Victor Menkal's Comments

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At 4:14pm on June 2, 2012, James R Depfer Sr. said…


Thanks for the info...Guess I'll wait before ordering any. I'm only 5'7" tall. Do you think the 4" forward set you mentioned would work for me, or maybe even a little more forward ?


At 6:44pm on October 29, 2011, Bill Bear said…

Thanks, Victor,

I found a non Ridgid tube bender made in China and distributed here by Superior Tool Company, Cleveland, Ohio, that looks exactly like the Ridged model for 15 USD.  I'm going to take a chance on it since it appears to be rather well constructed with curved channels on both arms of the bender to match the three tubing sizes.

But I cannot find a Ridgid Flaring Tool 458 with a 37 degree cone.  The only one I am finding with a Google Search is for the 458R model which has a 45 degree cone only for various size tubing.  Are you certain that the model 458 creates 37 degree cone shape?  Is 37 degree cone required for the AN fittings or will a 45 degree flare work as well?  As you can see, I am a real novice on these technicalities.  I've repaired and replaced old copper tubing on my camper over the years and really didn't pay too much attention to the cone flare angles.

About Sarah's dock, I'll bet she would let you tie up there if you asked.  However, I know she and Todd have become much more concerned about security and safety for their children since she has become a bit of a national figure, but they are still rather open and regular folks.  Not too far down the lake from their place is the Best Western Lake Lucille in which is open to any and all visitors.   Don't have to be a customer of the lodge to tie up there, although I'm sure the owners would hope visitors would spend the night. 

If you do plan an Alaska visit; particularly Wasilla, be sure to let me know.  Email is beartrax at mtaonline dot net.  I would like to meet and see you and your finished project. 


At 4:38pm on October 25, 2011, Bill Bear said…

Hi Victor,

Yep, we are not far away.  My wife and I ha've been up and down the Alcan a lot and Whitehorse is our favorite Canadian town.  We spent a near "lifetime" (four days) there several years ago, but that is a story for another time.  One of the most friendly places to spend some time along that trail in my opinion.

I found several Ridgid tube benders here. The more expensive was the single size bender and your comments eliminated that one.  But the multi-size version was less than 50 $US so I wasn't sure if we have here what you used.  Probably doesn't matter too much.  I'm sure that any bender by Ridgid that works on the size tubing used will be ok.  However, I prefer to get a known quantity... one that is known to do the job.

The Ridgid flare tool is $60 here and I can see that it is a much better made tool than my cheaper plumber's flaring tool. 

An A&P friend of mine stressed to me the importance of building light and for convenient access for maintenance;  your approach and comments are very helpful to me.

Did you use bulkhead fittings at every bulkhead or panel that blocked the route of the lines?  The only negative I see is the increased number of potential leaky connections.  However, if accessible, servicing is easy and preferred to the original design.


At 3:32pm on October 24, 2011, Bill Bear said…

Thanks, Victor,

I found a Ridgid Tools outlet here in Wasilla. and a couple in Anchorage.  Which model did you use?

By the way, have you reached the flying phase yet?


At 1:31pm on October 24, 2011, Bill Bear said…


I learned a lot after reading your extensive comments and viewing your pix on fuel line routing.  I plan to use aluminum tubing also to replace the kit rubber fuel lines. You mentioned that your used professional tube bender. and I found lots of options at Aircraft Spruce.  Which one did you use? 




At 10:17pm on May 6, 2011, Bill Alexander said…


Thanks for the comment-I really enjoyed the build.


At 2:33pm on May 3, 2011, Tom Vesely said…
I pick-up my kit in a week.  I hope to include many of your great details.  Have you made a decision on your powerplant?
At 4:29pm on August 19, 2010, Mike Schlichtman said…
Victor...after looking at the drawing, the only thing I can figure out is that it might address an oil canning issue. When you slow to approach speed (50-65), the rear luggage area tends to rattle and buffet...kinda acts like a stall warning. Meaning, when you hear the metal rattling, you know you are going slow. They might be trying to eleminate that. There is also a buffet under your feet that I noticed Roger tried to elemantate with L angle on the belly. Let me know if you find out what the fuse doubles are for.....Right now I am in the middle of negotiating a new ground adjustable prop with JabUSA
At 4:28pm on April 20, 2010, Mike Schlichtman said…
I put the com next to plexiglass just as you pointed out and then the ELT antenna as far back as the cable would reach...about 5' apart I think...seems to work fine. I noticed on most cherokees, they are only 2' apart. I put both antinnas smack in the middle of the fuse.
At 6:34pm on April 19, 2010, Mike Schlichtman said…
Victor, I located the ELT on the left side aft of the access panal against the wall. I spent maybe all of 10 minutes bolting it down. Getting the antinias all lined up was a different deal. I don't recall the cables being an issue.
At 9:28pm on March 30, 2010, Leo Arrigo said…
Great information . I am currently using Zinc Chromate spray bombs but I am a little worried about the extra weight. It does go on easy...I may switch the way I prep though. I am currently scuffing with a 3m pad using acetone and then wiping clean with a shop towel. I like the soap and water and may try that as long as i wipe with the acetone.

