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Bird of Time repair

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  • Bird of Time repair

    After an extremely enjoyable half-hour thermal flight last weekend at the Windy Ridge aerotow, I managed to totally botch the landing by tip stalling while ten feet off the ground. To make matters worse, the wing encountered a fence post at the south edge of the runway. This incident, while very embarassing, earned me the “Best Impact” award for the weekend.

    I put the B.O.T. away in the trailer and tried to forget about it untl building season returns. However, on Monday I took a good look at the damaged bird and decided to fix it and have it ready for the Horizon event. I ordered a new wing from Tower, and it will arrive on Thursday.

    The fuselage needed a lot of attention. The seam running down the top if the fuse was split open for a distance of nearly one foot. I tacked it back together by wicking in thin ca and hitting that with ca accelerator. After a light sanding with 220 grit, I made a patch of .5 oz glass cloth, cut on the bias, about 13 inches long. 30 minute epoxy, applied in two coats did the bonding trick. Additionally, there were numerous areas where the stresses of the crash separated the thick white paint from the underlying glass structure. These areas were sanded fair, treated with thin ca to afhere the edges and filled with bondo. The process continued: sand, bondo, sand, etc. After three iterations I’d had enough, and called it good enough for paint.

    Hang the fuse from the basement ceiling, mask off the fin/rudder and front half of the fuse and let go with the appliance white. After three coats, I called it a night and went to bed.

    Now the directions on the can say one can recoat after 2 hours or wait 48 hours...well, I decided that a fourth coat was in order this morning after 8 hours...

    WRONG!!! I should have followed the directions! The paint wrinkled in about six places! Now I have to wait until Friday to go back sanding, etc.

    Oh well, the new wing arrives tomorrow and I can work on that to fill in the time.

    One final note: I went out to our local club field last evening and shot some of the best landings in my life! Who’d of thunk!!!

  • #2
    'One final note: I went out to our local club field last evening and shot some of the best landings in my life! Who’d of thunk!!!' That's usually how it works... unless you are prone to fib about stuff like that!

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    • #3
      Yeah, Mike, and most of the other club members backs were turned as well. Like Rodney Dangerfield often commented: “I can’t get no respect!”

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