Washed the airplane on friday and lost the communications with the tower. After returning to the hangar removed the antenna and found small amountof water under the rubber gasket. Dried outall of the water and let the antenna dry out until monday. Checked with the tower and had a good signal. Made a new rubber gasket thicker than the original, put RTV Silicone on the gasket materiel as well as the base of the antenna, also sealed the top and connection point of the antenna whip and base with RTV. Re-installed the antenna and checked with the tower, Great 5 by 5 comm check.
Suggestion, when installing the comm antenna for the first time be sure to use an RTV sealant to eliminate any possibility of water intrusion, it only takes a very small amount to bring your signal from very strong to almost nothing. Lesson learned!

As an additional note we taxied to the Jet Center where we washed the plane and the 180 HP Jabiru just wanted to GO!
had to throttle back seriously to keep it on the ground, No High speed taxi for this bird or it will be in the air! Sounds fantastic, Wanted to bring it to Mexico, Mo this year but my fiberglass man let me down and the cowling is not yet finished. Don;t want to mess up the 8 Cyl Jabiru so will just have to wait until it is done.

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Comment by Phillip Owens on September 15, 2009 at 11:47am
Neither did I but it was a real quick lesson, sure am glad I wasn't in the air when it happened. Hope all the builders check their antenna installation as it could be very serious problem in a busy airspace or emergency.
Comment by Stephen R. Smith on September 15, 2009 at 10:13am
Thanks, I did not know a small amount of water could do that.

Steve

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