Who Ya’ Gonna Call?

Interior of the AirVenture Emergency Aircraft Repair station
Interior of the AirVenture Emergency Aircraft Repair station

 

You arrive at Oshkosh minus a passenger door, which detached on your way to AirVenture. Who do you call? Or, your tire goes flat on roll-out? Maybe you noticed one mag was dropping out as you flew in. All this problems and more happened at this year's AirVenture.

Field repairs at a foreign airport are almost always tough and stressful, but try to get the necessary attention from the field FBO in a timely manner during AirVenture. Fortunately, The Emergency Aircraft Repair station a short way south of the Vintage area stands ready to help. The service has been around since 1963 (in Rockford, IL) and is staffed by dedicated A&Ps, AIs, and homebuilders who assist the plane owner in effecting an appropriate repair... or arranging suitable transport home or to a better equipped repair shop.

Snap-On donated the first toolbox with tools. Others have been accumulated throughout the years. Some volunteers bring their own tools. Other resources include a gas welder, drill press, compressor, bench grinder, and a library of repair manuals.
Snap-On donated the first toolbox with tools. Others have been accumulated throughout the years. Some volunteers bring their own tools. Other resources include a gas welder, drill press, compressor, bench grinder, and a library of repair manuals.

The most common problems related to tires and batteries, although a major mag company once issued a mandatory AD during AirVenture and the scramble was on to replace hundreds of mags during the week. This year, tires were the big business and some folks had to wait on rush shipping of tires and tubes. Some years, vacuum pumps are the hot item and the magic vacuum pump wrench reportedly never reaches the toolbox drawer due to a constant demand. The Repair Station typically has 150-250 operations pass through their area each AirVenture.

Steve Barnes’ Super Six is towed into the Repair Station.
Steve Barnes’ Super Six is towed into the Repair Station.

Many repairs start with the volunteers towing the plane into the Repair Station. Once rolled into its temporary home, volunteers bring over an EAA tie-down kit and hammer. Then, the appropriate tools are brought out on a cart and the owner begins to work on the plane with whatever support he needs. Many jobs require a trip to the vendors for replacement parts. Others must wait on rushed mail orders.

First order of business... tie down the aircraft.
First order of business... tie down the aircraft.

 

Carts, tools, and advice are freely provided to the owner.
Carts, tools, and advice are freely provided to the owner.

Louise Hose

Louise Hose is an instrument-rated, commercial pilot who regularly flies her RV-6, her husband’s RV-8, and an RV-3B and a Dream Tundra, which they built together. They live in Dayton Valley Airpark in Nevada. She also edits the monthly, free digital newsletter, The Homebuilder’s Portal by KITPLANES®.

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