Sunday, December 30, 2007


Yellowbird's Broken Heart

During her 2007 annual airworthiness inspection, Yellowbird was diagnosed with a cracked engine crankcase. The treatment required removing the engine and shipping it to an engine shop in New York where it was rebuilt around a replacement crankcase. In the interim, Yellowbird sat in the corner of the FBO hangar while I treated her to a few upgrades and makeovers. There were delays and concerns aplenty, but after five months, she was finally restored to health. Here's the complete story of our grand misadventure:

  • Cracked: This is where it all began. An otherwise trouble free annual inspection turns into a five month stay in the maintenance hangar.
  • Enginectomy: What does it take to remove a typical light plane engine?
  • Housework: Finding opportunity in adversity, I paint various airplane parts that were removed when the engine was pulled.
  • SCAT: A kind of vocal improvisation common in jazz.
  • Painting the Engine Room (Part 1, Part 2): The lower engine cowling gets a makeover.
  • Bachelor Life: How to spend a lonely Friday night.
  • It's Here!: After a month's delay, the rebuilt engine finally arrives.
  • Parts: A shopping list of things replaced during the rebuild.
  • Upgrades: Taking advantage of Yellowbird's disassembled condition, I order an engine monitor and preheater.
  • It Flies! (sort of): The engine is hoisted aloft while the preheater is installed.
  • Hanging the Engine (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3): Yellowbird comes back together.
  • Delay, Again: One last gremlin rears its ugly head.
  • First Run: Yellowbird sings for the first time in five months.
  • The Annual Report - 2007: What did it take to restore Yellowbird to airworthiness?
  • Leftovers: Paperweights, strange jewelry, and the Bachelor Pilot Table Setting.
  • Aloft at Last: Yellowbird finally takes to the air!


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