Monday October 16, 2006
Tech Counselor Visit
(Miscellaneous, Rudder)

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I had my EAA Technical Counselor visit yesterday (the appointment was moved up).

We spent most of our time working on the rudder oil-canning problem. It's likely that the problem is caused by my not straightening the stiffeners and not being careful to keep the skins straight and level while drilling/dimpling/riveting. My plan of attack is going to be to try to straighten the skins as much as possible along the stiffeners and see if that helps. If I get done with the rudder and I feel like I just can't live with it the way it is, I'll order parts and build a new one.

He didn't see any problems with my VS or HS work. We did a little test to see if there was any twist in my HS and weren't able to detect any. He also gave me some tips for bending the trailing edge of the elevators when I get to that stage. Overall, I need to be more careful to verify that parts are straight and properly aligned. The pre-punched parts will go a long way, but I can't rely on that for everything.

I'd recommend all first-time builders take advantage of the Tech Counselor program. It was great to talk with another builder about my specific project. Now I have a connection to the building community and I'm planning to participate in the activities of the local EAA chapter in Niles, MI.

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