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Identifying, removing and replacing the oil temperature gauge in 100 series Cessna aircraft with 24 volt electrical systems can be challenging. Here is a step-by-step survey of the process. June 2015- The basicsCessna 100 series aircraft with 24 volt electrical systems are equipped with a Rochester model 90213 Oil Temperature Gauge (OTG).The OTG shares the instrument case with a CHT gauge. The pair is known as an “instrument cluster case,” and is identified as Cessna part no. 624700081 model C669561-101. This type of instrument cluster is found in Cessna aircraft with Lycoming engines.A five-amp circuit breaker powers the dual CHT and OTG cluster. The breaker also feeds the fuel gauges. In the absence of CHT, OTG and fuel gauge indication(s)—first check the breaker. “R” is for “required”A Cessna 172RG Cutlass presented with the OTG gauge needle remaining inert on the left side during flight. For this model, the Equipment List contained in Section 6 of the POH (“Weight and Balance/Equipment List”) describes equipment, radios, gauges and instruments originally installed by Cessna. Some of these must be operational before flight.In item D41 on this equipment list, there’s an “R” next to the OTG entry. You guessed it: the oil temperature gauge…
June 2015- 1965Flo Irwin starts a new business in the basement of family home in Fullerton, Calif. selling just one product: spruce lumber for aircraft builders. She takes orders by mail and phone, and hires one man to cut the spruce. A one-page flyer is the first Aircraft Spruce “catalog.” 1967-1969Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. occupies a small building on Amerige Ave. in downtown Fullerton. Flo begins to carry other aircraft-related products and expands the catalog by a few pages every year. 1970-73Aircraft Spruce moves to larger building at 128 W. Wilshire Ave. in Fullerton and now carries steel and aluminum tubing and sheets, hardware and an expanding range of products for homebuilders. Flo’s husband Bob Irwin leaves the aerospace industry to join Aircraft Spruce, and their son Jim Irwin starts as a parts packer and wood cutter during high school.
Friday, 29 May 2015 20:47

The Cessna 425 Conquest I

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Putting a Cessna 425 through its paces. June 2015- Cessna got it right when it brought the Conquest I to market. It was designed to be simple to fly and an easy transition for a 400-series Cessna pilot to make.I flew in a Cessna 425 with an owner/pilot as part of his annual training required by insurance. I was able to sample the aircraft’s handling and performance characteristics and observe a private pilot putting the machine through its paces. Remarkable featuresThis particular aircraft featured all original radios with the exception of a Bendix/King KLN 90B GPS. All are coupled to the original autopilot—and it worked flawlessly. The starting of the plane is super-simple. Cessna engineered a generator assist feature that allows you to start one engine, turn on its generator, and then just start the second engine without fear of blowing a current limiter in the process. This makes for cooler starts and less juggling of the generators.Unlike most PT6-powered aircraft, the condition lever has only one position (“on”) and it turns the gas generator at 58 percent. Taking the props out of feather has them idling at 1,200 rpm. The engines are derated at 500 shaft hp, and at…
Friday, 29 May 2015 19:54

