Saturday, December 22, 2007
The Annual Report - 2007
This year's annul airworthiness inspection goes down in the books as the most expensive misadventure in my aviating life so far. Yellowbird was due for inspection by the end of July, so I dropped her off at the shop towards the end of the month and waited for the results.
Initially, she seemed to be a healthy bird. A few discrepancies were noted and fixed:
- A worn alternator bracket and mounting bolt were replaced.
- The right forward engine baffle was reinforced and a support bracket fabricated to prevent the baffle from chafing against the alternator pulley.
- The ELT remote switch battery was replaced.
- The vacuum pump suction hose was replaced.
- Both brake rotors and pads were replaced.
- The faulty alternator warning light was replaced.
But, things took a turn for the worse when the mechanic took me into the shop and showed me the cracked crankcase. This kicked off a months-long process that included:
- removing the engine, shipping it off to Mattituck for repair, and reinstalling it after it was rebuilt
- cleaning and painting the engine mount
- replacing all four engine shock mounts
While she was grounded, I decided to take advantage of her disassembled condition and had a few upgrades installed:
- A JPI EDM-700 engine monitor
- A Reiff oil pan/cylinder preheat system
- A vernier mixture control cable
And to keep myself occupied, I took on a few airplane improvement projects:
- The engine baffles were cleaned and painted.
- The propeller spinner and bulkhead were stripped, cleaned and repainted.
- The lower engine cowling was cleaned and repainted.
- The paint on the upper engine cowling was touched up.
- All engine compartment SCAT ducting was replaced.
- The nosewheel pant was repainted.
Once all was done, it was December and time for the 24 month static system/transponder check. The altitude encoder failed and was replaced.
In all, Yellowbird was in the shop for five months. It wasn't cheap, but at least she's airworthy again.
The final bill? (Not for the faint of heart)