<October 14, 2007>

Bad News

Today didn't turn out much better than yesterday. While the results were hardly what I wanted, I didn't feel as frustrated as I did yesterday, and that is a good thing I guess. Nobody said building an airplane was easy, and I think there is a time (or times) during every project that the builder feels frustrated and starts questioning their sanity for taking on such a project. Yesterday was one of those days for me, but I am feeling much better now! ;-)

Since a few of the holes had become enlarged, I decided to drill out the remaining rivets and enlarge all the holes/dimples to #30. The rivets drilled out fine (I am getting good at this), but when I enlarged the holed and re-dimpled them for a -4 rivets I noticed I had a small problem. After I dimpled them I gave the bulkhead and skin a very close inspection and I was shocked to find that a hole in each had tiny cracks. The cracks was about 1/32" long and didn't appear to go all the way through the metal, but they say you can only see a small potion of the crack with the naked eye. I would post pictures, but since they are so small I don't think I can capture the cracks with my camera. Unfortunately, this means I will be calling Van's tomorrow to order a new F-779 Tail Bottom Skin and F-712B Bulkhead half... sigh. Oh well, it's not the end of the world.

I took this photo several weeks later (Nov 11th), but here you can see the small crack in the edge of the dimple. It doesn't look like much, but I has someone else look at it and they agreed that it was cracked.