I decided that I must give in to mother nature and face the facts that the fall season will be very short lived and winter will soon be here. Ugghhhh.....I just hate the cold, it makes the arthritis ache, who the heck even likes snow and ice just sucks. The only thing winter weather brings is clear skies which means great visibility, OK I guess I can tolerate it for a few months.
With the temps consistently below 50* during the day for the earthbound folks that means even cooler temps at altitude, for the pilot folks. Since our trip to Cape cod was a no-go I wanted to at least spend some time with 679er, I know, call me crazy. Mary was heading out early this morning on a shopping field trip with the girls. Get this, it was a shopping trip to a grocery store, I'm not kidding, five ladies loaded up and made a beeline to Wegmans. Speaking for most, no all men on this one, what would drive someone to make a special trip to a "grocery" store. I keep telling Mary that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, a shopping problem. I am reminded that it's the same as the boys making a trip to a new pilot shop or better yet flying to Ohio to shop at Sporty's when they send us a million catalogs. Hmmmm, I guess she has me on that one.
Back to the reason for my post. I wanted to re-install the oil cooler plate on 679er so I took a few tools with me and headed to the airport. I have read a lot about the plate install on the Piper Owners forums and the Cherokee Pilots Forums. I will admit the first time I had to remove the plate I had no clue what I was even looking for, or where to look for it. I did some research and asked a few questions on the above mentioned forums and was good to go. Now for the re-install, this should be easy, I stored the plate along with screws and nuts attached in the aircraft. I simply unlocked the baggage compartment, opened the storage box and found the parts just how I left them. It's a bit windy this morning so I must take extra caution with the cowling removal and placement. Pictured on the top left is the plate with the screws and nuts. Notice I did not use a wrench but instead a needle nose vise grip. I know some will pooh pooh this practice but done carefully the vise grip will not allow the nut to "roam about the country" when I drop it. The key is be precise and don't chew up the nut, nobody likes parts that "bubba" destroyed. The next task was to locate the placement for the install, pictured right and the close up on the left. This "hole" normally feeds cool air TO the cooler. Notice the two holes, top left and right of the hole ready for the install.
I set the plate and attached the screws by hand then use the phillips screwdriver to tighten everything down. I remove the needle nose vise grip s when finished and set them on the wing walk area. I like to choose a place to start my tool count and prior to the button up have the same count sitting there at the end. I know, overkill for two tools and a clean rag but it's a good habit to get into. Time to put the top cowling back on and attach. The wind is still blowing so I sit tight and wait for a break. I don't want the cowling to flex and possibly crack paint or pull out of my hands and I drop it. I'm in no rush, heck I'm at the airport and having fun!
The wind finally slows enough to set the cowling, wipe any fingerprints and get the airplane cover reattached up front. I sure wish I was flying today but there will be another day for that. Time to head to the house for some instrument PTS study and fly a few approaches online.