With a successful top-end inspection completed, STEVE ELLS guides a new owner through the first steps to make his Cessna 182 a reliable backcountry plane.

Bill hangars his 1966 Cessna 182J Skylane in the hangar next to mine at the Paso Robles Municipal Airport (KPRB).

Bill is tall, drives a pickup, is comfortably retired—and enjoys flying. He has owned his 182 for four years. It has carried him on cross-country flights to Kansas, Phoenix and San Diego. Since I’ve known him, it seems most of his flights consist of short day-VFR trips to take his wife for lunch.

Last September I saw that Bill’s hangar was open, so I stepped over to catch up. Bill told me that Greg, who was there with him, wanted to buy his airplane. 

Bill hadn’t mentioned wanting to sell. Interested, I listened. 

Bill introduced me as a guy that knew a lot about Cessna 182s. Greg wanted my opinion on the engine in Bill’s airplane, since Bill had told him it had 1,720 hours since its last rebuild. In other words, it was 20 hours past what the manufacturer, Continental Motors, printed as the recommended TBO. 

Bill told him that the engine was running fine; it always started right up, made good power, the oil analyses were always clean and that it had been well taken care of. Bill asked me to inspect the engine to determine if it was airworthy. I agreed to take on that task since the protocol is well defined.

Continental cylinder inspection

In 2016, Continental Motors released Publication M-0, “Maintenance Manual: Standard Practice for Spark Ignition Engines.” This manual is the go-to source for guidance when performing inspections, maintenance and diagnosis on Continental piston aircraft engines. (Make sure you have the most current revision. At press time, the latest iteration is dated July 2017. —Ed.)

Chapter 6-4.11 is titled “Cylinder Inspections.” Sub-chapters include visual inspections, differential compression tests, cylinder borescope inspections, cylinder-to-crankcase mounting inspections, baffle inspections and cowling inspections.

I use both a differential compression test with calibrated orifice and a borescope to determine cylinder health as mandated by M-0. Since the guidelines in the M-0 differential compression chapter differ greatly from the guidelines in FAA Advisory Circular AC 43.13-1B, titled “Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices – Aircraft Inspection and Repair,” these tools are essential when conducting the Continental cylinder testing. 

I own an Eastern Technology E2M differential compression tester. Aircraft Tool Supply also sells a house-branded differential pressure tester, which they call the 2EM.

I used a VA-400 rigid USB borescope from Oasis Scientific to inspect the valves in accordance with the M-0 protocol. This borescope connects to my laptop which allows me to create a file for storing photographs of everything I see during the inspection.

I performed the inspections of the cylinders in accordance with the chapter and found the compression readings acceptable at 72, 70, 72, 70, 68 and 72/80. A thorough “scoping” inside each cylinder showed no scoring on the cylinder walls, normal lead deposits on the piston crowns and no indication of any valve problems. 

In addition to the cylinder inspection chapter, M-0 also provides guidelines for determining if there are excessive combustion gases escaping past the rings. The test procedures are in Chapter 8-9.1. Bill’s engine also passed this test.

Based on these tests, I concluded that the top end of the 230 hp O-470-R engine in Bill’s airplane was airworthy. Within a week, Greg and Bill had agreed on a price and the airplane (and the hangar) changed hands. 

Greg’s goal

Greg owns a contracting business on the central coast of California. His business is thriving, and he works hard. When he can get away, he enjoys spending time at his cabin high up in the Monache Meadows Wildlife Area in the Sierra Nevada. 

He told me he yearned to get his family, including his 92-year-old mother, up to the cabin often but hasn’t been able to because of the nearly seven-hour drive to get there. Greg figures a flight in his 182 will take no more than 90 minutes. There’s just one catch: the only landing strip is a gravel/sand runway on the edge of a dry lake at 8,000 feet msl. 

I asked Greg why he bought Bill’s 182. Here’s what he said: “Lots of things. The two doors allow me to have my 92-year-old mother go along—it would be too difficult to hop over her in a Piper Warrior/Cherokee.”

“The 182 has horsepower to deal with high altitude better,” he continued. “The 182 is wider and carries a larger payload; my family are all tall and large people.”

“The high wings allow me to clear tall brush on the side of runways: Lone Pine (O26, located 40 miles south of Bishop) was scary with the Warrior I used to own.”

Greg put in a great deal of thought and flight time preparing to fly in to O26 this summer after the snow melts. Within a few weeks after the sale, he had flown to the east side of the Sierra and hired Geoff Pope, a CFI based at the Bishop, California airport (KBIH) for mountain flying instruction. He also took his 182 to the Big Bear City Airport (L35) to learn how it handles doing touch-and-goes at 6,732 feet msl. 

Big tires

During our initial conversations, I suggested that Greg set aside some cash to install a bigger nose tire since his 1966 182 didn’t come from the factory with the left and right firewall reinforcing channels. 

These channels, which reduce the odds of bending the firewall, can be retrofitted to all 1962 through 1970 aircraft by incorporating Cessna service kit SK182-44C in accordance with single engine service letter SE71-5. The kit had not been installed on Greg’s airplane. Cessna installed the channels at the factory beginning in early 1970 with Serial No. 182 60291. (For more information on firewall reinforcement, see Steve’s Q&A column in the January 2018 issue of Cessna Flyer. —Ed.)

I told Greg that his 182J was a good airplane and that it could safely operate out of the strip by his cabin if he factored in variables such as winds aloft, density altitude, weight and balance and was prudent about risk management. 

We decided that the most immediate step in converting his 182 for safely flying into high-altitude unimproved strips like the one near his cabin was to install bigger tires. 

 

Nose fork upgrade

The standard sized nose tire for 182s like Greg’s is a 5.00-5 tire with a 6-ply rating. During my search for bigger tire solutions, I found that the Cessna parts manual does show the parts for what’s called a Heavy-Duty Nose Gear installation for a 6.00-6 tire, but it requires a different hub and nosegear barrel assembly. 

During Greg’s research, an acquaintance suggested that a Cessna 310 nosegear strut and fork would work. 

Due to the time and expense of searching out parts and approval for the installation of surplus or salvage parts, we decided to seek the advice of Jim Hammer at Airglas Engineering in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Airglas sells an STC-approved large nosegear fork that can be installed on all existing nose landing gear barrels. Large nose forks are available for Cessna singles from the 150 through the 207 and for Piper singles including PA-28-140 through -235, and PA-32-260 and -300. The kit includes the large fork, a new axle and a new strut block. 

The Airglas website contains drop-down menus for each approved model. Topics include pictorial installation instructions, EASA approval docs, STC docs and detailed step-by-step installation instructions.

Greg and I liked what we heard from Airglas and placed an order with Hitchcock Aviation in Star, Idaho. They assembled all the needed hardware, STCs and installation instructions before shipping the package to Greg. 

Jesse Bennett, a local A&P, removed the front strut assembly and disassembled it. A machinist cut the strut tube in accordance with the Airglas instructions and installed the mounting block on the strut. Next, the fork was bolted on and an 8.00-6 6-ply tire and new tube were mounted on a new Cleveland 40-75D wheel assembly. The nosegear strut was reassembled and serviced.

That took care of increasing the footprint of the nose tire. What about the mains?

 

Working on the mains

The nosewheel assembly, two new heavy-duty double-puck black anodized brake assemblies (Alaskan Bushwheel Part No. 30-52N) and the installation and Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) manual were purchased from AirFrames Alaska. Installation approval for the wheels and brakes is by Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SA02231AK held by F. Atlee Dodge in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Greg bought 8.50-6 tires and new tubes for the main landing gear. Parts and approval costs totaled just under $6,000. The strut modification, the installation of the new larger brakes, the block and fork, and the new tires and tubes all happened over the course of one day with hours to spare. 

The new landing gear parts add about 25 pounds to Greg’s aircraft empty weight. The bigger tires and beefier gear also increase drag—so he won’t see the normal 135-knot cruise speeds. But he will be spending more weekends with his family in the mountains; not a bad exchange.

The larger tires provide around 4 more inches of ground clearance and a larger tire footprint. The increased “float” of the larger nose tire drastically reduces the odds of nosegear (and firewall) damage due to uneven runway surfaces. 

After May, when all the snow has melted and the “runway” has dried out, I expect to see Greg gently settling his mother into the copilot seat of his “mountain goat” 182. Next stop: a cabin high up in the Sierras. 

Greg bought an airplane that fit his mission’s needs—and then modified it to increase utility and safety. As a result, he can continue to devote the time needed to care for his contracting customers and spend more “cabin” time with his family. Isn’t that what airplanes are for?

 

Know your FAR/AIM and check with your mechanic before starting any work.

Steve Ells has been an A&P/IA for 44 years and is a commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. Ells also loves utility and bush-style airplanes and operations. He’s a former tech rep and editor for Cessna Pilots Association and served as associate editor for AOPA Pilot until 2008. Ells is the owner of Ells Aviation (EllsAviation.com) and lives in Templeton, California, with his wife Audrey. Send questions and comments to

 Resources

DIFFERENTIAL CYLINDER COMPRESSION TESTERS

Aircraft Tool Supply Company
 
Eastern Technology Corp.
 
VA-400 RIGID USB BORESCOPE 
Oasis Scientific, Inc.
 
NOSE FORK AND OTHER LANDING GEAR UPGRADES 
Airglas Engineering 
 
Hitchcock Aviation, LLC
 
HEAVY-DUTY BRAKE ASSEMBLIES 
AirFrames Alaska
 
STC SA02231AK 
F. Atlee Dodge
 

FURTHER READING

Publication M-0, “Maintenance Manual: Standard Practice for Spark Ignition Engines”
Continental Motors Group
 

MAGAZINE EXTRAS

FAA Advisory Circular AC 43.13-1B
“Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices – Aircraft Inspection and Repair”
 
Cessna Single Engine Service Letter SE 71-5
CessnaFlyer.org/forum under “Magazine Extras”
Friday, 03 August 2018 10:03

The “One-off” Cessna 620

Written by

In its glory days, it seems Cessna never met a niche it didn’t want to fill. The company started post-World War II civilian production with the two-seat 140, then added the simplified 120, then came the four-seat 170, then the 180, the 310, the 172 and the 182. 

The Cessna 175—and later, the Hawk XP—were created to fill the narrow space between the 172 and 182. (The Hawk XP is featured in this issue of Cessna Flyer on Page 42. —Ed.) Faster and slower, retractable and fixed gear, pressurized and not, twin and single, conventional and tricycle gear, Cessna seemed determined to create an airplane for every mission and pilot profile. 

Given the multitude of models in Cessna’s lineup, it’s not entirely surprising that in 1956, Cessna sought to capture another market with the four-engine, pressurized Cessna 620. It was called the 620, because, you see, it was twice as much plane as the 310. 

Cessna management thought the time was right to introduce a plane that would provide more convenience for company executives than the airlines, but with more room and capability than the twin-engine aircraft of the day.

