I stopped into the hangar looking for the IA. So it was no great surprise to be directed to a back room, where the wing of a Cub sat on sawhorses. The bright yellow finish indicated that it was in the final stages before being mounted back on the airplane.
I’ve met several Airframe and Powerplant mechanics with Inspection Authorization who specialize in fabric work. In fact, I enjoy fabric work myself. There’s something almost therapeutic about the pace of the process. Being relegated to a back corner of the hangar is just one of the perks, in my view. It allows the covering process to continue with a minimum of contamination and the least chance of interruption. I was in my element. Everything was familiar, comfortable, just as it was expected to be. Then the IA walked in. Elizabeth Amundsen doesn’t look like the prototypical IA. She isn’t male. She isn’t old enough to remember Sunday nights capped off by the Ed Sullivan Show. She isn’t even grumpy or bossy. And, believe it or not, whether it is because of her youth or her high level of enthusiasm for her chosen trade, she can trace her current career back to the exact moment of its birth.