Windshield Installation “Bush Fix” When Clecos Run Out


I would like to share an example of the kind of ingenuity that comes from a lifetime of experience maintaining complex helicopters in austere, remote environments. This is what’s known as a “bush fix.”

At one point during the installation of our windshield it became clear that we needed an additional wingnut cleco – the windshield simply wasn’t conforming to the shape of the fuselage joggle as well as expected. We had exhausted our supply of wingnut clecos, so what were we to do?


By drilling a 1/8″ hole in the joggle and in a piece of wooden tongue depressor, we were able to feed a small zip tie through the joggle from inside the cockpit, and then through the wooden tongue depressor. A second small zip tie was then slipped onto the exposed tail of the first, providing a locking clamp, the clamping force of which was easily adjusted by pulling the zip tie tighter while applying pressure to the zip tie atop the tongue depressor. This solution is quick, easy, dirt-cheap, and provided the desired controllability of clamping force. In short, this is a “bush fix” which works exceptionally well!

Full credit goes to my friend Brett for coming up with this idea – it certainly proved much faster and easier than the safety wire solution I was going to propose had this technique not worked. Thankfully this zip-tie cleco did the trick!

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Mark Briggs
Old enough to know better, young enough to still enjoy it! Flying our Sportsman is a hoot - made all the years of effort slip away in a heartbeat when the wheels left the ground.