Fighter Pilots are all talk of Top Cover…

mobiles are great – apart from all the calls and texts one gets…

In my industry, “getting Top Cover” means covering your a**e. Is that relevant to this posting? Nope. It’s just because this next part I’m writing about is called the Top Cover.

Actually, come to think of it, in the old days when we were part of British Airways, Captains were encouraged not to make bold, out-of-the-ordinary decisions on their own; we always had to call a manager and get them take responsibility, thereby obtaining “Top Cover”. Nowadays, in Flybe, we are encouraged to use our judgement, experience and other crew to get on with it and get the job done. As long as it’s sound logic and safe, our decision is respected. This is the Correct Way.

I’m applying that philosophy to this project; I’m just getting on with it, but proceeding carefully and logically. And my Top Cover is the Beginners Course in September.

This is the upper side of the Top Cover…

20140612-085450-32090240.jpg
It’s basically a knob and two nipples (STOP IT!) and a chart showing something or other. The underside…

20140612-085744-32264995.jpg
…shows that the knob turns a quadrant with a brass shoe. This brass shoe engages somewhere amongst the top row of gears. Obviously it shifts something from side to side. The quadrant has three detents…

20140612-090102-32462214.jpg
…which engage a spring loaded rounded end pin…

20140612-090309-32589581.jpg
…in the Top Cover. This holds the quadrant in one of three positions.

Pulling the knob off (RIGHT, THAT’S ENOUGH!) proved initially difficult. Levering from one side didn’t budge it all. I came up with this idea…

20140612-090624-32784648.jpg
The upper edges of the two screwdrivers are aligned along the diameter of the knob, then the screwdrivers are twisted in opposite directions. It worked surprisingly well. Sometimes I wonder if I’m a genius, but then realise that being a genius involves more than one good idea every ten years.

The rest of the dismantling was easy. This all the parts dismantled before cleaning…

20140612-091322-33202881.jpg
…and the underside…

20140612-091356-33236962.jpg
Usual cleaning method using GUNK. If you’re not British, GUNK is a degreaser and GREEN GUNK, which I use, is not toxic but it will degrease your hands, so wear rubber gloves when degreasing all those knobs, nipples and shoes. (OK, I agree that was blatant). Normally this doesn’t do much harm to markings, but this happened to the plate of somethings or other…

20140612-092103-33663664.jpg
Funny how it damaged only one area? These printed plates are available, so I can replace it if I want to.

These nipples…

20140612-092314-33794482.jpg
…are also available and I think it’s best to replace them, in view of how important lubrication seems to be in the manual.

Finally, here’s all the parts cleaned and ready for reassembly…

20140612-092534-33934296.jpg

Some more gear cleaning is next…

Advertisements