Destination: Downstream

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LightHawk volunteer pilots provide the powerful perspective of flight to help conservation experts make better decisions. June 2015- This month we’re diverting from our regular destination feature. Instead of focusing on one small area of our marvelous planet, we’d like to draw attention to the wild locations found in between the airports, bed-and-breakfast inns and hundred-dollar-hamburger spots. Dan Pimentel has put the spotlight on some pilots who volunteer to do a different kind of daytripping in this month’s story, which we’ve titled, “Destination: Downstream.” We hope you enjoy the tour. —Ed. While there is disagreement about the existence of a changing climate, there is one particular part of that debate to which all parties, regardless of politics, can agree: we all live on this one planet called Earth. And that’s not about to change in our lifetimes. Every day, people discuss what we should be doing to protect our planet, and whether it needs protecting at all. But if you’re a volunteer pilot for LightHawk—a nonprofit organization that began in 1979 with one man and a borrowed plane—your mission isn’t to support a particular side of the argument. Your mission is to provide support for those working to solve the…
Dear Steve,I fly a 1984 Cessna T210N. I have enjoyed flying this airplane for over 20 years. It has added immeasurably to my enjoyment of life since I love to fly, to snow ski and to hike. I own a thriving business that’s situated in the Los Angeles Basin and my 210 permits me to spend my weekends on a ranch I own up near Hearst Castle. I fly down Monday morning and fly back Thursday evening. Driving would take me two-and-a-half to three hours; flying it’s a 40-minute trip.I am willing and able to devote whatever it takes to maintain this airplane. I have a good service facility just 20 minutes from my home airport. Recently I noticed hydraulic fluid (bright red) seeping out of one of the drain holes in the bottom of the fuselage. The hole is located between where the two main landing gear legs attach to the fuselage.The brakes seemed okay—but knowing that brake systems aren’t supposed to leak, I took it in. The inspector at the shop told me that one of the brake swivels was leaking.I told him to go ahead and replace it. In fact, I told him to go ahead and…
Preparing for a coast-to-coast trip in the summer of 2015. June 2015- Eleven years ago, in the debut of Left Coast Pilot, I wrote about my experiences flying from California to West Virginia. I’m planning to do that trip again later this year, at my wife’s request—which makes it an appropriate time to review how previous trips went.Back in 1999, I took a three-week vacation and spent it flying N5142L, a fixed-gear piston single, from Modesto, Calif. to Parkersburg, W.V. (my parents’ hometown) and back, taking a southerly route over New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. In 2003, I made the same trip—but this time took a more northerly route with a stop to attend AirVenture. Both times, I started my flight planning over a month before departure. For that first trip back East, I had to send away for a trip kit of paper charts—I got World Aeronautical Charts (WACs) and IFR Enroute charts for the entire route (plus extras to cover possible diversions) and either Sectional or Terminal Area Charts for every place I expected to land, plus approach plates.The charts alone filled one of my bags, and a ritual at each overnight stop was sorting through them to…
Flying with your loved ones is one of the most satisfying ways to combine two of your passions: family time and flight time. May 2015- For some, flying and family have been synonymous since the beginning, but that's not everyone's reality. Many pilots have family members that only tacitly approve of their aeronautical endeavors and have no interest in breaking the surly bonds of earth. The latter is my situation. My wife is afraid to fly, in spite of it being my vocation and avocation. My youngest daughter is the only one in the family that really enjoys it, and as she grows older I hope to fly with her more and more. Attitudes about General Aviation flying seem to fall into four categories: Deathly Afraid, Just Not Interested, Cautiously Curious and Ready To Go. In fact, I have three of these four types in my family unit! The only constant is changeMy first piece of advice is to be flexible, because you'll need to tailor your approach to each person's frame of reference. Also, people's attitudes can change over time. Someone that was just Just Not Interested a few years ago might be Cautiously Curious today, or vice versa.Also,…
If you're not using an iPad in the cockpit, you could be missing out on one of the greatest and most cost-effective innovations for aviation in decades. May 2015- No question, the iPad has changed the way we fly. About a year ago, I stopped carrying paper charts completely, and I carry two iPads instead. I even cancelled my Jepps approach plate subscription—which I've had since 1980—because it's all in the iPad now. A few years back at the Gathering in Waupaca, I spoke to association members about Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) technology and specifically about using an iPad in the cockpit. Three years later, there are many more uses and apps designed just for aviation and many of them are very good. Here is a brief description of just a few of the apps that are available to a pilot in 2015. Flight planningForeFlightFor flight planning and in-flight display, I have been flying with ForeFlight. ForeFlight has partnered with Appareo Systems, the company that manufactures the Stratus ADS-B receiver. The Stratus device receives ADS-B transmissions in-flight and displays weather and traffic on the chart of your choice on your iPad. In a recent upgrade, the company has added an…
A brief walk around Alaska's online aviation weather camera program. May 2015- A few months ago, the FAA announced the deployment of its all-new Aviation Weather Camera program. I was curious, so recently I took a look around the site—and I have to say, it's incredible. The design of the site is so simple, I felt like a power user on my first try. The FAA explained it this way: "This new route based information tool (RBIT) features navigational planning on an interactive map with easily accessible images and other weather data." In short, it's almost unbelievably intuitive.I watched the video tutorials (all are between one and three minutes long—and worth the time) in addition to clicking around by myself to discover how the tools work. Here's a quick overview. A graphic interfaceCruise over to alaska.faa.gov using your favorite browser. The map interface will be familiar to any users of Google Maps: you move around the map by clicking and holding the mouse button to get "the hand," and zoom using the mouse wheel (or the slider bar in the upper right edge of the map). Terrain and satellite views are available; choose your preference in the upper right.Each camera…
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