Follow us on Twitter Follow us on FaceBook Kitplanes Videos Get RSS Feed
 

Shop Talk

June 2016 Issue




Tips From the New Guy

Helpers.

Gru has his minions. Santa has his elves. Timmy has Lassie. When building an Experimental airplane, you can have helpers, too.

Helpers can be wonderful, but there’s also danger. A not-so-helpful helper can be a real problem.

Helpers can be family (young and old), airport bums, an A&P down the row, or a guy who has built nine Experimentals and is willing to help you do one. Helpers can be experts, technicians, or just a pair of helping hands. Helpers can bring assistance in many ways, but can also bring some challenges.

So here are 10 tips for helping hands when building an Experimental aircraft:

1. Keep kids and novices away from dangerous chemicals. Be sure adults who are working with cleaners, primers, paints, and other shop chemistry are fully briefed on handling and safety.

Never too early to start.

2. Keep several sets of safety glasses and hearing protection around. Drop-by help can be useful if properly equipped. If you are building a metal plane, keep an extra pair or two of Cleco pliers around.

3. Remember, this is your plane. Advice can be good from expert helpers, but build the plane you want.

4. Long-term helpers will need training. Put in the training time up front, and you will be better off in the long run. Teach safety and the proper use of tools for novices.

5. When you have many helpers for a coordinated task, such as installing wings or an engine, be sure to do a full briefing of all helpers before you start. Stay coordinated and keep everyone working in the same direction.

6. Keep your emotions in check when working with family, friends, and significant others. Be patient and stay on task, and remember that accidents can happen.

Ready to rumble.

7. It is OK to ask someone not to help. Some folks are just not cut out to build airplanes.

8. Evaluate what kind of help you have and judge assistance and expertise accordingly. A person who built a fiberglass boat may not be an expert at building a fiberglass airplane. A person who wired a house may not be the right person to help you wire your avionics.

9. Family or friends or a significant other may not want to help. Some folks may feel uncomfortable working on a project that life and limb may depend on the quality of their work.

10. Always supervise your helpers. Know what tasks are completed and double-check the results. If a helper failed to put a cotter key in a critical part, you are the one who will bear the consequences.

Getting a helping hand now and then will keep a project moving forward. Helpers can also bring some concerns as well. Manage your help, pay attention to safety, get things done the way you want them done, and try not to hurt anyone’s feelings.


David Boeshaar is a systems analyst for corporate Disney. A former mechanic, teacher, and computer help desk guru at a major university, he is now building a Van's RV-9A for fun with his brother-in-law. As the new guy in aviation, Dave has learned lots, both good and expensive, and hopes to pass along a little help to the builders coming up behind him.

Download File

Untitled Document Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
Photo by Richard VanderMeulen
John Albritton after his First Flight of his Eze Jet. This day was a long time coming for me. Flying my own jet! This couldn't have been possible without the help and expertise of the Jet Guys. They don't understand the word impossible. If someone tells them it can't be done, they just laugh, and then they do it. This project was not without its …
Rich-Macrafic-RV-7A-N4956TRV-7A N4956T, after a 12-year build, flew for the first time on 10/09/2017 from KRST (Rochester, MN). Everybody talks about the "RV smile" after that first flight.  For me, that came on the second flight.  The first one was approached with trepidation, caused by the combination of a new plane that had never flown and …
After many years of both building and not building (about 50/50) N184GC (One RV-8 for Grandpa Christensen) and I made the maiden flight on April 22, 2015 from Santa Fe Municipal Airport, Santa Fe, NM. That was prior to paint and empty weight was 1,041 lb. Making the first flight in the airplane I built was …

Dynon Avionics' latest-generation SkyView integrated avionics called the SkyView HDX has a newly designed bezel and user controls for easier use while flying in turbulence, plus brighter displays and a reworked touch interface. Larry Anglisano takes a product tour of the HDX with Dynon's Michael Schoefield in this video.
At Sun 'n Fun 2016, Dynon continued to push into the world of non-certified avionics with its SkyView SE, a less expensive version of its popular SkyView EFIS system. Paul Bertorelli prepared this video report.
The G5 is a self-contained electronic flight instrument, which can be interfaced with Garmin's G3X/Touch avionics and autopilot for backup and flight instrument redundancy. The GMA245 and remote GMA245R Bluetooth audio panels have advanced entertainment input functions and onscreen programming.
At Sun 'n Fun 2016, Just Aircraft is showing off its new Titan-powered SuperSTOL XL. Harrison Smith took Paul Bertorelli for a half-day demo flight in the new airplane, and here's his video report.
Kit manufacturer Zenith Aircraft Company has released a new 360-degree VR short video to showcase its kit aircraft and to promote the rewarding hobby of kit aircraft building and flying light-sport aircraft.
Whether you are upgrading the audio system in an older LSA or experimental or building a new project, PS Engineering and Garmin have non-certified audio panels equipped with advanced features better suited for smaller cabins.
Video Archive

IMPORTANT CUSTOMER SERVICE NOTICE TO KITPLANES SUBSCRIBERS:


All mailed correspondence, including subscription invoices, renewals, and gift notices, will bear our address:
PO BOX 8535
Big Sandy, TX 75755

Third parties claiming to be selling KITPLANES subscriptions are not legitimate.