

Tuesday – Early Bird Day

The weather is as expected, HOT, and we had twelve folks make it in for the first early bird day.  We also had 5 airplanes on the ramp as shown here.  Mark and Kelly were the first to arrive followed quickly by Linn and then Nancy and Aero.  Finally the last plane to arrive was Jimmy from New Jersey.

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The plan is to meet tomorrow in the lobby at 8 am and then mosey to the airport.  Hope to see more of ya’ll here.

Here are some photos of the Welcome.






Here a shot of Lou showing us his card trick.  It worked the second time around.


On the way to the corvette Museum, Luann ‘s car broke down.  One idler pulley later with new belt and she is on the way.


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Midwest Wrench and Elbow Bending

In the final days counting down to the event. The shop is empty and clean, Folks are making final preparations, Jimmy is bringing smoked shrimp and a pan of lasagna, Roscoe is making a Cajun yummie dish.Smoked Shrimp
Smoked Shrimp, hummmm…….
Stay tuned for more details.

Wrench Bending Group

We have an AG5B with a dent in the leading edge. Since it is spring, well everyone’s favorite, rudder springs! Also a traveler that doesn’t seem to want to be rigged. Sure to be more. Take notes.

There was also a Cheetah with paint erosion on the leading edge from 40 years of flying.  Previous Bondo patches were found in the sanding of the leading edge.  Jimmy removed the bad repairs and redid them properly as part of the process.

19 people plus 11 planes, 1 motorhome, 3 rental cars. priceless. WX not the best but we had folks make it from, GA, FL, VA, NE, WA, CA, and OH all flew in.

Stuck nose strut not out in many, many, many years. We started on that to stop the nose shimmy. Dead battery, dead vacuum pump. Bird strike, and much more.

Ken started the day with a video of just why we have to work on our plane a certain way.

Here are a few pics, will try and do more tomorrow.

Getting ready to install cowl bumpers

mw4A line of Grummans with various projects going on.


mw2Flight Line

Ken gets to fly in a cabin Waco. Formation with a Stearman.









mw5The Stearman in Formation


Saturday – Much cooler day.

Started out the morning with an airplane tour.  Folks got to the see the oldest girl in the fleet,  Yankee serial #2, The Patriot AA2, and the 6-cylinder Sabertooth Tiger.6cylinder

Six Cylinders, no waiting.


Patriot found in the barn.


Door of Patriot.

AA2 Color (Flying)

As it was on Flying Magazine in 1970


Yankee #2 on trailer to come home.

Products discussed today:
Phillips #2 ACR Platinum Bits 2-inch

Oasis Scientific USB Articulating Borescope

We started the day by cutting an access hole in the bottom the AG5B so we could work the dent out. Installed doubler and cover, sprayed primer and paint. Tomorrow will be hard so we can polish out the result. Great fun!

Found the noise another Tiger was making, turns out the torque tube is debonded on one side (right inboard).

We used a borescope to examine valves in an engine, folks love to be able to see that well in the cylinder. Luann came by and cooked our meal so we could focus on work.

Ken demonstrated installing his cowl bumpers.

There was a lively discussion about rigging ang how it affected airspeed.  Care to learn more?

Cutting the access plate and then beginning the fix on the leading edge dent.
IMG_20160514_121956122Looking down
IMG_20160514_121944343An overhead shot of folks watching the progress of the fix.

IMG_20160514_121940327There was a discussion on the log book entries of an airplane.  What to look for, and what to avoid.  What they say, and what hey do not say.

Practicing on a scrap piece of metal to get the diameter perfect.


Rags showing the inside of a cylinder with the borescope (we used a 900 dollar and a 149 dollar version). He also talked about overhauls and what make an overhaul. The 149 borescope by Oasis Scientific, allows you to take pictures, video, and is 1080 line video.

IMG_20160514_101759623Bunches of smiles

IMG_20160514_101754057IMG_20160514_101728319Ken on the creeper

IMG_20160514_100414274Discussing the steps in the next few minutes

IMG_20160514_100408787_HDRMatt’s plane all masked.

IMG_20160511_230411339Sanding and prep
IMG_20160511_185109135Matt doing his share as well

IMG_20160511_185058733Jimmy showing Matt how

IMG_20160511_174559555THe dent exposed now

IMG_20160511_163409190_HDRLeading edge paint errosion

IMG_20160511_155943500_HDRSlight dimple here and more erosion

IMG_20160511_155938397Masking the wing root strips

IMG_20160511_155910284Masking the wingtip

IMG_20160511_155903758_HDROther side wing root strip


Finding the right spot to put the access panel in.


Checking the measurement




The gallery of viewers


Another view


Working on the wing

mw4 mw3 mw2 mw1Ask about the dangers of dangling airplane bling in front of owners.

Sunday, Beautiful Day

Day started off relaxed. Ken installed a set of cowl bumpers on a Tiger only to discover he had the wrong oil cooler bolts, no safety wire, and a broken capture. Needless to say that got fixed.IMG_20160515_121314819



Adel Clamp Pliers

Oil change and battery change for Frank so he could depart. Rags demonstrated changing oil and letting owners have a try at safety wiring.IMG_20160515_113246449_HDR

Also demonstrated was enlarging the the seat pan holes to help removal and installation.IMG_20160515_152907925





We had a plane with a broken torque tube that will be staying a bit, and we discussed the cooling mod of cutting the cowling boot. Fletchair is out and cannot locate the mold, so hang on to yours!