Thanks again...Leo
At 7:53pm on January 7, 2010, Mike Schlichtman said…
It has been to cold and snow to get the plane out of the I have not done anything with the flux capacitor. When I fire it up where it sits, it appears to be giving correct heading and altitude.
At 7:51pm on January 7, 2010, Mike Schlichtman said…
I will try to remember to bring the pick list home with me tomarrow. I don't have internet at he hanger. I will see if I can't talke Calab into posting some drawings on the door latch.
At 2:40pm on January 2, 2010, Mike Schlichtman said…
Lots of good info I don't have to read the manual (I might look at a few pictures). I'll let you know how it all goes. One other thing about GRT, I think their unit is cheaper than the Dynon. I think the main reason so many builders are going with the Dynon is because that is what Roger did. After I read the specs on both, it was easy decision for me.
At 1:18pm on January 2, 2010, Victor Menkal said…
GRT comments continued (read after previous post)

I like their suggestion of mounting with sticky tape. I would use this method and move the sensor around in different locations and check to see what the difference is between the actual magnetic heading of the plane and what the black box is reporting.

In short, I wouldnt sweat the mag. installation too much and really look forward to hearing how you made out.

Cheers Vic

Hope this helps.
At 1:15pm on January 2, 2010, Victor Menkal said…
Mike, I scanned through the GRT sport manual regarding the mag. Im even more impressed with the company, one of the better manuals i have ummhh, ahhh, scanned (real guys dont read manuals).

Thats really cool, all the accelerometers (electronic attitude indicator) are in your main unit. All you are mounting in the black box is the electronic compass (magnetometer or mag flux compass). It also seems like they may actually use a electronic or electric gyro rather than accelerometers which explains why the experts suggest its one of the few "real" IFR glass cockpit systems. The gyro should be more accurate IMHO.

Anyways so what you have is the electronic attitude indicator mounted in the display and an electronic compass in the black box.

They suggest a minimum of 1 foot from any wiring but later for testing they refer to 2'. I would still suggest a minimum of 2 feet from any wiring especially aerials, more if possible. Your transponder is pumping 250 watts or thereabouts through its aerial which generates a large magnetic field every time it "pulses".

Another great feature is the test screens. You can actually display the output from your mag. in the test page section and even the raw data output. A geeks dream!

I think the notes on calibration are very well written, the only thing I could add would be to suggest that determine the actual MAGNETIC heading of the plane in the hanger before doing the calibration. Your taxiway is usually surveyed so I just subtract 90 degrees from the magnetic bearing of the taxiway and mark a line perpendicular on the hanger floor.

For peace of mind, note that the compass can calibrate for up 120 degrees of error! although they prefer less than 30.

I wouldnt worry about the steel mandrels left in your rivets as a source of error.
At 12:48pm on January 2, 2010, Victor Menkal said…
Morning Mike. Thanx for the comments on fuel tank. Your method of making C channels rocks! Simple but brilliant. First time Ive heard of it. Its the one thing I havnt been able to make in my shop with my little bending break. The C channels are a lot better as Im not sure how you would hold the L in place while trying put the two skins over without using flush rivets or something. Happily made a bunch of the puppies and looking for new apps.

Good comments on the fit. I noticed the change with the predrilled filler neck and drain in my kit. Like you I made my own on the 701 I was building and got a perfect fit. IMHO trying to mate a hand made fuel tank with CNC made skin parts is a little bit ambitions but Im still assuming that Ive mucked something till proven otherwise. Your comments kept me from getting impatient and cutting and instead Ive called in the troops for some help and even did the ultimate un-guy thing and dropped Caleb a line asking for help.

Man, the next thing you know Ill be reading manuals!
At 9:28pm on January 1, 2010, Mike Schlichtman said…
As far as the paint job....I'm not rested up from finishing up mine. What a job...around 100 hours and lost all my finger prints from sanding. Glad I tackled it though....very rewarding and saved around $4000. I spent about $1800 on materials. Totally recommend PTI paint found at Spruce. Unless you are set on the spray on acid your money and just use Alumaprep and alidyne.
At 9:19pm on January 1, 2010, Mike Schlichtman said…
I did just think of something on my tank. I did not discover that I had C channal included in my kit until after the tank was installed. I was the first to recieve a LR tank and just assumed I had to fit the thing myself...that being said, I made my own C channal aft supports for the tanks and as far as that goes, all other spacer type channals around the tank. Maybe you are have a tight fit due to the factory not quite having it all figured out and there support channals are not quite right. I would have a look at all that stuff before I would start cuttin out bigger holes.
At 9:06pm on January 1, 2010, Victor Menkal said…
Just saw your comment on the tank skin. I have the LR tanks.

That helps a lot just knowing yours fit fine so it must be something Ive done. Dang and I was looking forward to using the ol chain saw to make it fit.


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