C-182Q N96934 at West Valley Flying Club

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Links to Avionics Manuals

96934 has some cool avionics, but it can be tricky to figure out how all these devices work. To help, here are links to resources that I have found available online.

Garmin GNS 530:
non-WAAS manuals
WAAS manuals (530W) -- get ready!!
pre-WAAS and WAAS simulators
Training video

Pilot's Guide for JPI EDM 700

POH for STEC 30 Autopilot
POH for STEC GPSS Converter

POH for Ryan TCAD 9900B

Pilot Guide for PS Engineering 7000B

Bendix King:
KT-76A Transponder

Discuss MX Issues Here

I am creating this evergreen post as a way to facilitate discussion of maintenance and equipment topics. There will always be a link to the post from the navigation panel of the blog, so it won't get lost in the mists of time. Please direct any questions or information to a comment on this post.

I hope the blog can be a place to get real-time information that helps avoid last-minute surprises and other inconveniences. However, it will only be as good as the content provided by members.

Return to Service with Fully Working Autopilot

N96934 is returned to full service. The TC/autopilot and the pitch computer are both installed and operational. There should be no open squawks at this time.

For those making longer-term plans, I only know of a few planned events. Sometime in the next two to three months, the plane will go back to CCR for the WAAS upgrade of the 530. It will go in for its annual for about two weeks at the very end of May into the early part of June. And I will be flying Route 66 with a possible visit to Oshkosh in the second half of July.

As always, I encourage renters to check here for up to date information on the plane. I also encourage comments to the blog as a way to report issues of interest to others. So far, the usually vocal club membership hasn't taken advantage of this invitation.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Autopilot Will Be Installed Tomorow!

I finally have good news on this topic. After calling STEC directly, I found out they had shipped the autopilot back to Sterling on the19th of January. It seemed to arrive unnoticed until I called them yesterday afternoon. Sure enough, it was there. I dropped the plane off this afternoon, and it should be ready for pick-up tomorrow. It will be back in service Thursday morning, hopefully without having to disrupt a single scheduled flight.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Autopilot Update

I've had numerous requests for information on the autopilot. I've been trying to get status information from both the shop and from STEC. So far, I don't have any information. I will keep everyone advised of any new information.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

N96934 available for VFR flight only

The plane is available in CASSi. It has no turn coordinator/inclinometer, so it is only legal for VFR flight. The turn coordinator autopilot should be back in a couple of weeks if all goes well.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Autopilot One More Time

If I were superstitious, I would never share good news about anything.

After further investigation, it turns out that the main autopilot unit in the turn coordinator has a problem as well. It tracks HDG, but not NAV. Frank has pulled that unit and it has gone back to STEC along with the pitch computer. Based on past experience, it will be a few weeks before the repaired parts are back.

The plane can be returned to service for VFR flight only while we wait for the parts. It should be back at the club in the next few days. Right now, it is scheduled out to MX through 1/10, to minimize scheduling inconvenience to members. If it is back sooner, it will be put on line.

Autopilot Update and Other News

Happy 2007! Let's all have a safe and fun year of flying. Last year was a tough one for 96934, with a lot of expensive maintenance and limited availability. I'm hoping that this year things will be different.

The main squawk on the aircraft has been with the STEC 30 autopilot. The plane is at Sterling Avionics in Concord and Frank called me yesterday to report that he believes he found the problem which has caused the multiple failures of the last year. There appears to be an intermittent short in the coiled control cable from the engage/disengage switch on the yoke where it passes through the panel and connects to the wiring. The short causes a fuse to blow on the pitch computer assembly. That assembly is being sent back to STEC for repair. Frank is going to attempt to isolate and repair the short this week. The result will be the plane going back into service with one-axis of the autopilot serviceable. When the pitch computer returns, it should be a quick job to reinstall.

WAAS Update for Garmin 530

Garmin has received certification for the GNS 530W, which is WAAS enabled. The upgrades to existing units will start in late January. They may run for a few months. Some time in the period, 934 will be out of service for a week or two while the upgrade is implemented. For information about WAAS and some of the non-WAAS improvements Garmin is implementing at the same time, visit this site where manuals are available.

Condition Reports

There have been a few items noted in the aircraft keybook.

The fuel sump drain on the right wing has a slow flowrate. The club has replaced the drainvalve, it doesn't seem to make much difference. According to Phil Kirkham at Coastal Valley Aviation, it is probably just due to the onfiguration of tank sealant in the area of the drain. It should not affect operation. It is important to make sure that you give enough time to draw an adequate fuel sample from that wing.

It was also noted that the left drain failed to shut completely after draining. Drawing an additional sample cleared the problem. I suspect that some debris prevented the draing from closing all the way, until it was flushed out by additional flow.

Another item noted was that the pilot-side door does not close and seal perfectly. Unfortunately, this condition has been with the plane since I first met it. It is the result of either the accident in 1987 or one of the bent-firewall incidents the plane has experienced. Although the door will not ever close completely and evenly, it is important to make sure it is properly closed. A smooth, firm closing action from inside or out will make sure that takes place. The upper portion of the door should close almost flush, the bottom will protrude slightly.

Please do not put weight on the doors when exiting or entering the aircraft. Grip the doorframe or seat only. Also, please do not ever use the armrest to close the door from the inside. Use the pull handle or if the window is open grip the base of the window frame.

Engine Analyzer Data Available

The JPI EDM-700 records EGTs, CHTs, OAT, oil temp, and fuel flow during the flight. Reviewing the data, especially in conjunction with GPS data if you have it, is a great tool for improving your engine management technique. I download the data on a regular basis and I am happy to send the data to anyone who wishes to receive it for their flight. The viewing software is available for free at EZTrends download.

Receive N96934 Update Emails

I want to keep renters informed about the plane and any maintenance activity. However, I do not want to monopolize the WFVC member forum for this purpose. If you want to receive a short email to inform you have aircraft status information, please send your email address to me at john@felleman.com.

Thank you as always for your interest in 96934 and for the considerate use you all exercise.