September 10, 2018

Hurrah!

The Savannah is done. I’m at last at the end of the tunnel that I entered when I bumped the Savannah’s wingtip right back in May when I was preparing to take off for my planned flight to the UK.

But not without a few bumps in the road along the way as seems usual with this aircraft whenever I start doing any work on it. Sadly, much as I love it, I’ve never had a more ‘unlucky’ aircraft than the Savannah which seems to constantly pick up bangs and scrapes every time that I do anything with it. And this time was no different. I think that I could almost say that I’ve spent more time repairing it than I have flying it.

My main task was to repair the damage to the slat and wingtip and I achieved that by acquiring a replacement slat at low cost and fitting a new wingtip plastic to replace the one that had been broken. And I also wanted to tidy up the small dents that I’d put in the rudder while reversing it back into the hangar on the same day when I’d managed to touch the edge of the raised hangar door with it.

All the main work had been done and two days ago all I needed to do was pull the aircraft out of the hangar and finish off the little bit of painting that I had to do. And that’s when all Hell broke loose.

A big problem with the Savannah is that if the aircraft is positioned side-ways on a slope, fuel flows into the low tank and ultimately begins to siphon out of the low tank’s breather all over the wing. This has happened a couple of times in the past and I’ve managed to get away with it. But not this time. This time the fuel succeeded in getting under the edge of the paint layer around the fuel filler cap and stripping it off the wing. Here’s a shot of the damage that was done as of two days ago.

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So as a result I ended up with a bigger paint job than I’d started with and that’s what has occupied me since it happened on Saturday. I couldn’t do anything yesterday but here’s how the wing looked as at the end of this afternoon.

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I’ll settle for that and while I was at it, I also cleaned up another dent that was present on the top of the left wing just adjacent to the fuel filler cap when I acquired the aircraft, plus the worst of the blemishes that were on the replacement slat.

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So that’s it. The aircraft is now more or less ready to take off and fly to the UK.

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I say ‘more or less’. Before I do so, I need to do a few landings and take offs in it plus today I discovered yet another issue. A mouse has found its way into the Savannah’s cabin and chewed up a sick bag that was stowed in the area behind the seats. I cleared up the mess today including the inevitable droppings but can’t leave things there.

The only way in for the damn thing was through the engine compartment and firewall so although I was going to check all of the mechanics and oil anyway, now I’ll have to remove the engine cowling and thoroughly check everything underneath in case it has built a nest in there and bitten or damaged anything while it has been in residence.

I really can’t believe what I’m constantly up against with this aircraft but what’s certain is that I’m going to have to set some traps in the hangar as far too much is at stake to be held to ransom by a bloody rodent. I had enough of that when one destroyed the seats of the X-Air at Galinat. I certainly didn’t think that I’d have a similar problem with the Savannah in a hangar at Malbec 😐