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Thread: First, Build a Shed

  1. #641
    Senior Member Cherrybark's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    In an, "I Learned About Building" style admission, I had the tail wheel installed incorrectly. Now that I've watched a few videos and played with the lifted tail wheel, the operation makes more sense. There are two steering wings on my Matco tail wheel. They control the steering of the wheel by pressing against a steering pin. The slightly tensioned springs, that are part of the connection to the rudder horn, pull the steering arms forward and keep them engaged against the steering pin. This Matco drawing clearly shows how the arms are positioned when the wheel is in a neutral position. It's been awhile since I installed the tail wheel and I don't remember my thinking. Today I checked the tail wheel and the main gear alignment. I was surprised that the wheel rotated freely with no apparent clutching. It took a bit of playing to realize I had rotated the steering mechanism 180 degrees from the correct orientation and the steering arms didn't have a chance of making contact with the pin. After a noticeable bounce, with overinflated tires on a concrete runway, I'm sure the Kitfox wasn't nicely aligned with the direction of travel. Things were happening quickly but the second touch down was in more or less a 3-point landing. Unfortunately, the tail wheel was rotating freely, the plane wasn't neatly aligned, and I was soon just along for the ride.

    I installed incorrectly. Three experienced builders and a very good DAR went over the plane carefully. None of noticed the tail wheel had a problem.
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    Carl Strange
    Flying
    SS7, 912iS, Oratex, G3X

  2. #642
    Senior Member Cherrybark's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Yesterday was the first chance to fly with the correctly assembled tail wheel while still being a guest at a municipal airport with a nice wide 5000' concrete runway. With the tail wheel now controlled by the rudder pedals, taxing was obviously so much easier. Made a few wide looping turns around the tarmac the headed to the runway. Run up, took a couple of deep breaths and off we went. Climbed to 3000+ with calm air under a solid overcast and practiced flying at 60 MPH with slow turns and stalls. Finally ran out of reasons to delay and returned to the airport to land. After the previous week's two landings ended with ground loops, things were a bit anxious and the foam grip on the joy stick may have to be replaced sooner than expected. But this landing went smoothly - mains chirped, tail wheel contacted, and gentle pedal movements had the plane completely under control. Took off, practiced slow flight at altitude, and had another nice landing. Parked the plane to take a break and unwind a bit from the tension. Made three or four more take offs and landings, honestly can't remember, and each was uneventful with focus starting to be on being critical about the round out and touchdown rather than worrying about loss of control on the ground.

    It was during the flights after the break that the Kitfox changed. Nagging concerns about the cable swage at the rudder horn, glances at the safety pin securing the forward spar bolt, frequent checks of oil pressure and temp - all these things faded away and the Kitfox went from a project assembled in a garage to a fully functioning airplane that was a pleasure to fly.

    Another two or three flights at the paved airport this morning then the plane will head to it's proper home on a nice grass strip, nestled in the trees, next to Lake Palestine at T25. The next few days weather forecast is partly cloudy and light winds so I'm all smiles!
    Carl Strange
    Flying
    SS7, 912iS, Oratex, G3X

  3. #643
    Senior Member Flybyjim's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    You must be on top of the world, congrats. I hope you enjoy the plane flying as much as you did building. Hope to see you at Oshkosh.

  4. #644
    Senior Member Delta Whisky's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Congrats Carl - working the issues to resolution is a form of reward all by itself. Now enjoy flying off phase one and post pictures!!

  5. #645
    Senior Member efwd's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Great to hear Carl. How bout the Lane A light?
    Eddie Forward
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    SS7, 912iS, Garmin G3X

  6. #646
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Congratulations Carl! Happy to read your tailwheel is following your commands now instead of wondering off somewhere undesirable and taking you and the rest of the airplane with. Best of luck with the rest of Phase One.


    DesertFox4
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  7. #647
    Senior Member Cherrybark's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Landings are so much nicer on grass!

    The Lane A light is still an issue. During startup the LED turns off as expected. During run up, checking RPM and Voltage drops, the LED works as expected. Sometime early in flight, the light will start blinking and cycling to reboot the computer does not correct the problem. All of the Lane A functions seem to be working. Twice now, the engine has been restarted after a water break, and the Lane A issue was gone. I had an earlier Lane issue that was related to a bad EGT probe and the Garmin clearly displayed a diagnostic message. I haven't remembered to check for the blinking yellow message light in all of the excitement of early flights. With the airplane home, I can run the engine to try and chase down the issue. You asked about clips supporting the wiring. Hopefully, the attached photos will answer that question.

    Other small problems:

    • Radio not transmitting. Push-To-Talk triggers the radio's TX indicator and the intercom works so I'm betting a wire is in the wrong pin on the radio harness.


    • Two itty-bitty, maybe even teensy-weensy, screws have fallen to the floor. I'm sure they belong to one of the boxes behind the panel. My wife will love another chance to wrestle with the glare shield.
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    Carl Strange
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    SS7, 912iS, Oratex, G3X

  8. #648
    Senior Member efwd's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    The tiny screws are from one or more of your backshell connectors of the wire harnesses I bet. I had the same happen to me. I used loctite on all my backshell screws. Those screws all have a small dot of loctite but as many times as I removed them I had to drop fresh loctite on all of them for the final install. Hope it is that easy for you. Wish I had grass to land on. Chino has gobs of grass around as they grow sod at nearly every end of the property. So tempting.
    Eddie Forward
    Flying
    SS7, 912iS, Garmin G3X

  9. #649
    Senior Member Cherrybark's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    The Garmin G3X software update Ver 8.81 (4/5/21) is well worth doing. Before this update, the only way to read engine codes from a FADEC engine, such as the Rotax 912iS, was to reboot the G3X in configuration mode. That's right, to find out why the scary Lane A or B LED started blinking you had to shut down your avionics package, restart in configuration mode, read the message, then reboot again for normal operation. This update gives the ability to read engine codes while in normal, avionics mode. This is a very welcomed updated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ip3X8BlD-I

    My intermittent Lane A light turned out to be a temperature sensor. The problem fixed itself. If it starts again, I'll start checking contacts.
    Carl Strange
    Flying
    SS7, 912iS, Oratex, G3X

  10. #650
    Senior Member efwd's Avatar
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    Default Re: First, Build a Shed

    Thank You Carl for that Pearl. That is going to be so nice. I will get that update ASAP.
    Fortunately that temp sensor is inexpensive assuming its the manifold air intake temp sensor you speak of. I had one go bad as well.
    Eddie Forward
    Flying
    SS7, 912iS, Garmin G3X

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