Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Annual 2013

Annual Day 1

My annual started out like a typical work day, up and out with the dog then shower and go. I needed to get some fuel in my ML320 or I would be eventually coasting down I-95.  I had agreed to pick up Vince at 7:15 and I pulled in front of his house at 7:14, it's a good day.  We made a stop at Dunkin for my daily medium black tea, hot with sugar and a dozen donuts for the guys at the shop.

When we arrived 08Romeo was already inside the shop.  I uncovered and stored the pitot cover and cowl plugs along with the tail cone and airplane covers.  I got the upper and lower cowl removed and then I assisted Keith as we started on the engine inspections and oil change. Vince helped Stan get 08Romeo off the ground and then went straight to work assisting with the wheel removal, inspections and bearing repack. Jeremy climbed inside and started removing the interior for inspection. 08Romeo had hands all over her, she was getting the full shop treatment, all hands on deck.
Vince -main gear bearing repack
Compressions on the cold soaked engine were 73/78/74/78. I removed the remaining plugs, cleaned them in the blaster then regapped, added anti-seize and new copper washers. All the plug wire connections get cleaned with MEK and that gets checked off the list. Once the wires were done I did the reinstall and torqued each plug to 35psi.  Keith found a tiny crack in a exhaust bracket and completed the R&R on that. I checked every nut and bolt on exhaust, intake and oil return lines. The no-heat issue is resolved. I'm embarrassed to say when I removed the top cowl at the hangar to give everything a once over I did not see the hose disconnected from the muffler shroud, it was still hanging in the proper position.  I guess I should have removed the bottom cowl to get a better look. Where is that smiley face hitting itself over the head with a hammer?
Cracked exhaust clamp
Vince removed all the under-wing inspection panels and both of the wing tips. I had removed the tail cone this morning after the cowl was done. Upon inspection the brakes still looked brand new, replaced last year. The left side brake caliper was leaking and needed a new O ring seal. When taken apart there were some very light scratches in the caliper piston well that needed to be honed prior to repair. Bearing grease still looked fresh and plentiful but everything was cleaned degreased and repacked.
Pilot side coming out
copilot side removal
Keith pulled the reset switch for the ELT and reconnected the blue wire to the switch. I can now reset from the outside using the little trap door about the size of a fifty cent piece if needed. Upon reinstall he left a DNA sample, it almost matched 08Romeo's red accent colors.  It was a tight fit reaching in to get the switch in and out but as always Keith gets it done.
servicing the Gascolator
All the lube points were addressed, control surfaces checked for operation and excessive play. Vince took care of the nose wheel removal, bearing repack and reinstall under shop supervision, he does nice work. After letting the filter drain most of the day it was cut open for inspection, it looked clean, no carbon or metal. That about did us in for day one, more scheduled for tomorrow.

Annual Day 2

Day two is under way as we roll into the shop just after 8am. The temps have really taken a dip today and the winds are blowing.  I'm so thankful to be in a heated hangar getting this work done. We picked up with final inspections and sign offs. Inspection plates were reinstalled, interior returned to its correct locations and batteries serviced. It was time to bleed the brakes and check for a leak in a line located near the wing spar that runs out to the right main. The fittings were checked and tightened since there was some gummy fluid remains on the wing spar inspection panel. I hadn't lost any brake fluid so the leak wasn't out of control but it did need more investigation. The system to bleed the brakes dialed up almost 200psi and the shop went over every inch of line and fittings before they passed inspection. I was relieved to hear the request for the spar cover.
Getting the wax on
08Romeo was cleared to be lowered to the floor. As the jack stands were removed and the final skirting around the mains buttoned up she was once again looking like a plane ready to fly. We opened the shop door and rolled her out for a run up and leak test. I jumped inside, it was nice to be out of the wind and cold. With several shots of prime 08Romeo came to life, it felt good to hear her running, purring along, ready to go home. After a good warm up I did a run up, gauges in the green, everything looked normal and sounded good. With the test complete we rolled her back in the shop and broke for lunch.
Vince lining up a castle nut for the cotter pin install
I packed a lunch today so I ate my left over hoagie from yesterday while I ran to an auto parts store for wax. I purchased a bag of microfiber rags, Meguiar's/SwirlX swirl remover polish, Meguiar's/Cleaner liquid wax and a 6-Inch Orbital Buffer.  I have a heavy duty buffer but I wouldn't want to use it and burn the paint. Instead the 6" will make applying the cleaner/wax easy and save my arms and shoulders.  The key here is the SwirlX swirl remover polish, an awesome product! It's 4:30, Vince and I are heading home. No ELT battery or air filter yet today so it looks like we'll finish up tomorrow.

I did get a text from Mary that my cabin door seals are in.  Yay!  I'll get those installed tomorrow, with pictures and then write the check so I can fly 08Romeo home.

Annual Day 3

My body is sore from the waxing even though I think Vince did more of the hard work. It's 6:21 and I'm getting my day started with another hot shower since last nights shower didn't wash away the sore joints. My lunch is packed, the new door seals are ready to go and I managed to sneak some home made apple crisp Mary made for dessert last night, good stuff. Besides, the snack helps me take two Advil that should help the sore joints and torn tendon in the left foot.
pilot side old door seal
copilot side old door seal removal
The shop is active as I pull up to park. I get started right away on my cabin door seals. I did check on the air filter and ELT, not on the UPS truck yesterday so I'm keeping my fingers crossed the parts get here today. I removed the door keepers so my cabin door could swing all the way open and lay against the cowling. It was labor intensive, first removing the old seal with all the scraping then wire wheel, carefully, then cleaning with MEK. Of course I forgot the after pictures.....must have been all the MEK fumes.
cleaned with MEK, awaiting adhesive
UPS showed up with the filter and ELT battery, I'm in business. Keith did the ELT install and I knocked out the Brackett air filter. With everything completed the final invoice was tallied.
  • Annual 4 place aircraft $755
  • Owner assist -$100
  • Additional Labor 2.7 hours  $183.60
  • Parts  $296.52
    • Oil/Filter
    • Plug Gaskets
    • Oil Analysis kit,(forgot one of my ten)
    • Pneumatic filter and Regulator filter
    • Weather strip seal - to secure glareshield and eliminate rattle
    • Exhaust clamp
    • ELT Battery
    • Brackett Air Filter
    • Brake cylinder seal
    • Structural screws
  • Consumables-shop supplies $45
TOTAL $1,180.12

Pre-flight and run up went fine. I launched for New Garden and road out the bumps in the windy conditions. I actually made my best landing to date getting home. The winds were crazy coming over the valley at the runway two-four approach but I was ready and went with the flow. I tucked 08Romeo away, heater plugged in, plane all clean and shiny just waiting for our next adventure.

Jean, thanks so much for the ride back to 58M-Elkton, you saved my bacon today!


Steve said...

That's a darn affordable annual! Love the yearly post per usual, Gary.

Glad to hear the Scratch-X works as designed. I picked up a bottle of Meguiar's Ultimate Compound over the summer to take out a couple small scratches on the car. Ashamed to admit I still haven't checked that off my to-do list yet!

Gary said...

Steve, annual went very well, no surprises and I knocked off another item wanted to get done. Door seals made a big difference flying in the cold temps and it's even a little quieter.