The 620 was introduced in 1956 and a single prototype was built. The aircraft was slated to sell for $375,000. 

However, timing is everything. Cessna was building a business-class piston aircraft just as the age of the business jet was taking hold. In 1957, Lockheed introduced the JetStar and in 1958, the North American Sabreliner was introduced. The highly successful Learjet 23 followed five years later. 

Despite Cessna’s heavy investment in promotion—including spending $25,000 to produce a film marketing the 620—the project was canceled. 

Don Powell, a Cessna employee who had been hired to recruit engineers for the 620 project, recalls the cancellation: “Every vestige of the 620 was to be abolished. Immediately. I had little plastic slide rules with ‘620’ on them, all kinds of gimmicks that I handed out in places... The story I got was that management was under heavy criticism by the stockholders for spending money on a model that had no chance of making money. So they took the plane, took out the engines and ran a bulldozer over the whole thing.”

Of course, Cessna would go on to produce its own line of business jets. The Cessna Citation families of aircraft comprise the largest business jet fleet in the world today.

Jennifer Dellenbusch is president of the Cessna Flyer Association. Send questions or comments to .

Sources: Wikipedia.com, “The Legend of Cessna,” by Jeffrey L. Rodegen, Write Stuff Syndicate, 2007.

Cessna’s pressurized Skymaster has a number of STCs developed by Jack Riley, of Riley Rocket fame. Cessna Flyer recently talked to Skymaster authority Bill Crews to get a brief history of the various P337 conversions.

Entrepreneur, innovator and master salesman Jack M. Riley came to the airplane business only after retiring from his first career in blueprinting. By 1962, Riley had been assigned the patent for an Engine Supercharging Apparatus, and it would prove to be one of his most important contributions to General Aviation.

“Jack Riley called me around 1988, maybe ’89,” recalled Bill Crews, owner of Skymasters International. “He did conversions for all kinds of different aircraft, and he was looking for a Skymaster.”

The turbocharged engines on the P337s were known to run hot. “His first mod [for the 337] was an engine intercooler system, and he needed an aircraft to test it on,” Crews explained, “so he bought an airplane from me. It was a P337 with 225 hp.” 

Riley’s testing worked, and he was able to secure his intercooler STC for the P337. Riley soon began doing partial conversions to P337s at his California facility.

The Skyrocket is born

Never satisfied, Jack Riley was back on the phone to Crews. “He was getting tired of doing partial conversions installing his intercooler modification and a STOL kit and wanted a total conversion,” he explained. 

“I helped him with finding derelict aircraft—by derelict, I mean they had low total time, all logs, zero corrosion and no damage history—but he didn’t care about engine times, paint and interior, because he stripped them to the fuselage, starting over.”

For the P337 conversions Riley International was creating, Jack Riley added the same Horton STOL kit as he used on the Riley Rocket conversion for P210s, and also came up with a metal panel. “The original plastic overlay would vibrate because it never seemed to fasten on correctly,” Crews said. 

“A metal panel is so much nicer because the instruments are actually attached. Everybody hated that plastic panel, but Riley was the first one to do away with it. It was a great upgrade.”

“One very big thing he did was soundproofing all of his aircraft,” said Crews. He also upgraded the radios to state-of-the-art and put in an S-TEC 65 autopilot. “After a couple of years he came up with pressurized mags and [an] inflatable door seal,” Crews explained. 

Riley marketed his creation as the Skyrocket. The paint scheme for these 337s was the same as what Riley was doing on the P210 Riley Rockets. “But he still didn’t have the air conditioning that customers wanted,” Crews pointed out.

“One customer did come [to see Jack] and he had developed his own air conditioning system for his personal P337,” said Crews. “Jack and the customer worked out a deal: if Jack would do certain mods on the customer’s airplane, they could work out a deal on this owner’s air conditioning design.”

“Jack then went about getting the STC for the air conditioning system, which he added to his future Rocket conversions,” said Crews.

“So, I’d sell these P337s to Jack, and Jack was turning these things out. We sold about 20 to 25 over two or three years. Pricing started at $225,000 in 1989ish, then up to $250,000, then $275,000.” 

“The last one he sold with the 225 hp engines was in 1993 or 1994 I believe, and the cost was $425,000 or more,” Crews said.

The Super Skyrocket

“Then Jack Riley called me one day—he had himself a turbo 310 hp Skymaster, not pressurized, which he had bought at a government auction for $50,000. Only Jack Riley could get a deal like that,” Crews joked.

He then added, “I’m surprised he didn’t talk them in to giving it to him!”

“I can’t say what the previous owner was using it for, but it seems he was hauling something the U.S. government wasn’t happy with him hauling,” he said. This aircraft was Riley’s test bed for the 310 hp Riley Super Rocket. 

“Riley got that 310 hp conversion approved, and started doing the Super Skyrocket in about 1994, ’95,”said Crews. There were over 300 changes in the Super Skyrocket, according to Gene Smith in “The Faster Mixmaster,” published in US Aviator in April 1994. 

The Super Skyrocket was the sixth 300 mph aircraft in Riley’s Rocket series. These Cessna P337s were the fastest of them all, with an additional 85 hp per engine, three-blade props, a 2,500 fpm rate of climb—and higher fuel consumption to match. 

“He sold 10 or 12 of those, and they were doing pretty good,” Crews said. “Then Jack Riley had a stroke, and then another.” Riley was partially paralyzed and unable to continue working. 

“Now, you have to understand, Jack was Riley International; the company stayed open [after its founder became ill] but sales fell off.” 

The company declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California in 1996, and in 1997, SuperSkyrocket LLC bought all of the STCs. (These Riley STCs are now held by Tim Kasper of Kasper Industries. —Ed.) 

“Riley had a real good product, but by the mid- to late 1990s, it was all over,” Crews said.

“The Super Skyrockets are rare; I sold one this year—there are maybe 20 Skyrockets and maybe another 10 Super Skyrockets still flying in the United States. The value has come down quite a bit, as these are now older conversions.” 

Riley Rockets today

Bill Crews, along with Hank and Matt Kozub at Aircraft Sales, Inc., have developed a newer P337 conversion product called the Rocket II. “We’re continuing what Riley did,” Crews explained. “We just do the 225 hp engines, and the concept has been 25 years in the making.”

The Rocket II conversion includes two remanufactured Continental TSIO-360-CB engines with a factory warranty plus new engine mounts and engine hose kits as well as overhauled turbochargers, wastegates and turbocharger controllers. The aircraft uses Riley’s intercooler system on both engines and includes pressurized magnetos. 

Two freshly overhauled props and governors are installed along with polished spinners. The aircraft has a four-color paint scheme and new stainless steel hardware is used all external fasteners. 

Inside, the aircraft offers leather seats, integrated headsets—and the best soundproofing available, the same level of noise reduction that Jack Riley was so fond of. 

The avionics package includes a Garmin GMA 340 audio panel with four-place stereo intercom and music input; one Garmin GTN 750 WAAS Nav/Com/GPS and one Garmin GTN 650 WAAS Nav/Com/GPS; as well as a Garmin 345 transponder. It also includes an S-TEC 55X autopilot and an engine monitor in its custom aluminum panel. 

“One T337 has been completed with a glass panel, and will probably be the way most new Rocket II conversions will be outfitted,” Crews explained. 

It took a lot of hard work by Jack Riley and his associates in order to transform stock Cessna aircraft into customized, high performance personal air transportation. 

Today, as far as remade Cessna 337s are concerned, Bill Crews, Hank Kozub, Matt Kozub and others are picking up where Riley left off. But they know they owe a debt to their predecessor. 

“Jack Riley was one of those guys in life,” Crews said. “One of those guys you are just glad to have had the privilege of knowing and working with.”

Sources: 337skymaster.org, AOPA.org, CessnaFlyer.org, Skymaster.com, TwinNavion.com. 

Special thanks to Bill Crews for his wealth of information and ready assistance, and to Herb R. Harney for posting the following helpful articles on the SOAPA forum: “What’s in a Name?” by Chuck Stewart. Air Progress, January 1996. “Riley Super Skyrocket” by Geza Szurovy. Private Pilot, November 1998. “The Faster Mixmaster” by Gene Smith. US Aviator, April 1994.

Heather Skumatz is production coordinator for Cessna Flyer. Send questions or comments to .

 

Resources

P337 CONVERSIONS AND INFORMATION

Skymaster International LLC

skymaster.com

 

Aircraft Sales, Inc.

therocket2.com

  

FOR ALL SKYMASTER OWNERS

Cessna Flyer Association

cessnaflyer.org

 

Skymaster Owners and Pilots Association (SOAPA)

337skymaster.org 

Friday, 27 April 2018 13:35

So Long/Hello Bill

Written by

January 2016

After more than a decade and a half of upgrades and flying adventures—many of them published in Cessna Flyer—contributing editor Charles Lloyd recently handed off his pampered 182 to a new owner. 

“There comes a time when two people sit down at a table to sign and exchange papers,” says aviation author Richard Bach.1 “Then an airplane, with all its logbooks and other important papers, flies away with a new owner.

“One thing that the previous owner never relinquishes,” Bach continues, “is the memories of flights in this wonderful flying machine.”

As I write this today, Bill, our pampered Cessna 182, has left his heated hangar at Lake Waltanna, Kan. (SN65) and headed east to a new home at St. Louis Downtown Airport (KCPS) in Cahokia, Ill.

So Long

During the last 16 years, Bill evolved from a homely 1966 Cessna 182 to a very nice IFR “get-you-where-you-need-to-go” airplane with many redundant systems.

Starting with obsolete King KX-170 radios and a transponder that worked most of the time, plus an inop autopilot and DME, the instrument panel layout was something that only a pinball game designer could love. Crazed acrylic made looking outside the aircraft a challenge… and let’s not even talk about the exterior paint condition.

Over a two-year period, new paint, a redesigned panel with three modes of panel lighting, and a new Garmin GNS 430, Stormscope and S-TEC autopilot transformed Bill into a magic carpet that traveled all over the United States.

After adding a GNS 530 GPS Nav/Com, WAAS, SiriusXM for weather, TIS-B traffic and altitude hold and a 252 hp engine upgrade, Bill became a dream airplane for any pilot. Today Bill has over 40 STCs and field approvals.

Recollections

Bill took me on trips to the four corners of the United States and to the Gulf of Mexico as well as to Wisconsin for Cessna Flyer Gatherings and EAA AirVenture. Some of my travels with Bill included a flight to one of my all-time favorite destinations, Jackson Hole, Wyo. and Grand Teton National Park (published in this magazine in March 2007).

I also wrote about my experiences at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla. (March 2008); the Legoland theme park in Winter Haven, Fla. (March 2012); the Cessna Flyer Gathering at Waupaca and EAA AirVenture (October 2012); a trip to Cody, Wyo. (February 2014); and a tour of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (April 2014).

