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Christmas Annual - long drivel



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 20th 04, 07:33 PM
Denny
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Default Christmas Annual - long drivel

Fat Albert the Apache needed his annual exam... When I bought him the
annual was in the summer and I have been gaining a month a year on
that... This year we moved it into December 1st... The annual usually
takes 3-5 days, but this morning he still sits in the shop with the
starboard engine uncowled after 3 weeks... I have been proactive in
doing preventive maintenance between annuals and normally we breeze
through the annual... This year there were two AD's that needed to be
satisfied...

One was the flap torque arm and torque tube... This is pretty straight
foward... We pulled them out (labor hours) and although they were
perfect the AD is recurring annually as long as the original parts
remain... I ordered the steel torque tube (~1.5" x 36")to replace the
aluminum tube and it was $400 (hey, it's for an airplane)... The torque
arm however was a nine inch long, $1600 item for something that any
competent machine shop would make from scratch for $40 in material and
a $150 in labor and CNC machine time - Piper's price is big time rape!
Steve, the mechanic, was really po'd at Piper over this part... He
finally found a serviceable part from a wrecked plane that met the AD
and was available for 50% of new, so we went that route...

The other AD was the pressure test on the heater can... Of course it
has a small crack, but worse it had been welded before (no entry on the
logs) so it was DOA... Plus the Southwind heater would continue to be
a recurring AD... The heater shops wanted $1800 to zero time the
heater, plus $650 to replace the solenoid fuel valves... A search was
started and we wound up with C&D which is just downstate from us...
They have PMA for a brand new heater which wound up being $3200 by the
time it was delivered... The big labor costs in this are the install
and the new panel switch and wiring.. But, I have a no AD heater,
which is new and shiny and has a warranty...

Next on the hit list was that the port engine backfired when I started
it up to fly over to the shop for the annual, ran rough for 10 seconds
then smoothed out (picture me with raised eyebrow and cringing wallet)
it has never done this before... When we got to the shop the first
thing we do is a compression test while the engine is hot... #1
cylinder on port side has zero compression... Pull the rocker cover and
sure enough the exhaust valve lacks about a sixteenth of an inch of
closing... So, Steve drives the valve out, reams the guide (carbon
buildup, no warpage) and reassembles... Borescopes the cylinder and
pressure tests again, all OK now... So more bucks for labor...

The other item on the hit list was that the starboard engine has been
gradually running leaner over a period of months.. In cruise the
starboard mixture knob is now an inch and a half ahead of the port
mixture knob for the same egt... It has been looked at twice with no
obvious leaks... With the engine totally uncowled we go after it with a
vengence... The induction hoses and clamps are replaced with new, and
all new intake gaskets... Pressure testing shows bubbles where the
induction tube for the #1 cylinder is pressed into the oil pan... This
is sealed up... The engine is test run, and the cowl is replaced...

Annual is finished and I'm to test fly it... The flight delivers no
joy with the starboard engine still considerably leaner than the port
engine, even at full rich on both mixtures... Ah jeez! So, back in
the shop, off with the cowlings (half an hour for two mechanics), and
we start glaring at the carburetor... The throttle shaft has some slop
in it, but the throttle shaft on the port engine, which runs fine, is
looser still - and we don't think that is the problem... After
considerable peering and poking and wiggling we (three of us by now)
decide that the shaft on the mixture has too much play... So off comes
the carburetor (more labor time as it is well buried...

Up on the bench we disassemble the carb... The mixture shaft is worn
and the brass washers show eccentric wear... A parts count and
comparison to the manual shows an O-ring is totally missing... This
could upset the air pressure above the fuel at the main metering valve
down in the bowl... OK, so we stop for the night... The next day Steve
calls Lycoming and talks to their carb expert... He opines that the air
leak around the mixture shaft will cause the engine to run lean... He
wants $450 for a rebuild kit... A call to avial shows that they want
$1000 for a rebuilt carb... I say let me think about it and go home...
A bit of skulking on the web brings up aircraft spruce as having a
rebuilt carb in stock for $529... It is ordered, next day air for an
extra 40 some bucks... The carb is put on, the engine test run, cowl
put on, and the plane is ready for a test flight...

So, I hurry through the office Saturday and manage to get in a days
work and be out to the airport with daylight left... Everyone is all
smiles, so in anticipation of delivering the plane back to the home
field it is fully fueled, etc.. The wind is from the same side of the
field as the shop, so we have to taxi 3/4 of a mile.. By the time I get
to the runup pad the starboard engine is wallowing and slowly winds
down and quits... Pat, the mechanic, who is in the right seat peers out
and says, hmmm there's fuel dripping off the cowl... (&*%#[email protected] bad word
said) We limp back to the shop on one engine (twins taxi terrible on
one engine)...

