I got out to the hangar for a few hours on Monday and Wednesday evenings, plus about five hours during the day on Saturday. A big hardware order arrived from Van's on Monday, so I was able to finish off a bunch of items that were 80% complete. I'm trying to keep the number of partially finished tasks to a minimum, to make it easier to keep on top of what needs doing.

I spent quite a bit of time working on the routing for the Nav antenna coax, which goes from the instrument panel, under the floor, then out the right wing to the antenna in the wing tip. For some stupid reason, when I installed the coax in the fuselage, I trimmed it a bit too short. Once I ran it out to the wing tip, I discovered that it was perhaps two inches shorter than it needed to be. It would be a big job to run a new piece of coax from the instrument panel, through the landing gear box, through the wing spar, and under the floor plus I didn't have any more long lengths of coax in stock. So, I had to find another solution. I studied the current routing, and found two places where a simple reroute would shorten the path by a few inches. I managed to gain about three inches at the outboard end, at the expense of two hours of work.

On Saturday, I attacked the pitot line in the left wing. I quickly learned that I should have done this before installing the wings. The first task was to install the plastic snap bushings that go in the holes in the wing ribs, to protect the pitot line from chaffing. I had thought that this would be an easy job, as there are three access covers in the lower wing surface, and there are large lightening holes in each wing rib that make it easy to reach from one wing bay to the next. I discovered that while it was easy to install the snap bushings in the ribs that were right next to an access cover, it was a whole different story once you were reaching through the lightening holes. And, this being a tail dragger, if you drop a snap bushing, it rolls aft towards the rear wing spar. I ended up searching for two dropped bushings with a light and mirror, then fiddling around blind trying to grab them. One of them rolled all the way aft, out of reach. I eventually managed to snag it with a small piece of wood, and coax it forward so I could grab it.

And things got much worse once you considered the wing root area, where there are four wing ribs very close together. I had thought that I would be able to reach in through the lightening holes from the wing root, but the wing mounts so close to the fuselage that there wasn't room for this option. I had to find another way, using only the tools and materials that I had at hand in the hangar. I eventually came up with a Rube Goldberg arrangement of telescoping inspection mirror handle, and two pieces of nylon cord tied together. This complicated arrangement allowed my to slide each snap bushing along a piece of cord that was routed through the hole in the rib. The snap bushing couldn't come off the cord, and the cord helped guide it into position so I could push it into place with a finger. And, to cap it all off, I arranged things so that at the end the string went through all the snap bushings so I could use it to pull the pitot line through the most inboard wing ribs.

Lesson Learned - install any snap bushings in the wing ribs before installing the wings on the aircraft. For bonus points, also install the flexible pitot line through the snap bushings before installing the wings, so all you have to do is get the pitot line from the wing root into the fuselage.

The next hangar visit, I'll work on running the pitot line from where it enters the fuselage all the way to the instrument panel. I'll also work on its connection to the pitot tube.