Thursday, April 7, 2011

2011 Annual Inspection (ii)

Mike the IA continues to examine N631S with an appropriately jaundiced eye. He's been concentrating his attention forward of the firewall and as of this morning nothing major has been found amiss. A couple of the shock mounts for the lower cowl are deteriorated and will need replacement and there are the normal assortment of cable chafes to be remedied.

I told Mike that I'd like to take the opportunity, while the airplane is "opened up" to treat the interior of the wings and the tail-cone with CorrosionX. This is a corrosion inhibition treatment that is sprayed into the interior of the structure as a finely divided aerosol. It coats the untreated aluminum interior and keeps corrosion from gaining a foothold.

N631S lived in the midwest, far from salt water, from 1977 until 2004. When I moved the airplane to the maritime environment of the East Coast in September of '04, I knew that it was important to take measures to prevent corrosion. I had CorrosionX applied at that time and repeated the treatment in the fall of 2006 and 2008. The 2010 treatment was deferred to the present to avoid the cost and inconvenience of opening up the airplane an additional time. Henceforth, CorrosionX will be applied at alternate annual inspections.

After getting out of Mike's way so he could get on with the job, I drove over to the Stuart L. White Co. in Milford, CT. They're primarily a fire protection equipment company but they have the capability to hydrostatically test N631S's portable oxygen cylinder. (It looks a lot like the one at left.)

Steel O2 cylinders are supposed to be tested every five years and this one is overdue. The folks at Stuart L. White will empty the cylinder, remove the valve, visually inspect it inside and out, fill it with water and pressurize it to 5,000 psig. Assuming that it lives, they'll then dry it out, replace the valve, and return it to me empty but duly marked as good-to-go 'til 2016. I'll then need to get the cylinder refilled at an industrial gas supplier.

I rarely make use of the oxygen bottle in the airplane but it's nice to know that it's available and it may as well be in compliance with the regs.

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