Group photo was taken (Displayed at TOP), lunch was served (again, Thank You Luann), and we started to look at getting things squared away.

—————————— Event End ——————————–

SOUTHWEST Wrench and Elbow Bending Weekend

This event was a great success. Everyone worked, everyone learned, and all had fun! The GPA would like to thank the 3 Gurus who worked the event: Ken Blackman, Roscoe, and Rags. Rags opened his shop for the event, and all three lost 4 days of shop time revenue to come down, prepare and host this seminar, and then get home. One person remarked that they came expecting to learn, but was surprised at all there was to learn.

Everyone shared tips, tool tips, operating information and techniques. Folks got to see the factory rigging tools and procedures and how to correctly perform those tasks. There was much discussion as to why different things needed to be done every year as the annual checklist calls out. Further down in this coverage is a great example of just that: Hint – think front seats coming out every year. A good time was had by all and the community was strengthened.

One final overall comment. Maintenance Seminars are like battle plans, they are usually changed after the first 30 seconds. We went with the flow and sometimes doing just one thing on a plane was like pulling a thread. Such is life.

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Ken’s 2 cents:

The Southwest “wrench and elbow bending” event was really a success with around 30 people attending. (We failed to get a sign-in sheet out on Friday so several who only came for that day didn’t get recorded. The Saturday / Sunday list contained more than 20 owners plus several guests. (A couple of owners brought their mechanics so they would learn, first hand, how to maintain their planes. One IA commented that he really didn’t know how much he would pick up since he had over 35 years of light aircraft maintenance
experience. A few hours later he apologized for that statement.)

We had a very full schedule of intended subjects and demonstrations laid out which, we learned, is not the way to do it. It all went off the rails very quickly as we began dealing with things we found in planes we were using for the demos as we discovered them. I think we did cover most of the subjects but not in the order we had listed. That’s OK, now we know what to expect and not to try to structure things so detailed.

Our hosts, Rags and Jimmy, at Arizona Aircraft Maintenance, LLC, gave up 2 days of their “revenue time” to allow us to take over their facility at Stellar Airpark in Chandler. I know the future business generated from this event will more than make up for their losses but we thank them sincerely for their generosity and understanding. It is important to remember businesses sacrifices to host and present this kind of event so support them however you can. Editor’s Note: In addition to the hosting business, the traveling experts pay their own airfare, sacrifice their shop “revenue time”, lodging, transportation and meals.

The three primary people doing the “educating” were Rags, myself, and Roscoe. Volunteers helped in many ways from manning the grill to flip burgers and dogs, help move things that needed moving (like airplanes) and many other ways as needed. We thank everyone for their help and consideration. It was amazing to find some of the very items we had planned to discuss and show how to fix on some of the planes we used for the demonstrations. It showed how things can be discovered that had nothing to do with the subject at hand and emphasized the importance of a “thorough pre-flight” that involves opening both sides of the cowling (or removing the 2 place upper cowling) to see things like leaking exhaust systems, loose ignition harnesses, oil leaks, and so on. We also got very deep into rigging and I brought down a complete set of 2 and 4 place rigging fixtures and tools (which Rags hung onto to copy and build a set from) and the importance of having the proper equipment to maintain our planes.

One of the goals of the GPA [Grumman Pilots Assoc.] is to have reasonably priced rigging tools and fixtures produced and made available at near cost for owners and shops to purchase. Roscoe and I are working on this project as I write this article.

That is a brief coverage of the event and I want to personally thank all who attended. We plan to hold this kind of event at least 3 or 4 times a year around the country (and in other countries if the cards fall into place for it) with the next scheduled one to be May 13, 14, & 15 at Yankee Aviation in SW Ohio. Roscoe and Luann will host this event and I will be there as well as Rags to present some of the seminars. I am going to try to put one together, probably next September, here in NW Washington and discussions are underway for holding something in NE Florida (possibly in the Winter months) so stay tuned. Details of these and other planned events may be found on the GPA website, as well as here on the GG and the AYA website under events. Remember that these events are “generic” in nature and all those interested in the maintaining, flying, and preservation of our precious aircraft are invited to attend. Owners, Pilots, Mechanics, or just interested parties are all urged to join in the events.

Ken Blackman
Air Mods N.W.

********************* Friday November 6 *********************
Red Dog P51
This P51 heard about the great maintenance seminar we are having at Stellar Airpark had to come see it. Actually he is based here and we all got a treat when he took off twice. This P51D had a 2.5 million restoration and it is a stunning aircraft. The owner of the fuel farm loves when he comes to the pump!
checking a plane
People just love to look at planes. It is almost like they are an attractive nuisance. There are some parts of the county where our birds are a rare breed and folks have to come see what they are all about. Some mistake us for a RV! Other wants to compare their bird and its options with others.
Friday chats
Chat groups everywhere.
Flight of the Phoenix
Geoff flew from NM with his companion, ‘Phoenix’. Now you have seen the Flight of the Phoenix.
Friday lunch
Food is always a people magnet. Yummmmm.John Cotter did the honor of cooking while the rest observed the events going on.  Thanks John!
Rags and Ken check a loose bearing on the right aileron. This is the 902013-1 aileron bearing that is also used on the rudder (upper and lower) and the elevator. FYI
Getting the end of the torque tube all clean prior to putting the bracket and the bearing back on. On this plane someone in the past had glued the shim spacers all together. The motto of the weekend as we saw on multiple planes, in different systems was, “Cleanliness is next to airworthiness!”
Bearing madness
The crowd watches with rapt attention as Ken demonstrates the reassemble process for the outboard aileron bracket and the counterweight and what can go wrong and what to look for. Also discussed was what to use to lubricate the bearings, how, and on what schedule.
Jaguar Cowl
One of Gary’s Jaguar Cowlings showed up to be examined.
The end of day ‘Ask the Gurus Session’, Ken and Roscoe field em all.Questions included:
current price parts,
parts availability,
alternative products
********************* Saturday November 7 *********************
One plane flew in a had to show us his new Lycon engine. Notice the grommet for the spark plug wires?
We went and got the very expensive 67 cent grommet and sealed the hole on both sides with RTV.
Laura Gets Her Grumman Smile small
This is the first Grumman flight of Laura Withrow taking her Commercial check ride this week. Bart’s prop is not yet back from the prop shop so he could fly her in his nice Grumman. Al Hancock (GPA CFI) let her fly left seat in his beautiful Cheetah. Her smile says it all.
Getting ready to bring the Tiger in and john corretly finds the empty spot on the floor.
Bringing the plane in out of the sun to remove the canopy. Ken demonstrated the game he invented, Broken Towbar.
Ken and Geoff cleaning the turtledeck area on Geoff’s Tiger.
While the canopy is off, you can clean the section of the turtle deck that cannot be reached otherwise. Clean with soap and water and a rag, then dry. Then come back with a cleaner and finally wax this area. Here you can see Geoff and Ken doing just that.
Before the canopy goes back on, your have to really clean the canopy tracks. Ken used a paint stick whittled down and a rag with alcohol to clean the tracks (top and bottom). When done they were white again.
dirty buttons small
The canopy rails were very dirty and the buttons not functioning due to dirt and debris. Remember, “Cleanliness is next to Airworthiness!”
clean and dirty rail
Here you can see for yourself the difference between a clean rail and a dirty one. Takes about 30 minutes to clean a rail this dirty with solvent and scotchbrite. Be sure not to scrub the working edges, that will reduce the rail width, and if too small, they will fall out.
Rear seal redo. You get all of the old seal off and the area clean prior to putting on the new seal.
Ken removing the rear seal that was now longer really there from the back of the canopy.
Food again is quite the draw. Here are the folks who on Saturday cooked the meal, out thanks to Rags and Paul for stepping up. John Cotter from Illinois did the deed on Friday.
The serving line moved fast and folks moved off to sit and eat.
Ken has his! Lunch is now served.
Sure does get quiet when the food is served.
Canopy back on. Ken pointing out why the front seal is being destroyed. Sometime in the past, the plastic spacers behind the metal trim that hold the canopy seal gasket were not reinstalled. This put the seal just a hair to far aft so it can be destoyed.
Roscoe cleaning the spar while bracket out
Link to Video of a loose front seat bracket.
Loose seat bracket
After the bracket is removed, the spar and all the pieces hidden by the seat and bracket can be cleaned with a wet rag. Notice how nice and shiny the clean spar is?
Take the bracket loose
Roscoe taking out the loose outboard pilot seat bracket. After removal we found that the factory had put the star washer under the bracket instead of under the hear of the AN3-6A bolt. There are three of them that hold this bracket to the spar. We are find more and more of these loose for a variety of reasons: wrong assembly, bolts to short, missing star lock washers, etc. This is just one of the reason that the seats have to come out every year.
Going nose-to-nose to compare a good set of baffle seals and a set in need of TLC.
These baffle on this Yankee were done over 10 years ago by Ken and are still pretty, tight, and very functional.
Baffles on a Tiger in need of attention.
Ken now goes over the baffle fails one at a time and why they are bad and what should be done to fix them.
A tale of two bellies, one light one dark. This has to be the cleanest belly I have seen on any Grumman
In contrast, this one is not done justice by the photo, it appeared very black, but we highlighted it with light to show the swirls and patterns of air that exist under the bottom.
2 for night flight home
An AGAC and a Cheetah both fire up the engine and lights for the flights of about 10 minutes to other local fields for the trip home. After these two departed the group headed out to the restaurant.
Dinner Saturday Night
What would any gathering of pilots be without a good meal. Not everyone could stay for the Saturday Night meal but those that did had a good time and lots of interesting conversation.
Some folks whose Grumman was down for maintenance came in other aircaft, like this beautiful Comanche.
We tried talking these guys down to no avail. Grin!

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