Thursday, December 21, 2017

first TBone annual

Today I dropped off the TBone for it's first annual under my watch.  The first annual is always a little nerve wracking... I'm a stickler for aircraft condition so I want everything made right.  Here is my squawk list:

Twin Bonanza - Annual Squawks
  • Gear light didn’t come on one time (near max extension speed) - check gear actuator springs
  • Oil on top/bottom of left nacelle, misc oil leaks on left engine
  • Minor pushrod leaks on right engine
  • Leaking fuel sump in wheel well (both sides), replace o-rings
  • Seeping fuel drain in right wing - replace quick drain
  • Looks like fuel flow is too high on left side with the boost pump on
  • CHT gauge inop left engine Cylinder #6
  • Check #4, #5 EGT probes right side (seemed flakey on one flight, rising up and down rapidly)
  • Check prop alcohol system 
  • Check swamp cooler - AC 
  • Door hinge pin - seems like it’s out too far
  • Oil Change
  • Lube entire airframe
  • Clean/grease landing gear motor?
  • Wing bolt AD  
I ordered the wing bolts and they were not cheap!  

(qty 2). MS20014-29 wing bolts
(qty 4). 50-105011 washers
(qty 2). EB-144 nuts 

All in nearly $900 for those bolts and washers... wtf!  

Here she is in the maintenance hangar.  I hitched a ride home from my buddy Aaron in his perfect D50E.  Good fun.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Back in black

I love how the tbone has those huge nacelles and when you pop the open the engine just looks so badass. So I've been slowly cleaning up my engine compartments. First, I stopped all the drips with the geebee gaskets, but when I replaced them I was thinking it would be cool to have the rocker covers chromed for some engine bling. As I thought about it though, it seemed like it might look even more bad ass to get them powder coated in black metallic. Back in black baby.  :rock: 

I bought a new set of 6 rocker covers, and got them done so I could do the swap with no downtime, so now I've got an extra set... maybe I'll sell them if someone wants to do the same. Here is the before and after.

Next I'd like to get a high temp coating on those exhausts, and maybe powder coat the intake tubes too, and maybe blue or black for those ignition wires.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

TBone takeoff

Oldie but goodie... earlier this year departing full loaded off KSEZ.  Love that airport!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Twin Bonanza can haul a lot

Today I had 6 in the plane, plus an 85 lb dog. With the fuel load we were as close as I've been to max gross. I was surprised she still climbed out at 1000 fpm. Felt a little different landing but otherwise the ole girl didn't bat an eye. These wonderful old planes can really haul a load.

I've also been flying the Cessna 421 golden eagle.  I really really like the 421.  It's a complicated old pressurized piston twin but man does it run smooth.  The plane comes in faster than the T-bone but has a similar operating modus, since both have geared engines.

If I were to get a pressurized twin this plane would be top of the list for piston.  It's very quiet and powerful, feels more like a turbine than a piston.  Love this airplane. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Small improvements

Other than install the IFD550 and 540, I've done little to the plane other than change the oil a few times.  It takes some time to get to know a plane and figure out what you want to do with it, and so I've gathered a small list of small things to make her better.  First up, SVT and AOA on the Aspen!

AOA still needs the calibration flight and I'm looking forward to doing that and getting it working.  I still need to update the GDL-69A software to get that working with the IFD... but I have no clue how to do it and neither does the avionics shop.  Apparently you're supposed to update it through your GNS-530 and I no longer have one.  I suppose I should have updated before swapping the units, but I didn't know that!  Maybe Avidyne knows..   Another thing to do is wire the JPI-760 to the IFD to use the fuel calculation functions.  Enough of avionics.  On to the engines...

Yuck... cork rocker cover gaskets.  Those won't do...  so I ordered silicon ones from GeeBee.  

The valve covers came off and I used a scotch bright to clean up the metal and remove the stuck bits of cork.  It cleaned off the jug really quick, but cleaning the cover itself was another story.  I had to scrub it for an hour to get it totally clean and cork residue free.

Two down, ten to go!  Took me 2.5 hrs to do two...   makes me wonder if it's worth just dropping some dough on engine bling and going with new chrome plated valve covers.  Hmm..   Also have some plans to clean up the metal exhaust shroud and make that shine.  Otherwise its looking good in there.  

Love working on the T-bone.

Monday, August 21, 2017

La Paz

Had a great little trip down to La Paz Mexico which is just north of Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja pennisula.  We went with two families, and it's 1050NM so I decided to leave the T-bone at home and take the Pilatus.  Tough love!  I was slightly trepidatious about going to La Paz because it's on the US State Dept watch list for drug crime/murder...  but we never felt the slightest bit unsafe.  It's all Mexican families having a good time.  It was dry and hot but an easy flight and they were very accommodating.  Just make sure to file your EAPIS and it's definitely a bit easier to go IFR.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Float mania

I took a family trip up to Alaska.  We did a cruise so I didn't fly us up there, but man was it cool seeing all the float planes.  I really got a bug to do the float rating now!  The video above was from the deck of the ship.  There are so many cool little GA float planes flying around up there it's ridiculous.