Add to these all of my trips into Class B airspace in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York, Phoenix and Orlando—all were a great challenge (and a real kick!) to fly and fit in with the high-volume flow.

In addition to so many destinations, various weather challenges, new equipment and safety upgrades became worthwhile subjects for many other Cessna Flyer articles. (Members can log in to CessnaFlyer.org to read dozens of Charles Lloyd’s articles in the archives, including the popular three-part series “Avionics Bucket List.” Members can also reread features like “Look Inside Your Engine—from the Cockpit!” discussing the installation of an Insight G3 engine monitor and many other technology-focused stories. —Ed.)

Decision time

The day finally came when it was time to hand Bill over to another owner.

After reading “The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying and Selling a Plane” (Cessna Flyer, December 2014), I called to ask author Michael Leighton for his advice on where to advertise Bill for sale. Leighton asked me about Bill’s model year and equipment, and recommended Barnstormers.com as a good place to start.

Lo and behold, before I even had my advertisement written, I came across a wanted ad: a Cessna 182 buyer was looking for an aircraft similar to Bill. After exchanging emails and sending pictures of specific items and places on the airframe, the buyer had enough interest to see, touch and fly Bill.

A trip to St. Louis Downtown Airport (KCPS) soon followed, where Bill underwent a pre-purchase inspection and demonstration flight. This led to final negotiations, a sales agreement and a target delivery date.

Final voyage

The big day had arrived. I walked into the hangar and started loading a lot of items into the backseat and baggage area. Bill’s ever-present curiosity got the best of him and he starting asking questions.

“Hey Charles,” I heard. “What is all that stuff you’re loading in me? Those aren’t the normal items we take on our trips out of Waltanna.”

“Well, Bill,” I replied, “I am not flying you as much as I used to, and I found you a new home over in the St. Louis area.”

“Yeah, I wondered why that stranger in St. Louis was poking around my insides,” he said. “I guess now I know.”

“Yes,” I said aloud. “The new owner has purchased a hangar for you and he’s excited about adding some additional equipment to your avionics panel.

“He seems like a really nice guy,” I added.

So, off we flew to Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (KICT), formerly Wichita Mid-Continent, on our last flight together. The tower controller even commented that he understood this was Bill’s and my last flight together, which was nice.

After signing papers and checking with banks, Bill officially had a new owner. Hello

John Bradley, Bill’s new owner, comes from a similar mold as I do.

Bradley has a fascination for airplanes that goes back to early childhood when his father took him to the rooftop of the Tampa airport parking structure to watch the airplanes take off and land. A grandfather who flew a B-25 in World War II only added to his aviation interest.

Bradley’s activity in the Civil Air Patrol and Air Force ROTC put him on his way to a career as pilot with the U.S. Air Force and National Guard. These days, John Bradley is a first officer for a major airline and living his dream life.

He always harbored a yearning to own an airplane for personal travel in order to visit friends and family up and down the East Coast of the United States. Bradley wanted an aircraft that was reasonably fast, roomy and well equipped for IFR conditions, so he focused on a Garmin WAAS-equipped 182.

Bradley is also a Cessna Flyer Association member and enjoys Cessna Flyer magazine because it focuses on his personal flying interests.

After attending EAA AirVenture this year, he came back with tote bags of information on Garmin and Aspen glass panels, plus brochures on the many approaches to ADS-B. In addition to these plans, an immediate upgrade to the interior will finish off Bill’s cockpit in fine style.

My wife Sara was weepy as John prepared to fly Bill away, and she was concerned about how I would react. After owning Bill for 16 years and enjoying 2,000 hours of flying, I feel that there is a time to own and enjoy a particular airplane, and then there is a time to let go. This time had come.

Bill’s new owner reassured us that this ownership change is not the end of the book, it’s simply the end of one chapter—and the beginning of a new one.

John and Bill, may the sun always be over your shoulder and a tailwind your constant companion through blue skies for your future adventures.

 

1When author Charles Lloyd emailed to ask Richard Bach for proper attribution of his quote, Bach replied, “I remember writing a comment like that just a few months ago. But I have no idea now where it appeared.” If any CFA members can locate the work in which this passage was published, please email us at to enlighten us—and Mr. Bach.

Charles Lloyd has logged 10,000 hours since his first flying lesson in 1954. He worked for Cessna Aircraft for 16 years. Lloyd retired as captain of a Citation Encore Plus for a major fractional aircraft ownership company and recently sold his tricked-out 1966 Cessna 182, also known as Bill. Send questions or comments to .

 

Former owner and longtime enthusiast Kevin Moore takes a look at Peterson's Performance Plus 182 conversions old and new.

The white Cessna 182 glistened in the bright October sun. As I approached from the rear I noted the landing gear speed kit, and then the nose-mounted canard and three-blade propeller which revealed that this was not your father’s Skylane. The Kenai logo on the tail along with “300 hp fuel injection by Peterson” on the cowling further evinced something special.

“Climb aboard,” said Todd Peterson.

Todd’s wife Jo, who is his business partner—and like him, an accomplished aerobatic pilot—graciously granted me the copilot’s seat and relaxed in the back. I settled comfortably into the plush leather. The functional and luxurious cabin environment rekindled my memories. For more than a decade, I’d owned and flown a similar airplane from Peterson’s Performance Plus.

After a brief pulse of the boost pump, Todd brought the IO-550-D engine promptly to life. Multiple avionics displays put on their game faces and we taxied to El Dorado Municipal’s Runway 22. We had KEQA, the quintessential bucolic Kansas airport, to ourselves. Some disinterested cattle grazed placidly in a nearby pasture.

Preflight checks complete, Todd taxied onto 22 while advancing the throttle. The IO-550 was turbine smooth—I could hear it, but could barely feel it. With scarcely enough time to check instruments, we flew off between 35 and 40 kias in little more than 300 feet and accelerated smartly.

Passing through 50 knots just seconds later, Todd lowered the nose to a flat attitude and the Kenai levitated like an express elevator while we entered a steep bank well before midfield.

After retracting flaps, we climbed at well over 1,500 fpm in a surprisingly level attitude—at least 10 knots faster than VY. I briefly felt sharp discomfort in the center of my forehead.

“Todd,” I remarked incredulously, “I’ve had sinus pain before in a 182, but never in a climb!”

Skylane mods since the 1970s

The Kenai is the latest Cessna 182 modification offered by Peterson’s Performance Plus, Inc. The company’s story began in the late 1970s when the Petersons acquired the STC and tooling for the Wren 460 conversion of the Cessna 182 from the bankrupt original company.

The Wren achieved then-unheard-of STOL capabilities and slow flight maneuverability through use of full-span slotted flaps, moveable spoilers atop the wings (“Wren’s teeth”), and most notably a canard, the aft section of which is a control surface.

However, compared to the stock Skylane, the Wren suffered reduced 172-like cruise speed and payload, and was expensive to produce—compromises that proved too substantial for most owners.

Confronting these issues to ensure the company’s survival, the Petersons certified their 260SE/STOL (“260SE”) conversion through STC in 1987. Customers’ desire for greater speed was addressed through aerodynamic cleanup of the engine cowling and landing gear, along with a more powerful 260 hp fuel-injected IO-470-F engine.

The 260SE utilized the canard but retained the stock Cessna wing. Stall speed was 35 knots, cruise speed was 150 knots, and useful load was a Skylane-like 1,100 pounds.

The new design at once significantly improved the Skylane’s cross-country speed and range, cut runway required by at least half, and markedly enhanced rate of climb, stall resistance and slow speed maneuverability. Over the next 20 years the Petersons produced more than 400 260SE aircraft for customers worldwide.

The secret to STOL success

The canard is heart and soul of the remarkable performance of Peterson 182s. Bolted to the engine mount a few inches behind the propeller, its control surface moves in concert with the elevators (seven degrees down to one degree up) in a manner completely transparent to the pilot, providing additional pitch authority and relieving down-loads on the horizontal stabilizer.

The canard has little effect on speed or handling in cruise, but below about 65 knots the benefits become abundantly clear. The stall speed reduction to 35 knots is notable enough, but fails to describe the canard’s complete transformation of the Skylane’s flight characteristics. Loitering flight at 50 to 60 knots in a near-level attitude is a trifle even for inexperienced pilots.

Completely cross-controlled flight in this regime is utterly bereft of surprises, and trimmed, hands-off steep turns at 45 to 50 knots are easily done. The canard not only enables STOL operations but additionally confers responsive, safe handling at slow speeds in a flat attitude.

Two new 182 products

In 2006, perhaps a bit restless after 20 years producing the 260SE/STOL, Todd heeded the call of his Inner Backcountry Pilot and further modified the 260SE to tackle short, rough unimproved strips. He called the new aircraft “Katmai,” evoking the Alaska National Park and Preserve wilderness.

In addition to a number of enhancements to improve landing gear ruggedness, Peterson lengthened the wing by three feet using WING-X STOL from Air Research Technology, reducing stall speed to 31 knots and further shortening takeoff and landing distances by nearly 20 percent.

The final touch came in 2010 with certification of the 300 hp IO-550-D. The added horsepower reduced takeoff roll an additional seven percent and boosted rate of climb to at least 1,800 fpm for the newly-christened “King Katmai.”

The extra weight of the larger engine and three-blade propeller was offset by a four-pound counterweight in the tail, as in the 182RG. (The counterweight was part of a Service Kit issued by Cessna for installation with a three-blade propeller. —Ed.) The configuration was embraced enthusiastically by the backcountry pilot community, which snapped up King Katmais as fast as the Petersons could build them.

Still, the earlier success of the 260SE showed that many potential customers had no real desire to land on anything rougher than pavement or well-groomed turf. Rather, they valued the plane’s enhanced climb rate, stall resistance, slow speed safety and STOL capabilities, as well as its superior cross-country talents (i.e., speed and range).

Equipping the 260SE with the IO-550-D—a simple “drag-and-drop” exercise—seemed the next logical step. Todd and Jo thus introduced the Kenai in late 2014 and its performance has more than lived up to expectations.

Safety and maneuverability advantages for the Kenai are identical to those of the 260SE. As with the King Katmai, the extra power confers a nearly 40 percent faster climb rate and proportionately reduces takeoff roll. Cruise speed is enhanced commensurate with the additional power and what may be a somewhat more efficient engine-propeller combination.

The Petersons advertise 156 ktas at approximately 8,000 feet, 75 percent power, rich-of-peak-EGT (ROP), consuming 16.5 gph. Importantly, the fuel injected IO-550 enables lean-of-peak (LOP) operation, greatly enhancing efficiency and range at the expense of only a few knots cruise speed.

When cruising LOP, 152 ktas is cited, burning approximately 13 gph. This latter figure is especially noteworthy: the Kenai’s portfolio of modifications has increased the stock Skylane’s real-world cruise by some 15 knots on the same fuel flow as the less-efficient carbureted O-470.

