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From Colorado by Skyhawk - still in Oshkosh

October 27, 2018 6:44 PM | Michael Brown (Administrator)

The Chapter Leaders Academy ended yesterday, but I decided there was no point in leaving. At most, I'd have been able to get a couple of hours southward before the weather turned IFR. Today wasn't any better, and tomorrow's supposed to be poor weather here and in Ithaca. Discretion being the better part of valor, I've moved into the Hilton Garden Inn at Oskhosh AIrport until Monday morning (and 493 is remaining in one of the EAA's hangars).

Since I'm in Oshkosh on a Saturday, I took the opportunity to check off a bucket list item - I helped out in the restoration of a warbird. The EAA is restoring its B-25 "Berlin Express" at the Kermit Weeks Hangar, and on Saturdays any EAA member can volunteer. What better way was there to spend my Saturday in Oshkosh?

I helped replace the o-rings in the Auxiliary Landing Gear Door Up Latch Timing Valve. As I fitted the o-rings and reassembled the valve, Gracie Field's WWII song kept running through my head - "I'm the girl that makes the thing that holds the oil that oils the ring that takes the shank that moves the crank that moves the thing-ummy-bob"...

My valve, assembled and soon to be tested under 1,500 psi of hydraulic pressure. It didn't leak at all... "it's a ticklish sort of job, making a thing for a thing-ummy-bob, especially when you don't know what it's for..."

My valve, back in place amongst the maze of wires, cables and hydraulic lines in the nose wheel compartment of Berlin Express.

The cockpit of Berlin Express. My next job was to remove the screws holding the hydraulic pressure gauge in place. That gave me a chance to sit in the cockpit for half an hour while the fitting on the gauge was replaced, then I put the screws back in place. Not a big job, but mine own..

With the gauge reinstalled, I worked the emergency pump handle to build up 1,000 psi hydraulic pressure to test the system for leaks.

That is MY thousand pounds of hydraulic pressure... and the gauge didn't leak, even a little.

In between all of that, I had a chance to explore the Ford Tri-Motor and the B-25 and talk to the restoration folks as we worked.

Pure heaven for an airplane nut...

Tomorrow I've been invited to a hangar breakfast. Fingers crossed, I'll be out of here and home on Monday. We'll see...

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