Testing at the shop shows fuel running through the carb... Off come the
cowls and the carb... Monday morning (today) Kelly Aerospace is called
and the problem discussed... They want the carb back for examination
and will ship me a replacement carb same day as mine arrives there...
So here we go with a round of $60+ next day shipping charges... I was
going to wait until the annual was over to post this, but who knows
when that will be... Anyway, the fun meter has passed $9,000 and is
still running...
Cheers...
Denny of the Lean Wallet, and Fat Albert the Apache

Ads
  #2  
Old December 20th 04, 09:57 PM
Jim Burns
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Dang, sorry to hear about the carb problems... hopefully when you get them
resolved it will make flying FA feel a little sweeter. Glad the torque tube
issue didn't turn out that bad, I've heard some horror stories about not
getting the replacement drilled correctly.

Merry Christmas,
Jim



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  #3  
Old December 21st 04, 01:29 PM
Denny
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Yup Jim.... I told Steve that if he misdrilled that tube HE was paying
for the replacement and the shipping and labor was on his nickle, not
mine... When I got back to the shop a day later it was all
installed... I asked him how the drilling went... He pulled his pipe
out of his mouth, scowled at me, and said, "What a ^&%$*# miserable
job... I spent 2 hours getting that thing jigged up and drilling four
holes... But that's OK because I'm charging for the time!"... Then he
smiled an evil smile and lit his pipe and walked away contentedly
blowing clouds of evil smoke... I discussed his ancestry, just loud
enough for him to hear... That made him really smile... Actually, if
I didn't insult him, I suspect he would charge me more...

Steve is an old time A&PI with decades of experience on Apaches and
Aztecs... I had no reservations about his ability to do the job right
the first time...

  #4  
Old December 21st 04, 03:12 PM
Jim Burns
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HA! He sounds like a combination of Santa Claus and the Grinch! Too funny!
Glad he got it all installed for you. I wish we had more A&P's like him
around here, most of them here don't have nearly that much experience,
patience, or stick-with-it-ness but they sure know how to charge!

You mentioned that C&D is just downstate from you... what part of MI are you
in? I'm planning on flying over to Hastings (just south east of GRR)
Christmas Eve and back to WI Christmas day. How much snow is there in that
area? We got about 8 inches here last night.

Jim

"Denny" wrote in message
oups.com...
Yup Jim.... I told Steve that if he misdrilled that tube HE was paying
for the replacement and the shipping and labor was on his nickle, not
mine... When I got back to the shop a day later it was all
installed... I asked him how the drilling went... He pulled his pipe
out of his mouth, scowled at me, and said, "What a ^&%$*# miserable
job... I spent 2 hours getting that thing jigged up and drilling four
holes... But that's OK because I'm charging for the time!"... Then he
smiled an evil smile and lit his pipe and walked away contentedly
blowing clouds of evil smoke... I discussed his ancestry, just loud
enough for him to hear... That made him really smile... Actually, if
I didn't insult him, I suspect he would charge me more...

Steve is an old time A&PI with decades of experience on Apaches and
Aztecs... I had no reservations about his ability to do the job right
the first time...



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Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
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  #5  
Old December 25th 04, 10:20 PM
RST Engineering
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Repeat slowly and carefully after me:

The owner or operator of an aircraft is allowed to manufacture parts for
his/her own aircraft. Say it again. Understand that you do not have to
have your hand on the drill press or CNC buttons. The FAA is satisfied that
you take a drawing down to your local machine shop and oversee their
manufacture of your part. Or you can make it yourself, your choice.

Now, say it one more time...

Jim




"Denny" wrote in message
oups.com...


The torque
arm however was a nine inch long, $1600 item for something that any
competent machine shop would make from scratch for $40 in material and
a $150 in labor and CNC machine time - Piper's price is big time rape!
Steve, the mechanic, was really po'd at Piper over this part... He
finally found a serviceable part from a wrecked plane that met the AD
and was available for 50% of new, so we went that route...



  #6  
Old December 25th 04, 10:59 PM
jls
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Posts: n/a
Default


"RST Engineering" wrote in message
...
Repeat slowly and carefully after me:

The owner or operator of an aircraft is allowed to manufacture parts for
his/her own aircraft. Say it again. Understand that you do not have to
have your hand on the drill press or CNC buttons. The FAA is satisfied

that
you take a drawing down to your local machine shop and oversee their
manufacture of your part. Or you can make it yourself, your choice.

