October 17, 2009

Finished Riveting Aft Top Skin - 2.0 Hrs.

I had a great experience today. After all the time spent working on the steps, it was really nice to do some riveting for a change. I've been looking for a chance to get some help to finish up the riveting on the top aft skin. Well, this afternoon my Dad called me up. It was funny because as he put it, he had some time on his hands while my mom was busy doing something and was away somewhere. He figured he could sneak over here and have some fun before she found out where he was. She keeps him pretty busy. Anyway, I jumped at the chance and invited him over. With his help, we finished riveting the top aft skin in place.

My Dad is amazing. He just turned 82 years old, and here he is riveting like a champ. How can you beat that? He loves this project, and I love spending time with him. He's helped me several times before. I'm lucky to still have him and my mom. We talked about a dream I have... one where I can take off with him some lovely morning and fly up to Helena, Montana. His sister lives there. It's only about a 3-hour flight from here (but a very long 12-hour-plus drive in the car). We could be there in time for lunch, and back home in time for dinner. In all his 82 years he's never had the chance to do something like that. He got excited about the idea and told me not to tell her (he wants to surprise her and just show up). It's funny because a few years ago when I mentioned this idea to him, he indicated that I'd never get him up in one of these contraptions. Now after seeing how well built it is, and having a hand in helping me, my enthusiasm is rubbing off on him. He just tells me I better hurry up and get it finished because he'll be getting old some day. Ha!

Anyway, I had the honor of climbing inside and crawling back into the aft fuse to buck rivets. My Dad said he wasn't going to crawl in there. It was below his pay scale. This is the first time I've actually been inside the plane. It's cramped and narrow back there, but doable. I was really glad I didn't have to go back any further than the F-708 bulkhead. I'm not sure I could have done that. I laid a board down to lay on and we got 'er done.

A couple hours later, here it is. All finished. Boy, am I pleased. Perfect rivets.

Here's another shot from the other side. Lookin' good! Thanks, Dad! We gotta do this more often.

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)