Saturday, June 17, 2023

Annual 2023 Part 2

Friday, June 2nd

I have been searching for a nose gear forward right hinge to replace my worn hinge. I'm not sure what caused the hinge to rub because the bearing is intact. The only thing that could have caused it was an improper alignment. Pictured below is the Parts catalog blow up drawing.
I asked the shop for any pictures they may have had and they sent a picture of each hinge configuration. In one of the pictures, I'd bet the right forward, you can clearly see the alignment where it's up against the connecting bracket. 
Correct Spacing on hinge

Forward hinge rub 

Aerodyme had a nose gear door hinge forward right in stock. The hinge was not bent where it connects to the gear door. I will have to have the shop bend the hinge on a sheet metal brake machine. I also ordered one bearing set parts number 3 and 5 on the above drawing. I was thankful that Jim Richards called to discuss my issue and his help resolving the problem. Also a shout out to Billy and Connor at the New Garden shop for their info and pictures, thanks guys.
Tuesday, June 13th

Good news! The paint shop is finished with the lower cowl and it’s in transit to the shop and my plane. Mary and I made a surprise visit to check on 3 Tango Charlie’s progress. 
The annual itself was good to go, completed, and they were finishing up with the wing root seal. The MP gauge was not gummed up, instead, the needle was stuck. The shop swapped out the gauge I purchased and provided, and now it’s also good to go. The USB ports were installed and the IFR cert will be completed tomorrow or Thursday. I should be able to fly 3 Tango Charlie home on Friday or Saturday. 
On our return trip to Ocean City, Mary and I made a stop for lunch at Mission BBQ in Dover Delaware. I had the traditional pulled pork sandwich and Mary had the pulled chicken with coleslaw and fries. We split the fries and they were very good. Lucy was happy to see us and we were glad to be home and off the road.

Saturday, June 17th

I got the call, it's time to bring 3 Tango Charlie home!  My friend and fellow pilot Charles G is in town for business and will be ground pounding home this morning, I’m catching a ride to New Garden.

When we arrived at new garden the seats still needed to be installed and the bottom cowl, which looked great sporting new paint. I was told a couple of more hours so Charles and I headed to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza for lunch.  The food and service was excellent. I had sausage, peppers, and onions on pita bread, very good eats. 

We returned to the airport and the last item was the seat install, a real PITA.  Any Commander owner will verify that last statement. With the seats installed 3 Tango Charlie was tugged out to the ramp. Scott cleaned off the windows and any fingerprints on the top and bottom cowl. 

It took a bit of work to get the fan turning. At the initial start it sounded flooded but then sounded like not getting enough fuel. I restarted with a richer mixture setting and 3 Tango Charlie just purred right along.  Once I had some heat in the oil I did a run up followed by pulling the power and shutting down. No leaks found during the inspection and with that I was given the all clear. Yes, I Checked all control surfaces, inspection panels and seat track lock pins. 

I started up and taxied for runway two-four. With another run up completed and take off configuration set I rolled down the runway. With no runway left in view I selected gear up. No in transit light and still showing three green. I selected gear down and the pump shut off. I checked the breaker although I did confirm the pump running and remained in the pattern for a low pass check. Scott was on the hand held and confirmed three down and locked, confirming what my panel was showing me. I climbed out and made another circuit this time checking the emergency dump valve. It’s hard to see since it’s tucked in the center lower console and just below my right knee. Fly the plane is first on the list but I manage an E dump check and called it good.
Should be in the upper cut out
I made a “fun” landing in the twenty knot direct crosswind, ride em’ cowboy. I taxied in front of the shop so Scott could remove the dash pad to check the wiring for the in transit light. The connection was switched and verified, we were ready to try again. Instead we decided on going back up on jack stands for a better look at the nose gear doors and trouble shoot the gear. 

Scott saved me the climb in and out and took left seat. He went through all the same checks but stopped on the E dump. Scott asked if I left it in the down position, I respond no, just checked to confirm it was in the correct position. It was down and locked as if it was in use. What? I guess after the shop cycled the gear that’s how it was left. Well crap! The dump valve was reset and just like that we did multiple gear swings with no issues. 

