Final Testing

Airworthiness Inspection!

Today was the big day. My DAR, Darrel Watson, arrived via his Kitfox at 9am. We also had an FAA ASI (Shaun) who needed to shoulder surf one of his inspections on site. Turns out that Shaun was also a Marine – and Darrel was Navy. Three veterans meant there was some good story telling on top of the very thorough inspection Darrel performed. Darrel noted that my build was one of the cleanest he’d ever inspected and noted in particular that my firewall forward and sheet metal work was well done. HIs comments were a huge confidence boost for me. Having built it, i’m aware of almost every ding, dent, and mistake!

We started out with paperwork, then moved to compliance – data plate, placards, log books and the like. With that out of the way Darrel started firewall forward with all of the engine controls and the moved to the rest of the aircraft.

All said and done, N22UP now has a special airworthiness certificate and is cleared hot to begin phase 1 flight testing. As a bonus my operating limitations allow me to do either the 40 hours or the task based flight testing. I plan to do the latter. I spent the remainder of the day putting inspection panels back on the aircraft and doing another inspection of my own as I went.

As a final note, I would definitely recommend Darrel as a choice of DAR. He was very cordial and helpful in working through the AWC application process. He did a thorough inspection – a good thing when you are looking to strap the plane on and take it flying!

Final Airworthiness Inspection Prep

So I’ve not done a great job of taking photos over the past week, but much of what I have done has been small happy-to-glad type changes on the plane. And I’ve been inspecting things over and over again. Both for the purpose of the final Airworthiness Inspection with the DAR, but also for my first flight. My DAR noted that he has found a lot of inspections have had bolts of the incorrect size, so Mike and I went over the plane in detail and identified some marginal bolt length contenders. I set about rectifying these. Some could be fixed by switching from a standard washer to a thin washer. Others needed a slightly longer bolt size (and naturally an order to Aircraft Spruce!). I rectified all of those.

In the process of full head to toe inspection, I found a variety of small squawks. A couple adel clamps needed further tightening firewall forward. A couple electrical connections at the busses where loose. Mike found a small squeak in the airplane controls – a very slight rub of the control column at just the right spot required me to raise the control column just slightly. I also noticed that the stick to aileron bell cranks seemed off center. Upon inspection it was clear that despite having done the aileron neutralizing procedure with the bell crank jig more than once it was not perfectly set to neutral. My only guess as to how this could be was when things were apart the rod ends must have spun on one of the push rods. Either way. I disconnected the controls, used the jigs on the aileron bell cranks one final time and got everything perfectly neutral. I also did a small adjustment on the right flap.

I spent entirely too much time making myself some chocks out of spare aluminum angle. I’m very happy with the result, but it definitely took too much time!

Just a quick shot here of what the back seat passenger will see once I have an iPad mount. The iPad is able to connect to the G3X system via bluetooth and this provides synthetic vision and navigation information. A cheap way to provide instruments to the GIB!

My niece stopped by with her two daughters. We have some future aviators in the making!

I’ve almost fallen on my wing a couple times. I bought some skateboard grip tape off of amazon and cut to fit the wing walk area. This is just temporary, as I will put a different solution in place once the plane is painted. I’m planning to have an outline of the wing walk area painted, and then I will use clear skateboard grip tape within that outline. I don’t like the black grip tape applications. But for now, this grey wing walk grip tape will make sure no one falls.

Airworthiness Application

I have selected a DAR – who has been extremely helpful in the process, and my final inspection is scheduled for May 25, 2025. (I don’t want to mention the DAR by name without his explicit permission.) I have submitted my application. I have included redacted versions of the paperwork submitted here hopefully to help folks out. You also need to include weight and balance and a three view drawing or photos.

Get the EAA’s Amateur-Built Certification Kit. It makes it dummy proof. EAA also has a video on the AWC application. Its actually pretty helpful, as there are questions – that I wouldn’t have a clue how to answer.