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Glad to be back in the garage

September 30, 2011

I have been traveling for work a LOT!  I haven’t been back into the garage for two weeks due to travel.  I’m not even sure where I left off.  I think I have to put my wing stand together.

The one bright spot in my travels was last weekend.  I got to take some time and head over to Hicks Field in Saginaw Texas.  I was going over there to see if there was anything going on with the RV-1 restoration.  They always need volunteers, so I thought I’d lend a hand.  As it turns out it wasn’t a work day, but that was no big deal.  I got to hang out with Jay Pratt and Jim Vroom at RV-Central.  Jay helps people with their RVs.  He can rent you some of his floor space in his hangar and let you use his tools to build your RV.  He’s also able to get you over those humps in building when you dont know what to do next.  Jay is one of those guys who knows more about RV’s than I ever will.  Jay does most of the sheet metal and Jim does a lot of the avionics work.  I’d love to hang out with them alot more.  I soak up ideas and tid bits just hanging out with them.  I got to watch Jay work on a cowling for an RV 7.  He’s got lots of ideas for doing stuff.  He has an old engine core that he can mount on the plane so that he can fit the cowling.  I’ll have to actually have my engine mounted on the plane to do it.  Doing it Jay’s way lets you put off the engine / prop purchase until the last minute.

Jim was there too putting in a new oil pressure gauge in Jay’s RV8, Borrowed Horse.  He spent the better part of the afternoon with his feet hanging out of the RV8 and his head buried under the panel.  It looked pretty uncomfortable.  Jim and Jay are real characters.  Super nice guys.  But thats Texas for you.

While we were there I met another builder, Jeff Reins and his wife.  They stopped by to see what was going on at RV Central.  Another visitor to the hangar was Bob Avery of Avery Tools.  Bob came by to deliver a bunch of custom made brackets that he had made for Jay.  Avery Tools is just down the row from Jays hanger.  He said its horribly expensive living so close to Avery Tools.  I can imagine.  It’s kind of like me at Frys.

I spent the better part of the afternoon at Hicks just enjoying the company of plane people and listening to their stories and even getting my hands a little dirty.

Note for Paul:  Remember that RV8 that Jay showed us years ago.  It had been in his shop forever and the guy came in once in awhile to work on it.  Jay tore the paper away from the avionics to show them to us.  That plane is still there…still unfinished and the guy still comes in to putter around on it.  Jay says its been there 11-years.

Oh well, back to the garage.  I think I left some unfinished wings out there.

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