Flying the Kenai

We leveled off at 5,500 feet and set up for ROP cruise. On this day the Kenai was a couple of hundred pounds under MGTOW—despite the fine lunch we had just consumed at the Hutchinson, Kan. airport restaurant—and apparently in an exultant mood, effortlessly accelerating to and holding 159 ktas.

Todd then leaned to 13.5 gph (LOP) and we settled into an easy 152–153 ktas cruise. Only occasional light chop marred an otherwise pristine CAVU flight.

Entranced by the fall landscape passing beneath us and reflecting on my nearly 1,400 hours flying 260SE STOL and Katmai aircraft, I concluded that with the King Katmai and Kenai, the Petersons have now fully realized the potential of the 182 airframe in a way that neither the original manufacturer nor numerous other modifications could achieve.

We descended at the top of the green arc to a crosswind entry for left traffic, Runway 15 at KEQA. On downwind Todd reduced speed to 65 knots with 20 degrees flaps, then controlled descent with power. At 60 to 65 knots, everything happened in slow motion as we descended lazily.

On base I noted the same herd of cattle, pointed to the push-to-talk switch and asked, “May I?”

Todd nodded assent and I announced, “El Dorado Traffic, Kenai 58565; left base for 15, over the cows, full stop.”

Todd rolled out on final, then gradually reduced power and applied aft trim to achieve just below 50 knots. With plenty of lift reserve and pitch authority remaining for the roundout and flare, the Kenai alighted well below 40 knots like a butterfly with sore feet and we had to add power to taxi to the midfield turnoff.

Steady success

Peterson’s Performance Plus turns out a dozen or so airplanes a year, a pace that enables Todd and Jo to enjoy life and occasional flying to social gatherings with owners of their aircraft. The owner community is a very close-knit and loyal group; customers stay in touch with Todd and Jo out of friendship as well as for advice.

Todd suspects that Kenai sales may eventually equal or overtake those of the King Katmai. “The Kenai only uses about 60 feet more runway for takeoff or landing, and its 22 knots higher VNE makes cruise descents a simpler exercise,” he explained. “Install bushwheels on the Kenai and it’s also a very capable backcountry aircraft.”

Indeed, several King Katmai and Kenai owners have both standard gear and bushwheels, swapping one for the other as flying needs dictate.

For more than 30 years the Petersons have enjoyed steady success in both good times and bad. It is often said that if you want to make a million dollars in aviation, you’d better start with at least two million, but Peterson’s Performance Plus is a striking exception.

Todd and Jo Peterson offer a unique, “boutique” product with the performance and high quality that can command a premium price. Cost for Kenai/King Katmai aircraft can range from $200,000 to $480,000, depending on airframe and options/avionics selected. All 1970 to 1980 Cessna 182 (N, P and Q) airframes are eligible for both Kenai and King Katmai conversions.

With a high priority on customer service, and not sales volume—including the willingness to give up a sale if the product won’t meet a customer’s needs—the Petersons found that their customers have become their best advertisement.

Todd and Jo feel that there is little more to do to improve their products, and owners seem to agree. With the Kenai and King Katmai and a sound business philosophy, I judge it likely their success will continue for as long as they wish to build airplanes.


Kevin Moore recently retired from a 30-year career in biotechnology research and development. Moore is a 2,600-hour instrument rated private pilot and has nearly 1,400 hours in 260SE and Katmai aircraft. He spends retired life reading, writing, exercising, consulting, traveling and being a nuisance to his long-suffering wife, Tina. Send questions or comments to .


Resources

WING-X STOL – CFA supporter

Air Research Technology Inc.

wingxstol.com

 

Kenai and King Katmai upgrades

Peterson’s Performance Plus, Inc.

katmai-kenai.com

 

“Fresh Pick” STC (for 182P, 182Q)

Trolltune Corp.

trolltune.com

 

Further viewing

Kenai/King Katmai training videos

katmai-kenai.com/training.php

 

Further reading

Continental Motors Aircraft Engine Service Information Letter SIL98-9C

“Time Between Overhaul Periods” CessnaFlyer.org/forums under “Magazine Extras”

 

Peterson’s Performance Plus Forum

katmai-kenai.com/kwmoor/forums

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:06

Inspection Tips for the Cessna 182

Written by

 

Steve Ells, A&P/IA and Cessna expert, has decades of experience working on Cessna single engine aircraft. Here he lists the common problems and areas of concern on Cessna 182s for the third in our four-part series focusing on Cessna Skylanes.

 

The Cessna 182 is a tough, dependable airplane—but like all machines, there are areas that are problematic or components that should be improved or upgraded.

 Cessna Aircraft has developed a series of inspection guidelines for its 182 series airplanes. Those guidelines are titled “Continuing Airworthiness Program (CAP) Structural Inspections” and are available in SEL-05-01R1. 

 Cessna has also developed a list of inspections for its Supplemental Structural Inspection (SID) Program. The SID for the 1969-76 Cessna 182 is 208 pages long; it’s detailed. 

 Cessna’s CAP and SID programs focus on corrosion and metal fatigue cracking. Both of these programs along with Service Bulletin (SB) information and Service Kits (SKs) are available online. There’s a sign-in required but once you’re signed in, access is free.

 I’ve woven together hints from the manufacturer’s documents and from my personal experience to create a general inspection list. It’s focused on Continental-powered 182s built between 1962 and 1986, but should prove helpful to any owners of 182s produced before and after these dates as well. 

 NOTE: Some of the inspections described in this article can be carried out by an owner, but you’ll need your trusty mechanic by your side for others. 

 

Visual inspection

The first step in any aircraft assessment is a very detailed visual inspection.

 Stand back and look to see if the wingtips are the same distance from the floor, and that the tips of the horizontal stabilizers are equidistant from the floor. A couple of inches at the wingtips is acceptable, provided the floor is flat and the tires are equally inflated. More than a couple of inches’ difference is a sign to investigate further. 

 A cheap tool that can be used to detect gross airframe problems is a piece of string. Compare the distance from the outboard trailing edge of the left aileron to the leading edge of the left horizontal stabilizer to the same measurement on the right side of the airplane. They better be pretty close. 

 Look for skin wrinkling. Compare the appearance of the top wing skins on the left wing with the skins on the right wing.

 Check for skin distortion in the boot cowl skins aft of the firewall—skin distortion here is caused by a nosewheel hard landing. If you see any wrinkling, look for a bent firewall and bending of the tunnel parts aft of the firewall.

 Check for evidence of a new leading edge wing skin and/or skin distortion above the rear window near the inner end of the flap—you’re looking for evidence of a wing strike. The wing may be repaired (or changed) and look okay, but the fuselage damage hasn’t been repaired.

 Check for fuel leak stains at the fuselage above the door—fuel stains here indicate a leaking fuel bladder—and check for a fuel smell when the tanks are topped off. Both are signals that it’s time to change the fuel bladder.

 Check to determine if the inner end of each aileron is level (i.e., married) with the outer end of the flap when the control wheel is level—this is a preliminary check for proper rigging. Don’t be concerned if the outer end of the aileron doesn’t match the trailing edge of the wingtip.

 This visual once-over is meant to give you an initial impression, and can be used for any 182. Don’t be misled by shiny paint—you’re hoping to see a straight, no-damage airframe. 

 

AFT END OF THE AIRFRAME 

209 and 230 bulkheads

Let’s start looking closer at common problem areas with the airframe from back to front.

 The 209 and 230 bulkheads (209 and 230 inches aft of the datum) form the aft-most end of the fuselage. They are the mounting points for the horizontal stabilizer and the vertical stabilizer. The 230 bulkhead also provides a strong point for the aft fuselage tiedown. 

 Inspect for cracks around the upper left and upper right cutouts in the 209 bulkhead. If no cracks are found, it’s a good idea to break any sharp edges of the cutouts with a file and Scotch-Brite to reduce the possibility of cracking. 

 If cracks are found, bulkhead reinforcement kit SK182-46A is needed for repairs. Price is over $7,000.

 AD 72-07-09 mandates a check for loose bolts and cracks in the aft spar of the vertical stabilizer every 1,000 hours. Inspect for cracks in the forward fin spar using a dye penetrant method. This inspection should also be conducted on the aircraft after severe winds or a gusts encounter.

 Elevator torque flange rivet upgrade and outboard elevator rib strengthening

 Facing the front of the airplane, grab the trailing edges of the left elevator with the left hand and the trailing edge of the right elevator with the right hand.

 Push with one hand and resist movement with the other hand. Look and feel for movement between the two sides.

 If movement is found, the elevators must be removed and new, larger rivets installed in the flange-to-torque tube connection.

 SEB03-1 provides information on adding additional rivets to each elevator outboard rib.

 

Rudder/elevator interference

Move the elevator to the full up position while pushing the rudder to its left and right limits of travel. The rudder and elevator should not touch. If they do, check the travel and adjust the stops as necessary. 

 Let’s now go to the front of the airframe and under the cowling.

 

FRONT OF AIRFRAME AND UNDER COWLING

Spinner wear

Look for black aluminum oxide on the inner surface of the spinner, and for wear at the point where the spinner’s inner surface contacts the plastic forward spinner support bulkhead. 

 If wear is detected, make sure the wear is not more than 10 percent of the metal thickness. 

 If the spinner is airworthy, shim the bulkhead until the spinner-to-bulkhead screw holes are half-a-hole out of alignment; then use an awl to pull the spinner and bulkhead holes into alignment before starting screws. Pre-loading the bulkhead in this way prevents wear. 

 

Cowl snubber-engine induction balance tube wear

On earlier 182s, the engine cowlings were secured to the forward portion of the fuselage with cam lock-type fasteners. In 1973, Cessna introduced the “floating” cowling.

 A floating cowling is suspended on rubber shock mounts that are support mounted on the firewall. The idea was to prevent engine vibration from being transmitted to the passenger compartment. In order for the floating cowling system to work, all of the cowling shock mounts must be meticulously maintained.

 There’s also a rubber bumper installed at the front of the cowling to prevent the cowling from contacting the engine induction balance tube. This front rubber bumper is often missing.

 Cessna Service News Letter SNL87-28 applies.

 

Cowl flap hinge pin wear

Cowl flap hinges wear, especially the one that’s directly aft of the exhaust downpipe. 

 Hinge wear is easy to check: grab the flap and try to wiggle it. (We once got a 182 into the shop that didn’t have a right cowl flap anymore—it had fallen off in flight.) Cessna wants over $3,500 for a new cowl flap; a used serviceable one costs about $1,000.

 If the hinge is worn, it must be replaced. The street price for a new Cessna hinge is around $285. 

 Horsham Aviation Services in Australia has an STC kit to replace the hinged cowl flaps with a fixed flap, thereby eliminating the hinge wear problem. Tony Horsham said to mention you heard about the kit in Cessna Flyer and he will sell it to you at the 2015 price of $700 Australian dollars plus shipping.

