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May 26, 2010

While Heather and I are making plans for the race we also have to think about the third and very important member of our team;  BRAVOSKI. N6908B (prounounced “November Six Niner Zero Eight Bravo”) or Bravoski for short, is a vital member of our race team.  (And Heather tells me she’s rarin to go…..)

In preparation for the race we are required to have an IA (an airplane mechanic with Inspection Authorization) complete an inspection of both the aircraft and the logbooks.  The logbooks show the maintenance history of the plane.  It’s important that all AD’s (Airworthiness Directives) have not only been complied with, but are properly documented.  Heather has been working with our mechanic, Pete, at KMMK to get all the paperwork in order.  Pete will do an oil change and clean and inspect the spark plugs prior to Heather’s departure for Florida.

Once in Florida, Heather has made arrangements for Bravoski to be washed and waxed.  This not only helps the plane look good – but actually helps reduce drag in the air by removing any dirt and bugs that would disrupt the airflow across the surface of the plane.  During the race, we’ll need to clean the leading edges of the wings at each of our fuel stops for the same reason. 

We are scheduled for an inspection of the airplane by race officials on Friday, June 18th.  This is a thorough review of the plane and the logbooks.  Heather and I can be present for the inspection – though it’s most important that Heather be there – since she’s the owner and has poured through the logbooks in preparation for this inspection.  With 55 race teams, it’s important to be well prepared so the inspection goes smoothly.

Once inspected – the airplane is impounded by the race officials.  We will no longer have access to the plane until the race start.  This ensures that modifications are not made AFTER inspections are done.  Throughout the race, the plane is impounded each night for the same reason, and once again at the terminus where a final inspection is made after the race is completed.

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