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Dumb stunt....

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Posted (edited)

How easy things can happen when you don't think things out.  About 2 1/2 weeks ago,  I was going to take the Kitfox up for an evening flight.  During the preflight, I sumped the fuel tanks, and as sometimes happens, one of the valves wanted to keep dripping a little bit.  My valves have the little pin that sticks out on the sides, and I will usually grab a rag and wrap it around the pin, pull down and twist it back and forth. Usually works, but not this time.   Wasn't much, but I didn't want to leave it like that with the little drip.  Figured, maybe I'll try to shove a hose onto it, blow on the hose at the same time as I push the valve up to blow out the small piece of dirt that's causing the leak. Didn't have the right size hose handy, so I though, I'll give it a short blast with the air compressor blow gun tip.  Maybe "thought" is not the right word to use.  Anyway, I heard bubbles going into the tank, and then a boink kind of sound.  Then I thought, how stupid can I be as I quickly unscrewed the fuel cap on the tank.  Looked the tank over real good and didn't see any issue, it was the left tank and I thought I had the valve between it and the header tank closed so no air should have gone into the other tank.  The valve did quit leaking, but in about a half minute or so, I happened to glance over at the other side of the plane, and saw  a bulge in the center bottom of the right hand tank.  Never did get that flight in.  The right wing tank has only 2 baffles in it, the left tank has three, so it's probably stronger, and some what more idiot proof.  Used a hole saw to make a hole in butt end of tank, and used my bore scope to determine that the baffles had separated from the bottom of the tank.  Ended up cutting a hole in the top of the tank, about 8" x 12", and repaired the baffles with fiberglass.  Also added a center baffle to give more strength.  Fiberglassed the cut out top back in place, and patched the fabric back in.  Yesterday, I sealed the tank with KBS coating tank sealer, so hopefully everything is good now.  Letting the sealer cure for a few more days, but I did take the plane up this evening for a half hr flight running off the other tank.  Anyway, that is my tale of woe and dumb stunts.  And to top it off, we have had the calmest weather for the last 2 1/2 weeks in I don't know how long.  JImChuk

fuel tank 3.jpg

fuel tank 2.jpg

fuel tank 1.jpg

Edited by 1avidflyer

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Posted

Good reminder to think before blasting with the air nozzle

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Posted

Dang, thought it was just me that gets into shitty deals lile this..  sorry to hear that you caught a little of my "Red Green fail" syndrome.

Thanks for posting because I sure could have found myself squeezing the air gun trigger too. 

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Posted

To bad you missed a nice evening to go flying. Sounds like something I'd do

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Posted


Ah Man

 

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Posted

To bad you missed a nice evening to go flying. Sounds like something I'd do

Actually quite a few nice evenings.... Oh well, such is life.  Back up and flying now.  Use the head or pay the price.  

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Posted

Well, you took the long way round for sure Jim. Clever fix and keeping those crack skills up to speed for sure as well. 

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