 SE71-27-R1 suggests that loose rivets in the hinges can be replaced with 5/32-inch diameter rivets.

 

Lower forward bulkhead and wing strut fitting inspection

SEB95-19 and SID 53-12-02 detail the procedures to inspect the lower forward fuselage/wing strut fitting for cracks. I have seen an airplane with extensive intergranular corrosion in this area.

 

SEB95-19 and SID 53-12-02 detail the procedures to inspect the lower forward fuselage/wing strut fitting for cracks, and the author has seen an airplane with extensive intergranular corrosion in this area. The image above shows a very corroded forward door post/wing strut mount.

SK182-115 contains a reinforcement kit for the lower forward bulkhead and wing strut fitting. The kit sells for around $2,500.

 

Engine ground strap

The must be a ground strap between the engine and the engine mount. This is usually a woven wire flat strap with lugs on each end. I’ve seen this left off after an engine change.

 

Alternator support bracket AD and service kit

AD 79-25-07 requires the installation of an additional ground strap or the installation of an improved alternator mounting leg. SE79-58S1 and Service Kits SK182-52D and SK182-55A apply.

 

Firewall damage inspection

It’s not uncommon for a 182 to be landed nosewheel first—especially when there’s no baggage in the baggage compartment and heavy passengers in the pilot and copilot seats—and when it does, firewall, boot cowl and behind-firewall damage result.

 In mid-1970, starting with serial number 60291, Cessna beefed up the firewall with hat-section straps that run from the upper engine mounts down to the lower firewall.

 Service Bulletin SE71-5 provided information on a firewall reinforcement kit, SK182-44C, for 1961 through 1970 model 182s. 

 Carburetor air intake seal AD and flange/clip/duct inspection

AD 77-04-05 mandates a visual inspection of the rubber seals on the flange of the flexible duct where it clips to the carburetor air box. This old AD is often missed; SE76-18 applies.

 Above is an extreme example of a neglected engine inlet air duct and mounting.

 

The condition of the flexible duct/flange/clips are often ignored. This results in abnormal carb air box wear and increased likelihood of dirt ingestion into the engine.

 

Engine oil filter adapter AD

Cessna developed a screw-in oil filter adapter to replace the screw-in oil screen.

 AD 96-12-22 was issued, calling for an inspection for thread damage of the adapters. Thread damage occurred because the lock nut wasn’t torqued to the value called out in the installation instructions. (Read the AD closely; the screw-in oil filter adapters from Teledyne Continental Motors are NOT included in the AD.)

 If the threads are deemed good after the inspection, reinstall the adapter and torque the lock nut to 50 to 60 foot-pounds. Mark the position of the adapter, housing and nut with torque putty.

 Every time the oil filter is changed, inspect the torque putty for evidence of movement of the parts. The owner can sign off the continuing inspection part of the AD.

 A new oil filter adapter kit from Cessna is sold as SK210-160-2. Retail cost is around $1,800.

 Cessna bulletins SEB98-08 and SEB93-01R1 apply.

 

Engine mount rust

The engine mount must be inspected for rust. There should be heat shields (Cessna p/n 0750121) in place to deflect the heat.

Engine mount inspection.

 

The original Cessna heat shields weren’t overly durable, and McFarlane Aviation and other vendors have improved shields.

 If rust is found, it must be stopped and the area treated with high temperature paint. As a general rule when 10 percent of the thickness of the tube is damaged by rust, the mount must be removed for refurbishment or replacement.

 

Induction air filter ADs

AD 84-26-02 requires that paper-type induction air filters be retired after 500 hours time in service.

 Foam-type, replaceable-media induction air filters from Brackett are subject to three ADs. They are 81-15-03, 96-09-06 and 2002-26-03. 

 

Engine baffles and baffle seals’ condition

Sheet metal baffles, intercylinder baffles and flexible baffle seals comprise the cooling system for your engine.

 Unfortunately, not every little part and piece of the baffle system gets reinstalled after an engine change. Look for cracks, missing pieces and flexible baffle seals that are in poor condition.

 A very small tab located behind and inboard of the oil cooler (part number 0750152-1 or -3) is often missing.

 

Exhaust heat exchanger baffles

The 182 might have what looks like a muffler, but in reality it’s a heat exchanger designed to provide carburetor heat and exhaust pipe-heated air to the cabin.

 Using a strong flashlight, look up the downpipe for the condition of the internal cones.

 These cones must be in good shape; no waviness or missing pieces are permitted. If one of the cone parts falls out of position and blocks the downpipe, a serious power reduction will occur.

 

LANDING GEAR

McCauley wheels

Cessna installed McCauley wheels and brakes on many C-182s. Cessna Service Bulletin SE 74-8 notified owners that existing McCauley wheel and brake assemblies could be replaced with Cleveland wheels and brakes.

 SEB00-5-R03 and Service Kit 182-120D are the current bulletins and kits for the Cleveland wheel and brake change. I would check to see if you can find a good serviceable set of wheels/brakes from a salvage yard.

 Loose or worn nose strut torque links/bushings/bolts

Nosewheel shimmy is caused by an out-of-balance nosewheel/tire assembly or a deteriorated or worn nose tire. The effects can be lessened if the nosegear torque links, shims, bushings, bolts and shimmy damper are in tip-top, no-slop condition.

 Make absolutely sure the correct bolts and parts are used. Cessna service information is in SEB82-37R1.

 

Flat landing gear leg corrosion limits

The flat landing main landing gear legs were surface shot peened which resulted in a thin, tough surface layer.

 If the leg is permitted to rust through the shot peened layer, the gear leg strength is severely compromised. We’ve seen broken gear legs.

 Inspect for rust at the leg support structure and at the step. 

 

Landing gear leg U-clamps

I like to jack up a 182—the procedure is in the service manual—to determine if there’s any fore and aft and up-and-down play in the landing gear legs.

Prior to 1961, the main gear legs were secured with steel U-shaped clamps. These do break.

 

PASSENGER PROTECTION

Seatbelt/shoulder harness

I’m going to pound on this pulpit until my fingers are worn to the bone. Install shoulder harnesses. Cessna has kits: SK182-101B.

 B.A.S. sells four-point inertia reel kits; Alpha Aviation sells a variety of three-point fixed and inertia reel kits and Wag-Aero sells PMA approved kits (both three-bar slide and Y-style shoulder harnesses).

 

Seat rails AD and seat clips/rollers inspection 

AD 87-20-03R1 and SE83-06 call for repetitive inspections of the seat rails for wear, hole elongation and security.

 AD 2011-10-09 and SEB11-4-R01 adds inspections to the existing AD. The AD requires “requires repetitive inspections and replacement of parts, if necessary, of the seat rail and seat rail holes; seat pin engagement; seat rollers, washers, and axle bolts or bushings; wall thickness of roller housing and the tang; and lock pin springs.”

 This is a no-joke serious AD. The seat rails, and all seat attach components and hardware, must be inspected and replaced if wear is found.

 The best source of seat track inspection tools, rails and seat parts is McFarlane Aviation.

 

Secondary seat stops

In order to prevent seat movement during maneuvers and during takeoffs, Cessna stressed the need for secondary seat stops in 182s. Cessna has been printing service information related to secondary seat stops for over 25 years; have you installed a secondary seat stop system?

 SEB10-07, SEB10-1 and Service kits SK195-11, -12, -13, 14, SK210-174B and SK210-175B, -177, -178 and SK337-77 and -78 are current.

 SEB07-5-R05 also addresses secondary seat stop installations.

SEB07-08 calls for the inspection of certain (505590-401) secondary seat stop reel assemblies.

 SEB89-02R2 and SK172-94D and SK172-102A

 Secondary seat stops are cheap insurance.

 

Metal-to-metal seatbelts and PMA identification tags

NL81-06 Part 91 revision requires all seatbelts to have metal-to-metal ends and all seatbelts must have visible and readable PMA identification tags. 

 

INTERIOR ITEMS

Copilot’s brake linkage/fuel line clearance

I’ve seen 182s where the linkage attached to the forward end of the copilot’s left brake pedal rubs against the aluminum fuel line just aft of the firewall.

 Inspect and if necessary, gently bend the fuel line to provide clearance.

 

Rudder pedal bearing blocks and support structure

Cessna used aluminum bearing blocks to support the steel rudder pedal tubes under the rudder pedals. These blocks, due to moisture from pilot’s shoes and contact with the steel tubes, are prone to deterioration due to corrosion.

 New bearing blocks have the same part number but are constructed of high-impact plastic.

 The support structure under the bearing blocks is often cracked and deformed. Look closely with a mirror.

 While you’re down there with your mirror and flashlight, take a look at the following items, too.

 

Brake master cylinder attach brackets

The left brake master cylinder lower support brackets (p/n 0411549 and 0411550) were originally made of aluminum. It’s very common for these small brackets to be bent and deformed. New ones (same part number) are steel.

 

Cabin skin panel corrosion inspection and repair

Beginning in the 1970s until the end of 1986, Cessna glued vibration dampening material (lead vinyl) on the inner skin panels. Unfortunately, the glue used was hygroscopic and held moisture against the skin panels.

 Moisture is the most common electrolyte in aluminum corrosion and the result is localized corrosion. In some cases, the corrosion has eaten completely through the aluminum skins.

 Remove the fuselage interior side panels and look for loose dampening panels. SNL 93-03 has more details.

 

Airframe corrosion overhead and behind wing root headliner

Since Cessna didn’t apply any primer or paint to the interior of 182 airframes until it restarted production in 1998, airframe corrosion is common in older Cessnas.

Unzip the headliner and look for corrosion. This expanse of bare metal is one of the first places to corrode and is a good gauge for determining the extent of airframe corrosion.

 If the corrosion in the overhead is serious, it’s a sign that an extensive inspection must be conducted. Look for corrosion in the wing roots where the steel wire in flexible cabin air ducting hoses contacts aluminum parts.

 Look closely at the forward and aft wing mount fittings, and at the wing strut/forward door bulkhead fittings under the floor.

 

Aileron control cables 

Inspect the left and right aileron direct cables (the ones from the yokes to the aileron bellcranks), especially at the point where the cables are re-routed 90 degrees over pulleys just aft of the firewall and at the bottom and top of the left and right forward door frames. There’s some evidence that a broken aileron cable caused a fatal accident. 

Disconnect the cable at the aileron bellcrank, and after the 90-degree bend section of the cable is pulled off the pulley, run a rag over the section that has been on the pulley. If the cable has any broken strands, it needs to be replaced.

 McFarlane sells replacement cable kits.

 

Ignition switch inspection and AD

AD 76-07-12 calls for repetitive checks on Bendix ignition switches to test whether the switches completely ground out the magnetos when turned to the off position.

 AD 93-05-06 applies to ignition switches made by ACS. It calls for disassembly and lubrication of certain switches and the installation of a diode on the starter solenoid.

