Degreasing the Belly

N11018 still suffers the side effects of oil blow-by from the breather hose. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but after so many flight hours there’s enough sheen that dust and debris begins to stick. To clean it, I normally prop the tailwheel up about two feet, then roll underneath on a creeper to wipe the belly clean. That wasn’t an option today because someone took my creeper and didn’t return it!

I didn’t feel like sliding across the floor on my back, so I propped the tailwheel up high enough (about eight feet) for me to stand under it. It actually wasn’t “propped” up, but rather “nosed over” with the propeller hub resting against an adjustable office chair and the tailwheel lashed on to a 5-gallon gas container to prevent it from nosing over completely. I only tried this because the Tailwind’s fuel tank was almost empty. Anyway, it worked. Definitely not the safest or prettiest way to degrease the belly, but definitely more convenient than the alternative plus I got to get a good look at the condition of the fabric and all the patchwork.

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