14.99 Airworthiness Inspection

This entry is part 35 of 38 in the series 14 - Final Assembly / FInishing

Over the past 7 years, there have been many “milestones”.

Finishing all the filling and sanding and getting the plane in shiny white primer.

Hanging the engine.

2011-10-07 DSC_0071

Retracting the landing gear.

Powering up the electrical system.

2014-05-31 IMG_20140531_193001095 (Small)

Starting the engine.

2015-03-06 1633 Image0053

But those are all, what I would call, building milestones. They are events that I conside significant. There’s nothing that I’ve done which warrants the attention of the FAA.

That changed today.

This morning at 9am, the FAA DAR (Designated Airworthiness Representative), paid me a visit. First we went over the paperwork to make sure that everything was in order.

I had a momentary panic attack when he mentioned that my builders name (Donald E Johnston) and registered owner name (Johnston Donald E) were not the same. This isn’t a problem, but the data plate permanently attached to the fuselage MUST show the builders name. And I couldn’t remember what name I had engraved on the data plate. So I had to check and sure enough it was correct. Whew!

Once the paperwork was deemed correct, he began looking over the airplane. He asked to see a landing gear retraction so I jacked up the plane, retracted the gear and then lowered it. Then he looked over the electrical system. He asked who did the wiring. I said “That would be me.”  “All of it?, he asked. “Yes sir” was my response. I got a “Very nice” with an approving nod.  I get the feeling that this particular DAR doesn’t throw those comments around very often. Made me feel real good.

Then he wanted to see the electrical system powered up. Once all the screens were up, he wanted to see the nav and strobe lights function.

After that, he looked inside the nose and pointed to an oil fitting on the nose oil cooler and said: “It’s not required, but it would make this DAR happy if you were to put an indicator on that fitting so you would know if it rotates.” I pulled out a tube of torque seal and marked it as requested.

After that we sat for a while going over more paperwork. He explained that I would have a 25-hour phase I test period since I’m running a non-experimental, approved engine/prop combination. Otherwise, I would have a 40-hour phase I test period. During phase I test flights, no passengers can be carried and all flights have to be done relatively close to Sebastian. I got a pretty decent sized test area.

Phase I map

After that, she can come home with passengers.

Then I got a piece of paper seven years in the making.


Series Navigation<< 14.99 Weight and Balance14.99 – Painting >>