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Date:  9-11-2017
Number of Hours:  14.00
Manual Reference:  DWG 12
Brief Description:  Fiberglass Wing Tip Reinforcement Strip

After completing the landing gear, wheels, and brakes; I verified all the wiring in the wings was completed satisfactorily and test the lights, pitot heat system, switches, busses and battery connections as a system so I could store the wings in another garage to make a little more room to install the engine, prop, and canopy. All the wiring checked out perfectly but I took one final look at Drawing 12 (Wing Skins & Wing Tips) because it seemed strange to me the nutplates which hold the fiberglass wingtips onto the wings were not reinforced with an aluminum strip. Well…unfortunately, the written instructions did not mention installing an aluminum strip but the drawing showed one and clearly, I missed this step when I installed all 38 nutplates on EACH wingtip nearly 5 years ago. So, there was nothing left to do but drill and remove the nutplate rivets without messing up the fiberglass and reinstall with a new 94” 0.020 x ½ reinforcing strip of aluminum on each wingtip. The first pic is what I did originally (installed the nutplates without a reinforcing strip). Next is a picture of the wingtip after drilling out the nutplate rivets. The third pic shows me drilling the holes for the reinforcing strip. This was really tricky because some of the holes in the fiberglass expanded slightly and it was difficult to accurately re-drill the rivet holes with the nutplate and reinforcement strip attached to the outside of the wing. It had to be done this way, though, because if I mounted the strip on the inside of the fiberglass and drilled from the outside, the structure was too wobbly and the holes became more elongated. Additionally, I realized after I drilled the holes and move the reinforcement strip to the inside of the wingtip, the curvature of wing made the strip too long and the original holes would not line up. To solve that problem, I cut the strip in three places and aligned the holes. What a time-consuming and frustrating disaster I created because I didn't check and re-check the drawings. In the end,
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Left Wingtip with missing strip

Left Wingtip with missing strip

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Rivets and platenuts removed

Rivets and platenuts removed

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Drilling the reinforcement strip

Drilling the reinforcement strip

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