Bottom wing skin cracks

After sanding and priming the lap joint area on the inboard skin (which was a bit tricky given the skin was already riveted in place), I came back the next day to find this:

OMG a crack! :'(
After a few moments of utter panic as I saw a crack propagating, I contacted Van's, which assured me that the area is not structurally significant, and suggested two options:
  • Filling the cracks with JBWeld: I was really surprised by this, as I thought the crack would continue to propagate anyway, but they swear it won't.
  • Cutting off the corner: they say this should be fine, though less aesthetically pleasing due to the reduced thickness

I was way more comfortable with the second option, so I did that - it indeed doesn't look pretty, and I may still need a small doubler around that rivet hole to adjust the thickness, but I'm comfortable that the skin will stay in one piece now:

Cracked corner removed

As if that weren't enough, as I was dimpling the pitot mount screw holes on the other skin, some cracks showed up on the #8 dimples:

Cracks on the pitot mount screw hole dimples

so I had to file those down, which deforms the holes (but should be ok for screws):

Filed pitot mount screw holes
On the outside, it doesn't look perfect, but should not be even remotely visible:

Pitot mast holes on the bottom wing skin
In the meantime we also primed the other parts (such as the left bottom wing skin), and ultimately clecoed them in place and removed the blue pastic around the rivets, so they're ready to rivet and finally be done with the wings!


I'll make a separate post about the wing wiring and electrical planning.

Time lapse:


Total bottom wing skin rivets: 433
Total bottom wing skin time: 67.3h

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