 SEB92-29 calls for a check to see if the key can be removed when the switch is between “R” and “Off” positions. Replace the switch if the key can be removed.

 

FUEL SYSTEM

Fuel caps

182s with bladder-type fuel tanks (1956 through 1978 182Q) need to have leakproof fuel caps installed. The original flush-type fuel caps seemed like a good idea but due to corrosion of the sealing surface of the collar and lack of maintenance on the sealing O-rings, these caps eventually act more like water funnels than fuel caps.

 

Cessna issued a large number of service information related to fuel caps for both the bladder and the integral fuel tank airplanes including:

SE77-06R2 Vented fuel caps

AD79-10-14R1 Install vented caps 

SE80-59 and SE80-59S1 and SK182-65 Sealing of flush-type fuel caps

SE82-34 and SK182-65 Flush fuel caps seal testing procedure

SEB92-27 and SK182-86C Reduced diameter caps for integral tanks

SEB92-27 Reduced diameter vented fuel cap

 

I strongly recommend that aftermarket Monarch fuel caps be installed—unless the small red-tabbed Cessna caps with the raised sealing lip are already installed.

 

Fuel bladder AD and inspection

In 1984 AD 84-10-01 was issued; it was later revised. The current AD is 84-10-01R1. This AD was written because there was a series of engine power interruptions soon after takeoff in fuel bladder-equipped Cessnas.

Instead of addressing the cause of the problem—leaking fuel caps—the AD required owners to determine if there were diagonal wrinkles in the bottom surface of the bladders. Water, let in by the leaking caps, would “hide” behind the wrinkles while the tanks were being sumped.

The owner, thinking his tanks were full of good fuel, would take off. When the water jumped over the wrinkle it would be ingested by the engine causing a power loss.

The AD instructed owners that found wrinkles to drain the tanks to determine if the fluid behind the wrinkle was greater than three fluid ounces.

If more than three ounces were found, the AD required that a placard be placed on the panel calling for a procedure where the tail was lowered to within five inches of the ground and the wings moved up and down (a total of 10 inches up and 10 inches down, at least 12 times; the famous “rock and roll” preflight procedure) until no more water was being sumped out of the tank.

The AD mandated a modification to the fuel tank sump drain valve on each tank. The details of this procedure are in SE 84-09R2; modification kits SK206-24 and -25 sell for around $800 each.

The AD also required the installation of small diameter raised-lip fuel caps (SK182-85B) or an alternate method of compliance. The Monarch-style caps mentioned above are the best solution.

 

Wing tank fuel vent inspection

SEB99-05 provides a procedure to check if the fuel system vent check valve is operating correctly.

 

Uneven fuel feeding and wing vent tube position

It’s common for 182 pilots to complain that the fuel doesn’t feed evenly from the left and right tanks when the selector is in the “both” position. This is due to the single-vent system on the aircraft—a single tube is mounted behind the upper end of the left wing strut.

This vent delivers slightly pressurized ram air to the outboard end of the left tank. This pressure usually pushes fuel through the vent interconnect tube to the right tank.

Only after enough fuel is used to expose the vent openings (at the forward upper inboard end of each tank) will the air pressure on the surface of the fuel in both tanks be the same.

Cessna Service information SE81-08 addresses venting adjustments. Service manuals also call out the precise placement of the under-wing vent tube.

 

ADDITONAL AIRFRAME ITEMS

Flap support arm wear inspection

SEB95-03 calls for the inspection of the flap support arm (tracks) for wear and for the installation of thin washers to prevent wear. Cessna service kit SK180-44 contains parts.

 McFarlane Aviation sells flap roller parts kits.

 

Aileron balance weight AD and hinge pin AD and inspection

AD83-22-06 requires a one-time inspection of the aileron hinge pins; SE83-18 is the Cessna Service Bulletin for this inspection.

 There have been reports of loose aileron balance weights. Check the heads of the rivets securing these weights.

 

Elevator trim tab actuator and hinge inspection

The service manual provides a maximum travel of the trailing edge of the elevator trim tab of ¼ of an inch. The most common causes of excess travel are worn hinges and/or worn bolts in the linkage from the actuator.

 This list of items covers most of the critical items on the Cessna 182 airframe that require inspection, attention, and sometimes, replacement. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this list focuses on 1962 to 1986 Cessna Skylane airframes. 

 

Know your FAR/AIM and check with your mechanic before starting any work.

 

Steve Ells has been an A&P/IA for 44 years and is a commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. Ells also loves utility and bush-style airplanes and operations. He’s a former tech rep and editor for Cessna Pilots Association and served as associate editor for AOPA Pilot until 2008. Ells is the owner of Ells Aviation (EllsAviation.com) and lives in Templeton, Calif. with his wife Audrey. Send questions and comments to editor

 

Resources

Further reading

Continuing Airworthiness Program (CAP) and Supplemental Structural Inspection (SID) 

support.cessna.com

 

Seat track inspection tools, rails and seat parts – CFA supporter

McFarlane Aviation Products

 

Replacement seatbelt/harnesses – CFA supporters

Alpha Aviation, Inc.

 

B.A.S. Inc.

 

Wag-Aero

  

Aftermarket fuel caps

Monarch Premium Cap System
by Hartwig Aircraft Fuel Cell Repair

 

182 Cowl Flap Modification Kit

Horsham Aviation Services

horshamaviation.com.au

 

From the November 2016 Cessna Flyer magazine

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 09:27

Flying the CESSNA 182

Written by

by Steve Ells

Former 182 owner and longtime A&P/IA Steve Ells offers many practical suggestions for operating a Cessna Skylane in this last “leg” of his four-part series on the 182.

“The pilot is no more than the manager of this tool and its champion. The pilot is the inspiration for flight and the airplane is the vehicle.”

—Richard Coffey, 

 “The Skylane Pilots Companion”

The Cessna 182 is a damn fine airplane. I owned N777LJ, a 1966 Cessna 182J, for about four years. 

While the recommendations in this article may vary (at times, widely) from those written in both the engine and airframe manufacturer’s manual and handbooks, I wrote them based on my own experiences, the experiences of other very seasoned pilots and owner-operators, the writings of Richard Coffey in “The Skylane Pilots Companion” and John Schwaner in “Sky Ranch Engineering Manual,” the research of trained specialists, and suggestions from experienced C-182 owner and pilot Mike Jesch.

Weight and balance

Although 182s have wide CG envelopes and can carry a pretty good load, they all tend to be nose-heavy. Always be aware of the possibility of an out-of-limits forward CG, especially after any engine upgrade and when taking off with full fuel and big folks in the front seats. 

In early models (before 1965), it was not uncommon to run out of up elevator power in the flare for landing; this resulted in touching down nosewheel first, which, if rough enough, would result in a bent firewall. In 1965, Cessna extended the horizontal stabilizer and elevator span by 10 inches.

I, being a mechanic and a man that believes “if you have it with you, it won’t be needed,” always tied down my 60-pound toolbox in the baggage compartment, especially when I was flying by myself. 

I never ran out of elevator, and was always comforted by having my tools available—although I can’t remember ever needing them during my 182 time. 

Preflight

It’s wise to create an airplane-specific checklist that better reflects the equipment installed on your airplane. For instance, if aftermarket speed brakes have been installed, a pre-takeoff operational check is not on the Cessna checklist in the owner’s manual or POH. 

Every engine has a “sweet spot” oil level. After some experimentation, I found that the sweet spot for oil was nine quarts in the Continental O-470-R engine in my 182. Any more than that would blow out of the engine breather tube and end up on the belly of the airplane. 

I was very wary of water egress into the bladder-type fuel tanks of my 1966 182. In my opinion, every bladder-equipped Cessna 182 owner must take every step possible to prevent water from entering the fuel tanks. This means replacing the original flush-style fuel caps with either the small Cessna raised flange two-tab caps, or the Monarch-style caps.

If you suspect that water may have gotten into the bladder, don’t hesitate to do what’s commonly known as the “rock-and-roll” preflight. This procedure is detailed in AD 84-10-01R1 and calls for the pilot to lower the tail to within five inches of the ground and move one wing or the other up 10 inches and then down 10 inches a minimum of 12 times. 

This technique is supposed to cause any water to flow to the wing sump drain valve. Drain the sumps before you raise the tail. You’ll need to recruit some help.  (More about Monarch fuel caps and the rock-and-roll procedure can be found in part three of Ells’ series published in the November 2016 issue. —Ed.)

During walkaround, grab the trailing edge of each cowl flap and try to wiggle it. You don’t want much back-and-forth movement since this indicates a worn flap hinge. New cowl flaps are very expensive; cowl flap hinges, not so much. 

 Cessna Skylane

Cessna Skylane

Cessna Skylane

Cessna Skylane

Engine management

First off, treat your engine with care. Change the oil at 25- to 35-hour intervals or every four months, whichever comes first. Install a full flow oil filter and change the filter at every oil change. 

It’s been proven that fine wire spark plugs do save a little money in the long run and are more resistant to lead fouling, so if you can afford them, use them. 

An all-cylinder engine monitor is a valuable tool that aids management tasks: when setting power, when leaning, and during engine troubleshooting and problem diagnoses. 

Learn how many primer shots and what amount of throttle it takes to get your big Continental or Lycoming to come to life… gently! Just about the worst thing you can do for either of these two engines is to start them with a power setting that results in the engine roaring; gentle starts are key.

After start, set the power to get 1,000 rpm. That speed will allow for a gradual warm up and get the oil splashing around inside the engine.

After the engine stabilizes, reach over and pull your mixture control out to lean the engine. Pilots who learn to limit excess fuel will reduce the buildup of combustion chamber lead deposits, save fuel and won’t induce rapid combustion chamber temperature changes. 

Partially burned fuel that is pushed past the compression rings into the engine case is one of the causes of sludge and carbon formation.  

Always lean on the ground—idling with a rich mixture is the quickest way to foul spark plugs. That’s because the lead scavenging additive in 100LL is only active at higher combustion temperatures (900° F or higher). Since the additive doesn’t work at lower temperatures, leaning is the only way to reduce lead fouling at lower power settings. 

Continental bulletins advise preheating an engine that has been exposed to air temperatures of 20° F (-6.6° C) or lower. (See Continental service information letter SIL03-1 for more information. —Ed.) 

Lycoming service instruction SI 1505 says preheating is required at temperatures below 10° F (–12° C) except for -76 engines, where the low limits are 20° F (–6.6° C). 

Many pilots believe both of these temperatures are too low, so my advice is to start preheating whenever temperatures drop below 40° F (4.4° C). Preheating reduces wear. As engines age, preheating becomes more important to reduce engine stresses during start.

Pay particular attention to the engine during the first start of the day. If there’s any hiccupping, or if one or more cylinders are slow to pick and start firing, it’s time to check for a sticky exhaust valve. 

