Correcting mistakes

Nobody is perfect, especially a first-time airplane builder. Nearly every mistake can be corrected, although some are more costly and time-consuming than others. Here, a very serious mistake was made. When the wing skin was installed, the ratchet straps were tightened a bit too much. That put the rivet holes in the wrong place, ruining the spar inside the wing.

First, the structure must be dismantled to remove the defective part. Sometimes that means drilling out hundreds of rivets!
Bad Spar The photo at left shows that the holes are drilled through the edge of a spar. The part is seriously weakened and must be replaced.
(photo date November 10, 2001)
Cutting spar A new spar doubler is being cut from a piece of aluminum angle extrusion by a sabre saw.
(photo date November 10, 2001)
Drilling the spar The new spar doubler is drilled to fit the spar web using a drill press.
(photo date November 10, 2001)
Drilling jig Sometimes a builder needs to improvise. Here, the spar is steadied and leveled to the drill press using boxes and paint cans.
(photo date November 10, 2001)

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