Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wow, That Was Really Hard!

So, yesterday I meandered over to KVKX after lunch with the intention of removing whatever residual snow might be obstructing N631S's egress from the hangar...this all preparatory to flying out on Monday morning -- for which, the weather is looking OK (see the previous post).

The photo at left, shamelessly lifted from Paul Freeman's wonderful site, Abandoned & Little Known Airfields, shows KVKX as it was in 1963, when it was known as Rose Valley Airport. The two rows of T-hangars are already extant as of that date. N631S lives in a structure nearly 50 years old. (The photo is normally oriented, north at the top. Look at the eastern row of hangars...N631S is in the western-most hangar of that row, on the side facing away from the runway.)

Anyhow...I accosted the residual snow with my trusty shovel, unlocked the sliding hangar doors, and attempted to open the hangar. No joy! The snow load on the old roof deflected the structure in a way that caused the full weight of the doors to rest on the concrete apron, rather than being supported by the tracks and rollers.

The snow had to be removed in any event, so I continued the shoveling action and cleared the front of the hangar to full main gear width. Then, back to the doors...

It's so good to have friends. Brad, who keeps a Cubcrafters Cub a couple of hangars down the row, wandered by and with his (muscular) help we got one side of the hangar open. The other side? Not so much. But then Phil McLanahan, A&P Mechanic par excellance, came along with his Very Large Pickup Truck. That tool (supplemented by a sturdy lifting strap) overcame the resistance of the other door. N631S was FREE!!

Having gotten the hangar open with great effort, I was surely not about to close it. I stowed a couple of items of significant value in Brad's hangar, put a couple more in the trunk of my car, and left the hangar doors open. The airplane is double-locked and secure. And, I plugged in the Tanis pre-heat system so that on Monday morning N631S's engine will be all toasty-warm and ready, finally, to fly.

That was three hours of Really Hard work -- and I'm getting too old for this stuff! Let's really hope that the winter of 2009-2010 turns out to have been an anomaly.

No comments: