This site is to document the building and eventual flying of N622JC, an experimental aircraft built in the garage of the Cowgar family. I looked at various build log tools but none accomplished exactly what I wanted. Being a computer programmer, it was not hard to create this output using Hugo, a site generator. I simply create a new Markdown file in the correct directory on my computer and a new site is generated and deployed.
There are a few main parts of the website that may be of interest to you.
This is where we write about a particular topic. It is not a “work log” or part of the build log, but something that we simply wish to share with our followers.
This is our Work Log, or Build Log. The FAA requires proof that we did indeed build the aircraft. We have chosen to provide this proof through extensive documentation of each step we take to build our aircraft.
Work Log entries are classified as to what Milestone it is associated with and what type of Activity it was. For example, Tail and Building, or Fuselage and Researching.
Work Log entries almost always have pictures. We start with a picture of the current state and generally close with a picture of the end state for that work session. Of course, all sorts of pictures in the middle. I like to take pictures of the progress but also the people who help out.
Work Log entries are also tallied on different pages, Milestones, Activities and People. On those pages you will see how much time was spent for each item. For example, how long did we spend on the Tail? Look at the Tail milestone. How much time did we spend Building vs. Planning? Look at the Activities page.
When building an aircraft, you can not look at it as such. It is a very long process and if you attach the L-bracket A to sheet metal B, it may be hard to see an aircraft in that step, therefore, hard to see progress. Without progress, discouragement sets in.
Milestones breaks the process down into manageable chunks of work. We can look at the Milestone page and see incomplete milestones turning complete and get a great sense of progress. Seeing more and more items turn “green” is a great motivator.
We chose to track everything that we do with our aircraft build, not just the “build.” For example, we may have to learn a new skill. Learning that skill may not directly get us closer to having a finished aircraft but it was necessary in order to complete the build. Therefore, we document those items.
- Learning – Educating ourself on a topic new to us
- Researching – What engine should we use? What kit should we buy? What avionics should we place in it? What did other builders do to customize their aircraft?
- Planning – How should we execute a particular task?
- Preparing – Hands on activities setting us up to build. Inventorying, Setting up shop, Organizing parts for the next phase, etc.
- Building – Hands on assembly of aircraft parts.
I wanted to be able to look back at our project for many years to come and see who has helped this project along. Therefore, each work session we have, I document who was part of that session.