Monday, November 24, 2008

Annual Day 1

The fun starts right now! Even though I had the day off I decided to participate in 679er's annual (since the owner asked me if I wanted to join in the fun). I was up early and out of the house as if it was a regular work day. I made a stop at Dunkin Donuts for my medium hot tea extra sugar and a couple dozen donuts for the guys at the shop. It's a small price to pay for asking dumb questions and getting in the way. I arrived at 7:50, a whole ten minutes ahead of schedule, not to shabby for a guesstimate on travel time.

First order of business was to set the plane on jack stands, not the typical car type but the heavy duty jack me up, roll me around airplane specials, God I love tools! 679er was undressed right in front of my very eyes. First her wheel pants, I did all the inspection plates (thank God for battery powered screwdrivers) then the upper and lower cowling and finally the interior. Frank and Keith of Cecil Aero were very patient, they answered all my questions and shared all kinds of cool info. After the cowlings came off the oil drain/change was started. The wheels came off for inspection and repacking of the bearings and each torque link needed a shim added to keep things tight. The shims were placed where I show the red arrow and the torque link is designated by the green arrow. It was really nice to get everything cleaned up in the parts washer which made for a neat and tidy assembly.

The strut seal was replaced on one side, I forgot to take a picture of it. I thought it would be a pressed seal but instead it was flexible and once placed in the (my description) strut tube it stayed in place. I also removed the spinner to allow some sort of inspection and managed to watch the compression tests and replace and torque the plugs. The plug wires had a strange little end on them and a spring, each of these were inspected and cleaned off before reinstalling. Filters for the vacuum pump were replaced even though the existing one was spotless. The battery was pulled to check and the tray/box was cleaned and inspected for any acid/corrosion. The panel was also left off for inspection of control cables. The tail cone was also removed, cables inspected and an adjustment made on something to do with an ever so slight movement in the elevator.

These guys were all over the plane. I could hardly keep up trying to make mental notes of all that went on. It was an exciting day, more fun then one should be allowed to have and I learned a lot of good stuff. We broke for lunch and Gary and I hit the local deli and upon our return decided to eat in the shop. While we were eating an SNJ5 Texan, the pilot maker, entered the pattern and landed. I should have went out and got a video but I was busy stuffing my face and didn't feel like going back outside. As luck would have it the plane was schedule for the very hangar we were working in so I got a few shots.

After lunch the wing inspections were completed and I got to button the plates back up. The inspections continued in the cockpit, each plate had been removed and off they went with flashlights crawling and probing our girl giving her a good once over. Some of the other item checks were the fuel systems and pump, the oil filter was cut open and checked for metal and just about everything firewall forward was touched, probed and or tested. I could not believe how fast time went by. It seemed we had just finished lunch and now it was coffee break time. Break time chat was aviation related, go figure, from the cost of T-Hangars, to who's flying what aircraft and our progress on the annual.

Tomorrow we will put 679er's pants back on, finish up in the tail cone area and whatever testing is required. Gary finished up replacing the seats and getting the interior squared away while I was getting in the way as planes were moved around to get the SNJ and a Cessna 150 in for the night. I thought we just had break a few minutes ago and now the boss man (Roger) calls it a day. Heck it was 5pm! We cleaned up a few things,briefly planned for tomorrow morning and then said our goodbyes. Gary offered me a ride up the hill to my truck but I wanted to walk out all the kinks in my hip and knees. Crawling around on the concrete floors is way out of my league at my age and with my metal parts and bad knee joints. Was it worth it? YOU BET!! I'll be up early tomorrow and back at the hangar so we can finish up. Mary, pass me those two Arthritis extra strength 650mg Tylenol's, gulp, yeah man, I'll be ready for round two.


Rob said...

Awsome Gary! You have such a great deal going on there with 679'r. Seems like the owner is a great guy letting you partake in the Annual. What a learning experience!

Best of Luck Tomorrow!

Gary said...

Thanks! Yep, Gary is a great guy to deal with and I could not find a nicer guy to be involved with in a flying club. He is still hinting about me buying in. As for learning, I can't soak it in fast enough.

I was also told to take the plane into penn Avionics for the AP check
AND he is thinking of adding the altitude hold add on by S-Tec.

If I can get these bones out of bed in the morning I'll be back down there in the shop helping finish up!!

Steve said...

I've really gotta find a similar deal around here - you've got an awesome setup with 679er.

Great write-up here (plus Day 2) about the annual... lots of good stuff in here for any pilot!

Gary said...


Thanks! Yep it's a sweet deal, it must be the clean living....LOL. Good thing my Brides not here to smack me in the back of my head!