A slightly sticking valve needs to be looked at immediately, since a valve that sticks in flight will create a very noisy (read: expensive) and potentially dangerous situation. Sticking valves occur more often in Lycoming engines than Continentals. 

Wait until the oil temperature gets to 100° F (38° C) before doing your pre-takeoff “mag check” runup. It’s perfectly okay to do the mag check with the mixture leaned—you can’t hurt the engine. If it’s too lean, the engine will slowly lose power; just push the mixture in slightly and continue the checks detailed on the checklist. 

There should be an rpm drop-off for each magneto; if there’s no drop-off, it means the magneto is not being grounded during the test and that the mag is “hot” at all times. Do not pull it through by hand if you suspect it’s hot. 

During the propeller governor check, don’t let the rpm drop down more than 100 rpm. This test is to determine if the governor works; a couple of 100 rpm drops is all that’s needed. Do three or four of these small drop tests if the oil is cold.

Takeoff

Please don’t jam the throttle to the firewall at the start of your takeoff run—especially if you’re taking off from a long runway. Cylinder cooling airflow is very slight below 40 mph. It’s good practice to advance the throttle to mag check rpm after brake release, do a final check on engine parameters and, if every indication is in the green, gradually add full power. 

Sometime during the full-power run on the runway or soon after takeoff, look to see where the needle on the dial of the EGT gauge is (or, if you have an engine monitor, what temperature is showing on one of your six cylinders). Make a note about the needle position and/or EGT temp and which cylinder the number is from. 

That needle position or temperature on that same cylinder is your target when leaning before takeoff at a high altitude airport. Once you get used to what it takes to lean to that number, you’ll be able to set the proper takeoff mixture during high altitude takeoffs without the need to conduct a high rpm run up prior to takeoff.

Don’t do partial-throttle takeoffs. The carburetor and fuel injection systems in 182s are designed to provide extra fuel flow while at full throttle to provide cooling and prevent detonation during high power operations.

All of the engines installed in all Cessna 182 models are approved for continuous full power operations. There are no engine operating limitations except for temperature and pressure limits. However, Cessna manuals suggest that power be reduced to approximately 75 percent, 23 inches and 2,400 rpm during cruise climb. Use the power setting you need to fly safely.

Mike Jesch, who flies heavies for a 

living, flies the heck out of his P. Ponk-engine 182. He likes to set 10 degrees of flap for takeoff. He explains that “the rotation and lift off just feel better and more natural to me.” 

Cessna Skylane 

Cruise 

Unless noise is a concern, there’s no reason to reduce power soon after takeoff. Most of the noise comes from the propeller so if you need to reduce noise to be a good neighbor, reduce the rpm. 

Check temperatures during climb. Although the engine manufacturers cite very high limits for CHTs (500° F for Lycoming; 460° F for Continental), it can be wise to set 400° F as an upper limit. My recommendation of 400° F is based on research that shows the aluminum used in cylinder heads begins to degrade at temperatures over 400. As I remember, these effects are cumulative.

Tools to reduce and control CHTs are: (1) reduce the angle of climb to increase airflow over the cylinders; (2) open the cowl flaps and (3) and richen the mixture. 

Once at cruise altitude, there are a couple of tricks used by Continental-engine 182 pilots that have proven to better atomize the fuel in the induction system and better mix it with the airflow. This lessens the spread between the leanest and the richest mixtures across all six cylinders as indicated by EGTs. 

The first trick is to add a bit of carburetor heat. Since my 182 came equipped with a carburetor air temperature (CAT) gauge, I pulled the carb heat knob aft until the gauge read 50° F (10° C). 

Jesch, who flies a 182 with an O-470-50 engine modified by P. Ponk, sets his carb heat to 45° F. 

The second trick for the Continental crowd is to pull the throttle aft enough to get it off the full-in position; not enough to reduce manifold pressure (MAP), but enough to make it “twitch” a little bit. This cocks the throttle butterfly and creates a turbulent airflow upstream of the main discharge fuel nozzle, which also aids in fuel/air mixture mixing and distribution. 

Jesch, who flew us to AirVenture and back in 2016, uses a very simple power management plan. The throttle is left wide open (except for the twitch) and rpm is adjusted to the top of the green band. Using this scheme and the two tricks outlined above, he can successfully lean to 11 gph in cruise at 65 percent power. 

Lycoming-powered 182s are all fuel-injected, so these tricks are not applicable. GAMIjectors will reduce the differential between fuels flows across each cylinder. This will let Lycoming owners take full advantage of lean-of-peak mixture settings, if desired. 

According to the manufacturer’s printed bulletins, Continental engines can be leaned to peak EGT at 65 percent power and below; Lycomings at 75 percent power and below. 

Cessna Skylane 

Descent and landing

Cessna owner’s manuals and POHs advise pilots to adjust the mixture as needed during descent and to move the mixture control to full rich prior to landing. In my experience, there’s no reason to adjust any control except the throttle during descent. 

As the power is reduced, the prop governor will continue to control prop rpm until the throttle is almost full aft and the manifold pressure is quite low. 

The governor reduces blade pitch to maintain rpm until the blades are in the high rpm position and rest against the low pitch stop in the prop hub. 

This is the correct time to move the prop control to the high rpm position to prepare for final approach, touchdown and a possible go-around. 

This practice lessens noise since the prop is not “revved up” under power, nor do the passengers feel the rpm surge that’s part of pushing the prop control full forward while under power. 

Pushing the mixture to the full rich position prior to let down is not necessary. You’ve set the mixture for cruise power and as you reduce power, the amount of fuel needed for combustion will go down. 

Pushing the mixture forward will dump unneeded fuel into the mixture and cause a rapid change in internal cylinder temperatures. 

Jesch doesn’t like to use full flaps (i.e., 40 degrees) for landing, explaining that it lowers the pitch attitude a bit, and all that extra drag “kind of makes the airframe shake a bit.” He uses 20 degrees for landing. 

The key to spot landings in a 182 is speed control on final. Jesch uses 65 kias. The suggested final approach speed is 1.3 Vso. Most pilots land too fast. 

Go-around

A second reason to get in the habit of landing with 20 degrees of flaps is because it reduces the number of tasks required to transition from a landing configuration to power-up-and-go settings. 

182s can climb with 40 degrees of flaps, but a 20-degree setting presents sensations and sights that are much closer to a normal takeoff. The last thing anyone needs during a go-around is a new set of sight pictures and performance anomalies. 

The only time you again need full-rich mixture between cruise and touchdown is if you suddenly have to go around. If an airplane unexpectedly pulls onto the runway when you’re on short final, there will be time to advance the mixture and throttle.

Taxiing and refueling

Once on the ground and off the runway, open the cowl flaps, raise the flaps and lean the mixture. By reducing the amount of fuel flowing through the engine on the ground, you’re doing all you can do to reduce lead accumulation on the pistons and exhaust valves. 

Move the fuel selector valve to “left” or “right” when fueling and whenever you park for the night on a ramp, stop for a $100 hamburger or make any other short trip away from the airplane. This simple step prevents fuel from crossfeeding from one tank to the other through the “both” setting on fuel selector valve. 

These are only some of the 182-specific flying tips and tricks. Please take the time to share your favorite 182 flying tip, so we can pass it on to other Cessna Flyer readers. (Visit the forums at CessnaFlyer.org or email your favorite 182 tip to . —Ed.)

Finally, I recommend that every Cessna 182 pilot and owner read “The Skylane Pilots Companion” by Richard Coffey. New copies are no longer available but it is available online, and Coffey has given his permission for its free distribution. 

These recommendations are for information only. When attempting new procedures, consider taking along a safety pilot or CFI. 

Steve Ells has been an A&P/IA for 44 years and is a commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. Ells also loves utility and bush-style airplanes and operations. He’s a former tech rep and editor for Cessna Pilots Association and served as associate editor for AOPA Pilot until 2008. Ells is the owner of Ells Aviation (EllsAviation.com) and lives in Templeton, Calif. with his wife Audrey. Send questions and comments to

 

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://www.cessnaflyer.org/articles-news.html#sigProId23bc3d40cf

Resources

Further reading (e-books)

“The Skylane Pilots Companion” 

by Richard A. Coffey 

theskylanepilotscompanion.com

 

“Sky Ranch Engineering Manual” 

by John Schwaner

aircraftspruce.com

 

Cold weather ops 

– manufacturer information

Continental Service Information Letter SIL 03-1

“Cold Weather Operation 

– Engine Preheating”

http://www.continentalmotors.aero/search/?searchtext=sil%2003-1

Lycoming Service Instruction 

No. 1505

“Cold Weather Starting”

http://www.lycoming.com/sites/default/files/Cold%20Weather%20Starting.pdf

 

Engine STCs

P. Ponk Aviation – CFA supporter

pponk.com

  

GAMIjector fuel injectors

General Aviation Modifications, Inc.

gami.com

 

December 2016  

Friday, 29 May 2015 13:47

The Cessna 425 Conquest I

Written by

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 features
This 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 takeoff power the props are only turning 1,900 rpm.

The runup is also a simple affair, very similar to what you would do on any piston airplane, with the addition of the auto-feather test. Auto-feather is a go/no-go item on the Conquest I. Pushing the power levers up to 1,200 pounds of torque, the plane accelerates smartly, quickly reaching its rotation speed of 96 knots.
At anything other than gross weight on a 90-degree day, you can comfortably operate the plane in and out of 3,000 feet. On a hot day at gross weight, the accelerate-stop distance calculation is close to 3,500 feet, while the accelerate-go distance—the distance to clear a 50-foot obstruction after experiencing an engine failure at rotation and continuing the takeoff—is less than 3,000 feet.

These are remarkable numbers especially compared to the Conquest I’s piston cousins, the 421 and 414. That, coupled with the amazing time between catastrophic failure rate of the PT6A (more than 36,000 hours) and its stable-as-a-table flight characteristics have earned the Conquest I a remarkable safety record. Some aviation writers of the time had nicknamed it “the baby carriage,” because it is about the easiest airplane to gain multi-engine turbine experience in.


A realistic training session
My student that day was a retired doctor who now runs a national drug testing consortium. He’d owned the Conquest I for over 14 years, and prior to that he’d owned a 421. I watched him as he put his 8,600-pound machine through 45-degree left and right bank turns, minimum controllable airspeed demonstrations in the clean and dirty configurations, and imminent stalls in the clean and dirty configuration.

He nailed it all to commercial standards despite holding only a private pilot certificate with instrument rating. His single-engine work was equally impressive, and we even executed a single engine go-around—something I would never do in a piston airplane.
For those unfamiliar, a PT6A allows you to feather the prop while the engine continues to run, thus allowing the generators and hydraulic pumps to remain online—and the prop can be taken out of feather quickly if needed. This allowed us more realistic training.
The plane climbed at 280 fpm, which was exactly on book spec for the conditions.

