27 - Section 3
The time has come
for me to get the ultimate check on the quality of my work on the Cozy - FAA
Inspection. I checked around for a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR)
and was able to locate Mr. Adam Valdez. Mr. Valdez had performed quite a few
canard inspections around Southern California (including Chino Airport).
According to other builders, Adam was a real detailed person and a knowledgeable
inspector. The entire inspection process takes about 4 hours - not bad for
checking out all the bolts, nuts, electrical connections, mounting methods, all
the FAA required placards and so on... After a few e-mail exchanges
and phone calls, Mr. Valdez arrived on Sunday morning (8/21/2016) with his
inspection tools, while I had all the necessary forms completed and notarized.
Adam went right to
work and within 5 minutes, he found my first blunder - a missing cotter key at
the nose...I am doomed, wonder what he is going to find in the remaining 3 hours
and 55 minutes! However, its a good thing because I did not catch it
when I went through the entire Cozy, from head to toe, 3 times before Adam arrived and I certainly
want to keep an open mind. I added in a new cotter key right away as Adam moved
towards the radio stack wiring. I nervously watched Adam perform his inspection,
yet enjoyed his "silent treatment". All in all, I got about 5 dings - mostly
minor, such as tightness of a stop nut, a wire bundle lying too close to the
edge of a sheet metal part etc. The only ding that requires a bit of effort is
safety wiring the turnbuckles I used to keep the rudder cables taut. At least
nothing serious enough to undermine the airworthiness of the aircraft. All in
all, it was a good day.
Here's a couple of
pictures showing my dings. They look "ordinary", but Adam picked them out
effortlessly. Personally, I really appreciated his effort! Here's a few pics:
Picture#1 - Missing cotter pin
at end of dowel pin. Corrective action - added cotter pin.
Picture #2 - Lock nut at rod
end needs to be tightened. Corrective action - tightened accordingly.
Picture #3 - Nut for positive
cable needs further tightening. Corrective action - tightened accordingly.
Picture #4 - Wire bundle too
close to top of sheet metal bracket. Corrective action - added wire tie base
(black plastic) at top of sheet metal bracket and secured wire bundle to it.
Picture #5 - Need safety wire
to secure turnbuckle barrel. Corrective action - added single wrap safety wire
to turnbuckle to prevent turnbuckle from rotating.
in all, it was a great experience for me. Adam's attention to detail was
incredible! How he can spot a nut that is inadequately tightened is beyond me.
He left me a nice note after the inspection and then handed me the Airworthiness
Certificate for my Cozy.
years and 21 days, N574CZ is permitted to punch holes in the Federal Airspace