Sunday, April 28, 2013

Checkout Flight

After a great three days in Ocean City we decided to head north for home so I could get some flight time.  Typically we fly to/from OCMD but we needed to ground pound for one more trip to move some outdoor furniture.
After returning home I swapped text messages with Vince and made arrangements to pick him up.  08Romeo really needs a bath along with a spa day compounding and waxing her back to her beautiful shine.  We finished the pre-flight and saddled up for a short hop wanting to check out traffic and the Garmin 327 operation.
I also had the Collins nav radio freshened up along with one of the digits replaced.  The nav radio looked and worked perfect.  The mic cord was replaced and I had the clock power source moved to work when the master is on instead of always hot.
The 327 switched to altitude reporting as I passed 60 knots and went wheels up.  We climbed out on runway heading pointing to the southeast and Millville airport.  Next up was the traffic  check and the Zaon was squawking  from start up. Each aircraft was displayed on the Zaon screen and with a few changes on the Garmin 496 I could watch targets pass by with the +/- altitudes displayed, traffic finally restored!

A good check out flight and 1.1  hours in the log.  It's been a month since my last flight so  it felt great being back in the air.  Friday we hope to  start flying to the beach.  OCMD has Springfest so while Mary and friends shop I'll get extra flight time in with a possible breakfast flight to Cambridge.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

She's Ready To Fly!

After almost a month off from flying 08Romeo is ready for a test flight.  The headliner work is completed and Mark from Top Stitch Aviation did an excellent job!  Dale at Red Eagle knocked out my list of things to do, a new Garmin 327 transponder, new WAAS GPS antenna and coax, new mic cord pilot side and reconnect my clock to the master so it's not running all the time.  I'll keep this one short and sweet, here are the pics.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Our Maggie Girl

This evening, Mary and I had to make a decision that ripped our hearts out, we said goodbye to our Maggie Girl, our Italian Mastiff. Having just turned eight in March she suffered from kidney failure following a simple surgery to have her teeth cleaned.
Maggie was admitted to the local Vet hospital in hopes of flushing her system and for lack of a better term "jump start" her kidneys. thirty-six hours later she turned for the worse.
I sit here in tears typing this but in my own way it helps move the grieving process along, at least for me. I know she wouldn't want that, she never did like us being upset.  She was always the class clown with the goofy look or stare into space "not listening" when you wanted her to do something she didn't want to. She didn't approve of the cats occasional fighting and would always get up from her comfy bed and get the boys to neutral corners then return, plop down, and give a big sigh as if to say crisis averted now can I get some sleep.
Maggie has stood by Mary on a daily basis as my Bride battled with her health issues, often never leaving the room until I returned from work. She was faithful and loving and we will miss her everyday.

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where to my needs they'll tend, Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree

It is a kindness you do for me.

Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we three -- these years, Don't let your heart hold any tears.

-- Unknown

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Airplane Update

08Romeo's headliner fiber board is repaired and new the new foam installed. The new fabric should be installed tomorrow.
Red Eagle pulled the Collins nav radio out and shipped it for repairs to Stellar Avionics, the same folks I am buying my Garmin 327 transponder from. The old GPS antenna is gone along with the coax, new antenna and coax installed and ready for the Fall 2013 WAAS upgrade to my Garmin 530.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Airplane Progress

I met with Mark from Topstitch Aviation on Thursday just to check in as he was removing window plastic and ultimately 08Romeo's headliner.   As I had mentioned the headliner was starting to bubble, it looked like there were pillows stuck under the headliner material.
 With the interior picked clean Mark was going to head back to his shop.  We briefly discussed covering the plastic trim parts with a leather like material to really give it a custom look but for the cost involved I rather put the $$ to avionics.  Maybe in the future, at least I added it to my want list.
Mark sent along a few pictures today as he makes progress removing the foam and leather headliner from the fiberboard.  I was surprised when he noted duct tape on the fiberboard, not a good fix for the headliner and not a good surface to bond to.  As we swapped text messages Mark confirmed he would fix the fiberboard and it should last another 34 years, I can live with that. ;)
While the headliner is out Red Eagle is going to get my plane in the shop to run the new coax cable for the Garmin 530 WAAS upgrade and install the Garmin GA 35 WAAS/GPS antenna. All this to make life easier and save some $$ not having to remove the headliner and trim again when I do the upgrade at the end of our beach season travels.  Dale at Red Eagle found me a yellow tag Garmin 327 and gave me a quote for the work.  I'm keeping the existing Collins transponder and tray to list for sale.

Serviceable used Garmin GTX327 Mode C Transponder, tagged with Form 8130-3, warranty will be provided by Stellar Avionics, 30 days.  $1195.00

10 Labor hours to Perform Item(s) Listed Above   $700

Miscellaneous Installation Items: Includes wiring, coax, connectors, wire braid, and all
other shop supplies used during the installation.     $35
Shipping  $27
Sub Total $1957.00
Getting a quote for the new coax and GA35 antenna, mic cord replacement pilot side, Collins nav radio digit replaced and unit freshened up and rewire clock to master.
More pictures tomorrow after 08Romeo is tucked in the shop.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Headliner Fix

before the bubbles
 Today I met with another company that does upholstery work on aircraft.  It's been a bit of a search to find the combination of price, quality and schedule availability, but today I believe I found the one. Mark and I met at the plane and reviewed my list of wants. As I had mentioned in a previous post my headliner started to bubble or pillow would be the best description.  It seems that the liner foam material has separated from the fiberglass headliner board.

My want list is is a new headliner, I don't think the old material can be reused.  Repair my passenger headrest that has a few stitches coming loose and two additional areas, one at each door where a seam is starting to come loose.
good before shot of the area, new pics (to follow) will show the problems
We closed the deal today and work will begin Thursday for removal. The work will be labor intensive with all the window trim needing to be removed to allow access to the headliner. I hope to provide some pictures along the way and get a look at the vent tubing that supplies cabin air to the six vents. The estimate is 2 AMU's, painful indeed, but I want to keep the plane looking great.

As soon as the headliner is completed I should be getting into the avionics shop, more updates to follow. Also, I am getting on the schedule for the start of season wash wax at the local FBO.  A crazy few weeks as we get ready for the busy beach season.

I should add that while all the airplane work is going on Mary and I will be getting the motor home ready to head south in a week. I'm ordering new complete awning systems for four windows and installing, that should be fun and a chance to invent new words and phrases. I'm also pricing out a washer dryer unit to be installed, no, I'm not installing that.