Take two! Another start up and run up before departing on runway two- four. Scott positioned his truck at the far end of two four to watch the gear come up. Once again with no runway left I selected gear up. The in transit glowed, the pump ran for 10-12 seconds, and three gear came up confirming with three pretty green lights extinguished. I was heading for home. 

I departed late enough to miss the Philadelphia TFR but now Dover was active. I picked up flight following with a special squawk code and continued for the beach and final TFR. Multiple hand offs along the way, two Philly, one Potomac, Dover, and finally Patuxent. I heard Charles and his bride Lisa just eighteen minutes behind me checking in. I made a nice landing and taxied for the hangar. Mary was already there and was opening the hangar door. I shut down, climbed out, gave my bride a kiss and a hug followed by pushing 3 Tango Charlie into the hangar. I did clean the bugs off but left all my books, cameras, and flight bag in the plane. I’ll get everything sorted out tomorrow. Now it’s time for dinner with Charles and Lisa at the Pines Eatery and Pub. 

Annual Numbers:

I had additional work done on 3 Tango Charlie to include; R&R wing root seal, R&R MP/FF Gauge, install dual USB power supplies and adapters, R&R lower cowl for Repaint. My ELT battery was also due and that's a four year life lithium battery pack ($$). 

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Checking on 3 Tango Charlie

It’s been a long relaxing Memorial holiday weekend. I know most folks do backyard BBQ’s but growing up our family always honored fallen service members and remembered family members who had passed. It was a ritual of sorts, the men were up early and visiting multiple cemeteries making sure everything looked perfect and placing the specific flower basket in the right place. Following the landscape phase we went and showered then dressed for a day visiting graves. I remember standing at each military gun salute and picking up spent brass. I also remember the fire departments along Main Street intersections passing the boot to each car for donations. Strange the memories that stick with you after all the years gone by. 

Thursday, June 1st

Mary and I decided to drive to Wilmington.  Mary wanted to pick up a painting at her sister in laws home that I didn’t pick up last week.  In all fairness I wasn’t told about the pick up and Lynn must have forgotten.

The first stop is to  check on 3 Tango Charlie. I had a brief phone conversation with the airport and shop manager on Tuesday discussing the Commander elevator inspection. I wanted to follow up and check on progress, hopefully catching the wing root seal install and/or the MP/FF gauge replacement.  

I’m not sure if the gear swing has been completed. I was told the annual inspection was pretty much complete. After looking over the plane I didn’t see any of my squawk list items addressed.  Needless to say I wasn’t very happy. I dropped off my old log books as requested and then headed towards Wilmington. 

We decided on lunch at Pizza by Elizebeth. Mary had the Hasselbeck; Original tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Italian meatballs, provolone & parmesan cheese. I had the Davis; Spicy blackened chicken, bacon, cheddar, and provolone, drizzled with honey-mustard sauce. 

We picked up the Paul Scarborough oil painting and sat and chatted a bit. I refilled our drinks with ice and with that we got on the road south for home.

Lucy was on her own for seven hours and was a very good girl. I did catch her on camera curling up on my seat on the leather couch. I activated the mic feature and reminded her I was watching and to get off the couch. Lucy looked around and  slowly made her way to her bed.

Lucy did get her revenge and decided to cover the great room floor with her version of confetti. My “attention” stick, an old (circa 1990’s) tall tv guide wrapped in electrical tape was everywhere. Now please understand I never hit her with this but when any dog I’ve owned doesn’t give me their immediate attention when I give a command I will wack it on a table or couch and the noise it makes…well, it gets their attention. We had also left this months Parkes Bench News booklet on the couch but that didn’t even have a dog eared corner. I believe Lucy’s act was clearly directed at me. Maybe the cats put her up to it since they have been on the receiving end of long range attention getter bombings. 

Just like this mornings ride it was two hours home. I sure miss my plane when making the  run back and forth to Wilmington.