Pre-flight inspection before first flight

Roger and Mike perform a thorough inspection of the Zenith Zodiac CH 601 HD kit plane (with a CH 650 canopy installed) prior to its maiden flight (January 2011)

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Comment by Michael Herder on February 7, 2011 at 12:04pm

Couple notes here.  As many times as I checked elevator deflection while rigging probably 10 times, I didn't check it once the saddle was installed, nor did my DAR. 

I was a few degrees short on deflection, so this is something to watch out for. The moral to the story is, check it as your going to fly it! With your saddles, fairings and everything in place and buttoned up.  Check for interferennce between your saddle and rudder, jiggle things around and make sure that there isn't any way for things to touch that shouldnt, especially control related.  I wound up trimming a bit off the nose of my rudder to give a bit more clearance.


The digital torpedo level shown in the video is a great tool to have on hand.  It is a craftsman, and cost 35 bucks.  Well worth it.


Another thing you might note is that while pre flighting, Roger lubricated everything that moves, pivots or swivels.  I thought I had done a good job lubricating everything, but once Roger was done everything felt much smoother.  I was concerned that the hingeless ailerons might be too stiff, not the case as long as everything is lubed up like it should be.

Comment by Sebastien Heintz on February 7, 2011 at 8:43am

This half-hour video was taken last month when Roger traveled to Texas to perform the first flight of Mike Herder's kit-built Zodiac CH 601 HD (with the CH 650 canopy).

Here's a useful checklist to help builders thoroughly pre-flight their aircraft: Zodiac Checklist

(See related video of the actual first flight)


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