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In Canada, we have to get a series of official inspections done as we build the aircraft. One of the requirements is that any enclosed areas be inspected before that area is closed up. I suddenly realized that there were several enclosed areas in the forward belly fairing - I hadn't planned on having the next inspection done until much later in the project, so this posed a problem. I called the local inspector, and discussed the situation with him. He said that I really should have a way to inspect those areas for corrosion later in the life of the aircraft. If I had proper inspection provisions, he could use those to inspect those areas when he did my final assembly inspection.

I wasn't too happy to hear that he wanted inspection ports, as that meant extra work, and a schedule slippage. But after calming down, I decided that he probably had a valid point, so I bit the bullet and studied the situation. There are optional lightening holes in some of the structure that could allow inspection, if I bought a slightly smaller inspection mirror. I could put a small lightening hole in another rib, but that still left two areas that couldn't be inspected.

I added two 2 inch inspection ports in the cockpit floor to provide access to the rest of the belly fairing. They cost me about two evenings work, to design, fabricate, drill and cleco, prime and install.

Here you see the inspection ports, and two small tapered ribs at the aft end of the belly fairing.

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