Tuesday, February 13, 2018

back in the nest

Home at last... ADSB works except I don't see Wx on the IFDs, and seems the avionics guy accidentally disconnected the suction gauge.. the standby AI spins right up and works fine but I'm showing 0 on the gauge.  Maybe I'll just ditch the vacuum system and put a Sandia Quattro there instead.  

Here is the worst thing though... I had the shop replace the wing bolts due to the AD, and somehow the cover for the bathtub fitting on the right wing wasn't secured well enough.... When I took her for a post Mx test flight and got around 3,000 ft over farmland, the cover flew off the wing.  Obviously gone forever. Anyone know where I can find a replacement wing bathtub fitting cover?  

On the bright side, the overhauled props look new and no more oil leaks from the hub.. the plane starts right up and runs smooth and cool. I had about 13 pages worth of other improvements and I feel pretty good about her overall now... and she's back in the hangar where she belongs.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

She's naked

She looks so naked without props.  Turns out the left prop had similar issues to the right.  Glad I did this bit of preventative maintenance, hopefully the props will go the distance now.  Expecting to have her home early next week, fingers crossed!

Good news is that the GTX 345 is installed, hooked into the IFDs delivering traffic and weather there.  Unfortunately I need to wait for a software update to pass that through to the Aspen.  Also my JPI is now passing fuel flow info to the IFDs and the IFDs are wired to the 796 to pass flight plans over.  Not sure why that stuff wasn't done by the last owner, but I consider it complete now!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Big Plane, Big Annual

First annual is always a big one, going on over a month now. I had nothing major on the list going in, just a few squawks and things I wanted them to check and fix. One item was some oil leaking from the left prop hub which was finding it's way to the top of the Nacelle. When they took the prop off they found the o-ring seal was installed in the wrong place.  :bat: Ok easy fix... they went to check the other side assuming it was also installed incorrectly, and found some of the red oil mixed with engine oil.  

Uh oh... off to the prop shop for a reseal. Turns out it needed a new cylinder ($1700), and they found some corrosion on the blades at the snap ring grooves. Doh... glad they found it though, they wouldn't have taken off that prop and seen this had I not had the small oil leak on the other one!  :bugeye: 300 hr McCauley's... Call me a Hartzell fan.... and now I'm not getting warm fuzzies about the prop on the other side so I had them pull that one off for an IRAN/Reseal as well. We'll see what that reveals.  

Of course while the plane is down might as well get ADSB compliant so also installing a GTX-345. So 4k-ish for the right prop, 2k at least for the left prop, 5k for the transponder plus install labor, wing bolt AD and well over 100 hrs of annual labor + misc parts....  :sad: but a trusty reliable and well maintained TBone... priceless!  :D 

hopefully get her back next week finally.

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.