Chapter 27 - Section 3

DAR Inspection

 

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.

All 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.

 

 

After 12 years and 21 days, N574CZ is permitted to punch holes in the Federal Airspace overhead!