Spats Removal - 17 Sept 2010

On Friday 17th September, Sandy Wilson and myself headed down to Te Kowhai airfield outside of Hamilton to do some work on JQP including removal of the aircraft spats. JQP was moved to Te Kowhai in late August as the hangar it had been stored in Whitianga was needed by the owner and also we wanted to get the aircraft more accessible to those syndicate members living in Auckland.

We are removing the spats as one of then had come a bit loose and both were starting to show signs of wear and tear. We decided to remove them while we are all learning to fly JQP and although this will likely reduce the top end cruise speed by about 5 knots, we figure this is a small price to pay given it is easier to remove them now than try to repair them later.

We also needed to test the G-Switch in of the Artec ELT while we were there. Artec ELT's are currently subject to a NZ CAA Airworthiness Directive and the G-Switch needs to be tested every 6 months to make sure it is functioning correctly. A significant number of Artec G-Switches have been failing during the bi-annual check of the units so CAA now require that they be checked every six months to ensure the units are still working.

JQP in her hangar at Te Kowhai with the spats still fitted.

We did the ELT test first. This is the Artec ELT with the test dongle fitted.
The dongle is required to short out the correct pins so the unit will transmit a signal when the test is carried out.
There is also a load-plug attached to the aerial outlet to prevent the transmitter being damaged when testing.

This is the ELT after it was refitted to the aircraft.

Removal of the spats was pretty straight forward but required the pin for the gear fairing to be pulled to allow access to one of the screws.
Access to the pin is from within the cockpit so it is very much a two person job to refit the fairing.
This photo shows the screws which hold the spat on the inboard side.

This is the bolt which secures the spat on the outboard side of the wheel. It screws into the axle.

This last photo is of JQP without her spats.