C-182Q N96934 at West Valley Flying Club

Thursday, November 30, 2006

First Peek

The plane is ready. Phil sent me these sneak peek pictures today. Check them out on my Picasa web album.

I am meeting my friend Brad at the airport tomorrow at 9:00. We will fly down in his 182, also recently painted. Brad needs some IFR approaches, so we will do a couple at SNS and then one more at SMX. N96934 should be on its tiedown at PAO by sunset.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Houston, We Have Paint

I have yet to see it or even a picture, but Phil at Coastal Valley walked over to the paint shop this morning and it was basically done. The paint crew was working on the final details. Phil expects to have the plane back in his shop this afternoon. He will be running up the engine, changing the oil and giving all the major systems a thorough checkout since the plane has been resting for months.

If all goes well, it will be flight-tested tomorrow morning and I will make the pickup on Thursday or Friday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

So Close I Can Almost Smell the New Paint!

If it weren't still covered with masking paper and tape, the plane could fly. Everything is balanced and reattached or reinstalled. I'm sooo hoping the trim is finished today. Then comes a test flight and any necessary adjustments to the rigging.

Aside from the test flight, Phil has agreed to install the repaired pitch computer for the STEC 30, which will save a trip to an avionics shop. I'm hoping he can also install an avionics cooling fan, a valuable item which should have been added when the panel was upgraded years ago. When I ask about having it done, the standard reply is, "Isn't there one already?"

While doing the other work, Phil has installed flap gap seals. They should add a few kts of TAS at cruise.

When the plane returns to the club, there may be a short delay before putting it online. I want to make sure the new paint cures well before it flies into rain which could damage the finish.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Life Story of a Skylane: Chapter One

N96934 is a 1979 Cessna C-182Q, better known as a Skylane. Thanks to the record-keeping system of the FAA, its history is available to the general public. In this post, I will share the early history of the plane.

For information on the model, I credit John Frank of the Cessna Pilots Association. His Cessna 182 Skylane Buyers Guide is a treasure trove of information. The 182 was introduced in 1956. It was based on the 180, a very similar plane first flown in 1952. The 180 was a tailwheel plane, on the 182, Cessna created a nosewheel version. Over the years, Cessna made various changes, but the basic configuration, engine and appearance haven't changed. The 182 has been in continuous production except for a period between 1986 and the late 1990s when Cessna suspended all their single-engine piston production.

The 1979 C-182Q had a manufacturer's suggested price of about $40,000, so I assume that's about what Yakima Executive Aircraft paid for the plane on 6/11/1979. I guess it's an auspicious date, being my parents 25th anniversary and just a few days after I would have graduated from college if I hadn't been on the 4.5 year plan. If Yakima Executive Aircraft still exists, there is no evidence available on the internet. My guess is that they operated some kind of local charter or leasing service.

Yakima Executive sold the plane in January of 1982.

Another Weekly Update

There's been great progress this week, but the plane isn't quite ready. The latest prediction is that I will pick it up on Tuesday. I'm hoping to have pictures very soon. The control surfaces have been rebalanced, and the flaps are already installed. Interior components which had been removed for the repair are back in place. The remaining work is to install the rest of the control surfaces, complete a flight test and get the rigging right. While the plane is in the shop, I am getting a few final tasks completed, such as trying to address the high CHTs on cylinder #2.

Friday, November 10, 2006

We are limping toward the finish line. The base paint is completed, the stripes are being done now. On Monday, the plane will go back to Coastal Valley for final assembly and flight test.

I'm aiming for a retrieval late next week. My C182 currency has lapsed, so I am getting re-checked out on Tuesday. When I don't think about the money I've spent or the time the plane has been grounded, I feel pretty excited about the plane that is coming back on line. Mechanically and electronically, it will be on par with recent model years (not counting the G1000 version). The exterior will look pretty nice. And Garmin just announced that the WAAS upgrade for the 530 has been approved and will be available in January.

I hope to have some pictures at the beginning of the week, I will post them when I get them.