Organizing your Project and Planning Ahead

Builders usually start off with a burst of enthusiasm, but later on they seem to run out of steam. If you think you might be in that dilemma, here are some suggestions for reaching your goals.

•  Make a To-Do List: - Find an old foolscap pad and write down a list of the next dozen or so things that must be done on your Coot in a logical order. Then, once you have accomplished each task, draw a heavy line through it. (What a charge that will give you!)   Make a new list, as needed, about once a month. List more than one building system, in case you get temporarily blocked along one path. Anticipate future blocks down the road, and plan ahead to get around them.

•  Keep a Building Diary: - As you cross off each accomplishment on the list above, enter it in your Coot diary, with the dates begun and completed. This will be useful later for more than memories, such as questions from your FAA/DOT inspector. You can even take some photos along the way and stick them in at appropriate places, especially if you have a digital camera.   Inspectors really like that sort of record.

•  Organize your Drawings: - One of the beauties of small, 8.5 X 11” drawings is the ease with which they can be checked without unfolding a huge document. While Molt has already grouped the drawings to some degree, the aileron drawings, for example, are spread all through the set, and others may need to be grouped as well, so they're readily available for the task at hand. If you have the digitized drawings, you can just print off the ones you'll need soon.

•  Organize your Newsletters: - The first 30 volumes of the newsletter have been summarized into The Essential Coot , but it's mnow some years later, so be sure that the indexes of later volumes are printed off and readily available for reference as needed. Organize them on your computer, if you keep them there, and be sure that you have them all.   (I'd be happy to replace any lost ones.)

•  Keep Yourself Light & Healthy: - Not only will it help your water take-offs, but, believe it or not, keeping your weight down will actually extend your life, statistically speaking.   (This applies to all animal life, from worms to people!)

•  Keep up your Flying Skills: - You don't want to be “rusty” and without a current medical when you decide to fly your own Coot, so be prepared.


Finally, consider carefully whether or not you should purchase someone else's project or start from scratch. Sometimes you can retrieve parts from other projects without tainting your own project with someone else's questionable glue-joints or welds. The biggest risk of starting with another project is the negative feeling as you disassemble weak glue joints and wind up with a sad-looking ghost. If you see this starting to happen, do it in sections, and rebuild each section as quickly as possible, so you'll see the results of your own work.


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