One Rivet At A Time

Welcome to Kevin Horton's RV-8 Project
Friday, March 06 2015 @ 06:00 AM EST

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New battery installed, and flying

General News

Saturday was cold, but still the warmest day we’d had for awhile, so I trekked out to the hangar to install the new battery.

Normally, when working in the cold, I use two electric radiant heaters to keep me warm. But, they would be useless when kneeled over in the aft baggage area, to remove and install the battery. I used a length of flexible plastic dryer duct to direct air from the 4800W engine preheater to the baggage area. It worked quite well.

The battery replacement went well. Normally the tricky part is reinstalling the aft baggage floor and back wall, but I got lucky this time and every screw lined up, and no screws escaped into the rear fuselage (which would mean I would have to take everything part to track them down).


Monday was clear, so I took some time off in the afternoon to get the aircraft flying. The first order of business was clearing the snow from Sunday’s storm. There was a four foot high snow drift at the corner of the hangar, and 18 inches of snow on the pavement between the hangar and the taxiway. I know we didn’t get 18 inches of snow from that storm, but the strong winds dumped it all in front of the hangar.


There isn’t a lot of clearance between the left wing and the snow bank on that side hopefully we won’t get too much more snow, or I’ll have to do some snow bank surgery.

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New Battery Arrived

General News

The new battery I ordered arrived this week.

I was in Wichita all week, doing some Global Express flight testing.  It was strange to be in a land without snow.

The weather this weekend was fairly cold, so I didn't go out to the hangar to install the new battery.  I've got two electric radiant heaters that do a pretty good job of keeping me warm while I work, as long as I stand right in front of them.  But, they wouldn't be much use if I was kneeled over in the rear baggage bay, replacing the battery. 

Hopefully next weekend will be warmer.  If not, I'll cobble together some sort of extended air duct off the big electric heater I use to preheat the engine.  Perhaps that could get enough warm air in the baggage area to keep it habitable.

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IFR Practice Flight + Annual Inspection Progress

General News

I was scheduled to be on standby all day Saturday, which meant I would need to stick close to home. The weather was quite nice on Friday, so I took that day off to do the things I wouldn’t be able to do while on standby, such as go to the airport.

I had a great IFR practice flight in the RV–8 in the morning, then made more progress on the annual inspection. I found a couple of loose fasteners, and the tail navigation light is unserviceable. I only require that light if I’m night flying, which I avoid like the plague, given the difficulty of executing a successful forced landing at night, so I’ll defer sorting out that nav light until the weather is warmer. Hopefully it is just a burned out light bulb.

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Flying Again, Finally

General News

I’m owed several days of compensatory leave to make up for overtime I’ve worked in the past year, and yesterday was forecast to be unseasonably warm, so I used one of those days. I got the repaired plenum chamber mounting flange reinstalled. I had hoped at one point to also get a flight off yesterday, but it snowed off and on all day, so that was not possible.

Today was forecast to be clear and cold, with very light winds, so I took another day off. The runway is almost 100% ice covered, from the freezing rain we got a couple of weeks ago, so I only dare fly when there is minimal crosswind. They were still clearing yesterday’s snow off the runway when I arrived, so I had to wait until after lunch. The first trick was getting the Mooney that was by the door of the hangar out of the way, which means pulling it out onto the taxiway.

The Mooney is too heavy for me to push it around by hand, so I used the gas powered PowerTow tug that connects to the nose wheel. It usually works very well, but the combination of a bit of crown on the taxiway plus the ice was more than it could handle. All it would do was spin its wheel. James and Floyd spotted my struggle from the club house, and graciously drove down to lend a hand. The three of us pushing were just enough to get the Mooney in and out, so the RV–8 could escape the hangar. Thanks guys!

The delay while the runway was cleared and I fought with the ice meant that the engine had been preheated a lot longer than I anticipated. I failed to appreciate the implications as I attempted a start, and I primed the engine as if it was quite cold. I didn’t fire, so I primed it some more. I realize now that I had almost certainly overprimed it and flooded it, but I didn’t figure this out until I had ran the battery down. Back in the hangar for two hours on the battery charger, then it started right up (with a lot less priming). It was great to finally get flying.

The wind stayed down while I was flying, which was a relief. It slid around a bit during the landing roll, but a quick touch of rudder got the nose pointed back in the right direction again, and I was very happy when it finally rolled to a stop, still on the runway.

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Yet Another Web Site Host

General News

The web site has moved to yet another web host, Arvixe. I had been on the same host since the web site was created in 1997, but that host had become unreliable. In retrospect, I didn’t do as much research as I should have before moving to the second host, and that host quickly proved unsuitable. Arvixe seems to be the best host yet - hopefully they’ll stand the test of time.

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Winter Has Arrived

General News

Winter definitely arrived last week, with several days of snow, with roughly 20 cm of total snow fall. I headed out to the hangar Saturday AM to get the snow blower going and clear the snow. I had started it about three weeks ago, to make sure that it had survived its summer of hibernation - that first start was a definite struggle, so I wasn’t sure what to expect this time. I got lucky - it started right up. It took about an hour to blow the snow off the entry to the hangar, chip a few big ice ridges from where the airport snow plow had turned around, and clean up with a shovel.

The ceiling was low when I arrived at the airport, but it had cleared out nicely by the time I was done clearing snow, so I rewarded myself by going flying.

Many of the lakes have frozen over, but the ice is still way too thin for any intrepid ice fishermen to set up camp.


Some other lakes have quite a bit of water flowing through them, as they are part of the Rideau River system, so they haven’t frozen over yet.

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Downloads

General News

I got the Geeklog downloads plugin installed and working, and have begun to add the downloads from the other host. I’ll add the remaining files over the next few days. You’ll find them in the Downloads section. New files added will be visible in the What’s New block over on the right.

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New User Registration Working

General NewsI found and fixed the problem with new user registration.  It should be working now.
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New User Registration Broken

General NewsNew user registration seems to be broken at the moment.  I'm looking into it.
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New Site Host

General News

If you are reading this, the move to the new web host worked. I made the move a couple of days ago, but had a few hiccups to sort out.  It seemed to work OK during my testing before switching the domain from the old host to the new one, but changing the site from an IP address to a domain two days ago somehow fouled up the fragile balance in the forces of the web, and the site stopped working correctly.  I finally found the Rescue function in Geeklog, and it immediately pointed out the problem - it was an easy fix once I knew what was screwed up.

There is a risk of issues with user log in, especially with the Safari browser. It was screwed up earlier, but it looks to be working now.  However, I'm far from certain that I've seen the last of this problem. I did a clean up of the user list, as the old site had collected many tens of thousands of users who had registered in the hope of creating comment spam.  There is a chance that I may have deleted a few valid accounts in that clean up.  If anyone finds that they cannot log in, please inform me - I have a backup copy of the old user info, and I should be able to manually copy it back.

The file downloads that were on the old site aren't up and runnign on the new one yet.  That will be be coming soon.  Same thing with the image galleries.

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