Now, say it one more time...

Jim


You're an A&P with inspection authorization, aren't you? Please cite the
FAR. I think I know which one you're talking about but it seems you'd be
more authoritative by referring to the book.




"Denny" wrote in message
oups.com...


The torque
arm however was a nine inch long, $1600 item for something that any
competent machine shop would make from scratch for $40 in material and
a $150 in labor and CNC machine time - Piper's price is big time rape!
Steve, the mechanic, was really po'd at Piper over this part... He
finally found a serviceable part from a wrecked plane that met the AD
and was available for 50% of new, so we went that route...





  #7  
Old December 25th 04, 11:34 PM
kage
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


" jls" wrote in message
...

"RST Engineering" wrote in message
...
Repeat slowly and carefully after me:

The owner or operator of an aircraft is allowed to manufacture parts for
his/her own aircraft. Say it again. Understand that you do not have to
have your hand on the drill press or CNC buttons. The FAA is satisfied

that
you take a drawing down to your local machine shop and oversee their
manufacture of your part. Or you can make it yourself, your choice.

Now, say it one more time...

Jim


You're an A&P with inspection authorization, aren't you? Please cite the
FAR. I think I know which one you're talking about but it seems you'd be
more authoritative by referring to the book.




"Denny" wrote in message
oups.com...


The torque
arm however was a nine inch long, $1600 item for something that any
competent machine shop would make from scratch for $40 in material and
a $150 in labor and CNC machine time - Piper's price is big time rape!
Steve, the mechanic, was really po'd at Piper over this part... He
finally found a serviceable part from a wrecked plane that met the AD
and was available for 50% of new, so we went that route...



http://www.avionicswest.com/myviewpo...owner.htm#2004
http://www.iflyamerica.org/ownerproducedparts.htm
http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/news/arch...2002/Parts.htm
http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/news/arch...gust/IvsWe.htm

My only question? Why are some links blue, and some purple?

Karl
"Curator" N185KG


  #8  
Old December 26th 04, 12:46 AM
jls
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"kage" wrote in message
...

" jls" wrote in message
...

"RST Engineering" wrote in message
...
Repeat slowly and carefully after me:

The owner or operator of an aircraft is allowed to manufacture parts

for
his/her own aircraft. Say it again. Understand that you do not have

to
have your hand on the drill press or CNC buttons. The FAA is satisfied

that
you take a drawing down to your local machine shop and oversee their
manufacture of your part. Or you can make it yourself, your choice.

Now, say it one more time...

Jim


You're an A&P with inspection authorization, aren't you? Please cite

the
FAR. I think I know which one you're talking about but it seems you'd

be
more authoritative by referring to the book.




"Denny" wrote in message
oups.com...


The torque
arm however was a nine inch long, $1600 item for something that any
competent machine shop would make from scratch for $40 in material

and
a $150 in labor and CNC machine time - Piper's price is big time

rape!
Steve, the mechanic, was really po'd at Piper over this part... He
finally found a serviceable part from a wrecked plane that met the AD
and was available for 50% of new, so we went that route...


http://www.avionicswest.com/myviewpo...owner.htm#2004
http://www.iflyamerica.org/ownerproducedparts.htm
http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/news/arch...2002/Parts.htm
http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/news/arch...gust/IvsWe.htm

My only question? Why are some links blue, and some purple?

Karl
"Curator" N185KG


Well, now, if you ain't just a gentleman and a scholar. Thanks. I figured
that authority was somewhere in Part 23.


  #9  
Old December 26th 04, 01:16 AM
G.R. Patterson III
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Posts: n/a
Default



kage wrote:

My only question? Why are some links blue, and some purple?


Usually this is because you have set your browser to display links you haven't
visited recently as blue text and those you have visited recently as purple.
These are the default colors for Netscape. I believe the default for "recently"
is 10 days. Both the colors and the retention period are settable parameters.

George Patterson
The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.
  #10  
Old December 26th 04, 01:20 AM
G.R. Patterson III
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default



jls wrote:

You're an A&P with inspection authorization, aren't you? Please cite the
FAR. I think I know which one you're talking about but it seems you'd be
more authoritative by referring to the book.


Karl has posted links. To do Jim justice, Jim has posted the applicable regs
before.

George Patterson
The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.
 




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