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I started drilling the fuselage skins on 3 Jan 00. The first skin (F-822 forward cockpit floor) went well, but I couldn't get the right F-820 forward side skins to line up the way they should. I was having a tough time holding the thick, flat skin in place on the curved fuselage, so I decided to put a small curl in the skin to make it easier to hold in place. Well, I had a pretty nice curve, but I got greedy and tried to tweak it a bit too much. I slipped and put a crease in the skin :-(

I've got to order another skin. Fortunately, another local builder has his fuselage kit, although he is still in the early stages of his wing kit. He has graciously offered to give me a part from his kit which I will replace once my new one comes from Van's. Thanks Mark!

I finally woke up and realized that there had to be a reason why the side skin wasn't fitting the way it should. I checked everything again and found that I had screwed up the way the firewall was mounted in the jig. It was tipped forward 1/8 inch at the bottom (top in the jig). It turns out that I had an earlier 1/16 error, which I had detected and "corrected", but I applied the correction in the wrong direction, and never went back to check it again, because I had already "corrected" it. Moral of the story is check and recheck, and check again. And, if something doesn't fit, there must be a reason.

Drilling the forward side skins went well, after I got the firewall nicely vertical.

Here we see forward floor, and the left forward side skins (remember that the fuselage is built upside down).