Friday, April 24, 2015

GeeBee door seal

My old door seal was made by, and it just never worked very well. I would always hear a whistle coming from the door. At the Epic Sedona BBQ I talked to Guy Ginbey and he told me he had a better mouse trap. I saw it installed on Russ's plane and immediately ordered one. Russ told me he installed it himself and did it in about an hour, so I was all set to do the project myself...

12 hours later I had my old door seal off. I spent $120 on a gallon of Peerless 321 sealant remover cause they only sell it in gallons... it's the citrus stuff which is great because it doesn't damage your paint if it drips. I've got a ton left, need any? So why did it take 12 hours?? I'm not going to name names, but I looked in the logbooks and the prior owner installed the former door seal. Let's say he was glue happy, we'll call him Bodd Landerson. He owes me a beer and a shot of whiskey. Man o man, was there a lot of glue to remove. Huge pain in the arse... after a few hours of glopping that orange crap on there and working my way around with a scraper I had the main part of the seal off, but here is what the residue looked like...

Crikey was there a lot of glue. Volumes of glue, everywhere...  the base of the seal was stuck like it had been there for decades, solidly applied like tartar on teeth... like stinky cheese stuck to a plate and left for days. The only way to get it off was to slather it continuously in Peerless 321 and scrape it with a copper brush for hours and hours. Eventually I got it off and it looked like this.

Yay... fully removed. Any then and only THEN, did the new door seal go on in an hour or so. Except for accidentally dropping the hinge piece in the bucket of glue, all went pretty well. I worked it around, slowly glueing and pressing down...  all in all, a pretty easy install assuming clean frame. Here it is fully installed.

The silicon doesn't collapse or deform like rubber. Much tighter seal. Today I flew with it and there is zero leakage. None. Not a whisper from the door. It's solid. If you need a door seal this is the one to get.  :thumbup: 

I flew up to Pine Mountain Lake to see Tim at Aviation Design. My interior is only 5 years old, but Tim is going to work his carbon fiber magic on my side panels, glare shield and headliner. 2 inches per side extra room for the sidewalls, an extra inch of headroom, and 15+ pounds lighter with carbon fiber installation, LED touch lighting on the overhead panel and glare shield, and a leather wrapped yoke to match my silver and black paint scheme. I gotta match my paint, after all. Just one more thing...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

KingAir Academy

Last week I did the KingAir 200 initial course at KingAir Academy in Phoenix at Deer Valley.  Why, am I getting a KingAir?  I wish!  I don't think I can swallow the operating cost on a turbine twin, that's a plane that needs a job... but man o man is it a great airplane.  The course was a week long, and by far the most intensive training I've done in one five day sitting thus far.  The KA200 is a big plane, with lots of systems, and we covered ALL of them.

Day one was classroom ground all day, focussing on turbine engines in general and the PT6A specifically.  The rest of the days were classroom ground in the morning, going through everything from the fuel system to the electrical system to the hydraulic system to the landing gear system to the environment system, etc.  Then the afternoons were simulator sessions which were my primary interest.  As I have posted here in the past, I'm a sim geek and spend a fair bit of time in my own sim... well the ones at KingAir Academy put me in my place, their sims are really, really good.  I was happy to see their sims are based on X-Plane which is what I run at home and am of the opinion is the best flight simulator software available.  Here is a quick video that shows how real the sim is..

Pretty cool!  In the video is my friend Alex whom I went with for the training.  He is considering putting a KA200 in service in India as a business idea so that was the primary impetus for him attending, and I just went to expand my knowledge, get the high altitude endorsement and also learn about turbines.

All in all a fantastic experience.  I can't say enough good things about the training and the guys there at KingAir Academy.  They are super accommodative and want you to learn and do well.  Also got to have lunch with Tom Clements and chat with some really, really experienced pilots.  A great way to spend a week.  Highly recommend KA Academy and they are also building some new sims that look even better.  The capper was the quick flight to Sedona for the Beechcraft BBQ.