Approaches are simplified by pushing the props forward to 1,900 rpm first, then deploying approach flaps and landing gear to create the drag profile that gets you the descent rate you want.
Because it’s a turboprop, you can chop the power without fear of shock-cooling the engines, so slam-dunk arrivals are actually fun as those big four-blade props become air brakes at flight idle.
Landings are classic Cessna 400-series simple and the big oleo strut landing gear can absorb most minor misjudgments. Reverse makes short-field work look easy and gives the pilot confidence to operate on strips as short as 2,500 feet.

The costs
The 425 is subject to Cessna’s Supplemental Inspection Document (SID) program. Adherence is mandatory on turboprop aircraft, and the SIDs require (among other things) the de-mating of the wing and tail from the fuselage to inspect for corrosion. Although very few problems have been uncovered in Cessna 425s, the inspection must be done—and it can run into six figures if issues are uncovered.

On the positive side, the Conquest I will allow you to take six passengers and luggage 1,000 nm with reserves in pressurized comfort at very close to 300 mph. The 5.0 psi differential cabin pressurization system gives you a 10,000-foot cabin at nearly 28,000 feet on a standard day. That gets you on top of pretty much all the weather.
Because FL 290 and above is subject to Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) protocol, few noncommercial aircraft are operated that high. (RVSM requires certain equipment on board and specialized crew training.) A Cessna 425 is typically happiest in the 21,000- to 24,000-foot range.

As for fuel burn, you can figure 600 pounds of fuel the first hour and 400 pounds per hour every hour after that, which translates to 77 gph on a two-hour flight and 69 gph on a three-hour flight—but you are doing this at approximately 253 knots true airspeed. And Jet-A typically costs less than 100LL fuel.
Even though the turboprop world may not be for everyone, Cessna got it right when they brought the Conquest I to market. I asked my student if he would ever consider selling his plane, and he said, “Only if I am lucky enough to move up to a Citation!” That tells me he thinks pretty highly of his Conquest I.

Michael Leighton is an 8,800-hour, three-time Master Flight Instructor, as well as an A&P mechanic. He operates an aircraft maintenance facility and flight training company in Spartanburg, S.C. You can find him on the web at flymkleighton.net. Send questions or comments to .

This entry-level turboprop was a winner in 1981, and is still one today.

June 2015-

When people ask me to comment about the Cessna 425 Conquest I, I get flashbacks. Having been a marketing type in what was then called the Commercial Marketing Division at Cessna Aircraft Co., I was a part of the introduction of the Corsair/Conquest I (425) and the Conquest II (441).
I often tell customers considering the step up to a turboprop to “think Cessna 182.” By this I mean that for so many pilots, the 182 Skylane was a great first aircraft to own. They learned in a Cessna trainer, and then bought a 182. Therefore, for many owners of Cessna pressurized cabin-class piston powered twins, the 425 becomes the perfect
“182-like” next step.

The 425’s introduction
When these aircraft were introduced, it was the heyday of General Aviation—and Beech had no jets. The King Air 200 was the hot selling turboprop at this time, and the 441 Conquest introduced in 1978 was Cessna’s answer to the King Air 200.

But for many piston twin owners, the step up to a King Air 200 or C-441 was just too great. All too often, a corporate pilot was needed for those airplanes.
The 425 Corsair was certified in 1980. A few years later, the 425 was changed to Conquest I and included certain improvements. At the same time, the 441 Conquest was renamed the Conquest II. The thinking was that Cessna might develop a family of Conquest turboprops (as was done with the many Citation models).

The typical buyer of a 425 was the owner of a Cessna 340A, 414A or 421B/C. The Cessna dealer that sold the twin would take it on trade and sell it to a first-time twin buyer or to the owner of a light twin, such as a 310R. An important sales element for use in persuading buyers was the fact that no FAA type rating was required to pilot a 425. It is not a true jet and has a gross takeoff weight under 12,500 pounds.

The reason to move up to a 425 has not changed since the early 1980s. More speed is always number one; greater loads, greater range and turbine engine reliability follow closely behind. (Plus, the desire to fly bigger, faster and more complicated aircraft seems to be part of the DNA of most pilots since the time of the Wright Brothers.)

Modifications
Since the 425’s introduction, several aftermarket conversions and modifications have entered the market. The most significant upgrade, Blackhawk XP135A, is offered by Blackhawk Modifications Inc. of Waco, Tex. This bolt-on mod includes two factory-new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-135A engines rated at 750 shp. The conversion is performed by a group of Blackhawk dealers.

In addition, like most aircraft engine modifications, there are several other component additions that are part of the Blackhawk mod. (See “Blackhawk XP135A Engine Upgrade for Conquest I Aircraft” on the right for more information. —Ed.) New propellers, such as four-blade McCauley Blackmac props, often companion with the Blackhawk STC.
Kal-Aero in Battle Creek, Mich., a Cessna propjet dealer, had the first certified upgrade to the 425. Other popular 425 mods are aft fuselage strakes, engine exhaust speed stacks and spoilers (speed brakes).

Important features
As far as the notion that the 425 was originally dubbed a 421C turboprop, this is absolutely untrue. It is a different aircraft. Aircraft based upon another aircraft’s original TCDS is a common practice in all categories of aircraft design.

However, a proven system is worth using again. For example, the 421C’s trailing link landing gear is an excellent landing gear system. The blow down method of emergency extension trumps cranking and pumping a problem landing gear.
I am frequently asked about the 425’s tail area because of the fatal incident in Nov. 1977 (just two months after the introduction of the 441 Conquest). The accident investigation found a failed single trim tab actuator for the elevator control, and the Conquest fleet was grounded until a dual actuator fix was certified.

From 425 unit number one, the elevator trim tab actuator was a dual unit, but the question still comes up from time to time. In 1980 during a business trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, I was having a poolside drink with Cessna’s president, Mal Harned.
When I was asked about 425 sales, I commented about tail questions (this was only a few years since the 441 crash) and Harned, an engineer, said, “You can tell anyone that the 425’s tail is the most tested structure Cessna has ever built.”

Buying a 425 today
In today’s world of 425 sales, the number-one question is about Cessna’s aging aircraft program and supplemental inspection documents (SID). This safety program is centered around inspections meant to insure the structural soundness of aging aircraft.
Like Service Bulletins, SIDs are optional in the United States for Cessna piston twins; however, compliance is required for turbine powered aircraft. A significant price difference on what may appear as two similar 425s may be due to the status of SIDs.

This entry-level turboprop is an easy-to-fly aircraft with simple systems and excellent performance, plus sound ownership and operational costs.
Moreover, the support system for quality maintenance and pilot training is excellent. Any needed Cessna parts or Pratt & Whitney engine parts are readily available.
A Conquest I is also highly customizable. Buyers often seek out aircraft with a newer interior, a modern panel and performance upgrades, or they plan to make those improvements after purchase. Either way, the 425 was a winner in 1981 and it’s still one in 2015.

skumatz 0012

Jerry Temple founded Jerry Temple Aviation (JTA) in 1995. JTA provides pilots with hands-on service from the research stage to delivery and checkout. Before founding JTA, Temple worked for 20 years in several positions in the Cessna Aircraft system, including at the Cessna factory as well as in distributor and retail sales. Send questions or comments to .

When people ask me to comment about the Cessna 425 Conquest I, I get flashbacks. Having been a marketing type in what was then called the Commercial Marketing Division at Cessna Aircraft Co., I was a part of the introduction of the Corsair/Conquest I (425) and the Conquest II (441).
I often tell customers considering the step up to a turboprop to “think Cessna 182.” By this I mean that for so many pilots, the 182 Skylane was a great first aircraft to own. They learned in a Cessna trainer, and then bought a 182. Therefore, for many owners of Cessna pressurized cabin-class piston powered twins, the 425 becomes the perfect
“182-like” next step.

The 425’s introduction
When these aircraft were introduced, it was the heyday of General Aviation—and Beech had no jets. The King Air 200 was the hot selling turboprop at this time, and the 441 Conquest introduced in 1978 was Cessna’s answer to the King Air 200.
But for many piston twin owners, the step up to a King Air 200 or C-441 was just too great. All too often, a corporate pilot was needed for those airplanes.
The 425 Corsair was certified in 1980. A few years later, the 425 was changed to Conquest I and included certain improvements. At the same time, the 441 Conquest was renamed the Conquest II. The thinking was that Cessna might develop a family of Conquest turboprops (as was done with the many Citation models).
The typical buyer of a 425 was the owner of a Cessna 340A, 414A or 421B/C. The Cessna dealer that sold the twin would take it on trade and sell it to a first-time twin buyer or to the owner of a light twin, such as a 310R. An important sales element for use in persuading buyers was the fact that no FAA type rating was required to pilot a 425. It is not a true jet and has a gross takeoff weight under 12,500 pounds.
The reason to move up to a 425 has not changed since the early 1980s. More speed is always number one; greater loads, greater range and turbine engine reliability follow closely behind. (Plus, the desire to fly bigger, faster and more complicated aircraft seems to be part of the DNA of most pilots since the time of the Wright Brothers.)

Modifications
Since the 425’s introduction, several aftermarket conversions and modifications have entered the market. The most significant upgrade, Blackhawk XP135A, is offered by Blackhawk Modifications Inc. of Waco, Tex. This bolt-on mod includes two factory-new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-135A engines rated at 750 shp. The conversion is performed by a group of Blackhawk dealers.
In addition, like most aircraft engine modifications, there are several other component additions that are part of the Blackhawk mod. (See “Blackhawk XP135A Engine Upgrade for Conquest I Aircraft” on the right for more information. —Ed.) New propellers, such as four-blade McCauley Blackmac props, often companion with the Blackhawk STC.
Kal-Aero in Battle Creek, Mich., a Cessna propjet dealer, had the first certified upgrade to the 425. Other popular 425 mods are aft fuselage strakes, engine exhaust speed stacks and spoilers (speed brakes).

Important features
As far as the notion that the 425 was originally dubbed a 421C turboprop, this is absolutely untrue. It is a different aircraft. Aircraft based upon another aircraft’s original TCDS is a common practice in all categories of aircraft design.
However, a proven system is worth using again. For example, the 421C’s trailing link landing gear is an excellent landing gear system. The blow down method of emergency extension trumps cranking and pumping a problem landing gear.
I am frequently asked about the 425’s tail area because of the fatal incident in Nov. 1977 (just two months after the introduction of the 441 Conquest). The accident investigation found a failed single trim tab actuator for the elevator control, and the Conquest fleet was grounded until a dual actuator fix was certified.
From 425 unit number one, the elevator trim tab actuator was a dual unit, but the question still comes up from time to time. In 1980 during a business trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, I was having a poolside drink with Cessna’s president, Mal Harned.
When I was asked about 425 sales, I commented about tail questions (this was only a few years since the 441 crash) and Harned, an engineer, said, “You can tell anyone that the 425’s tail is the most tested structure Cessna has ever built.”

Buying a 425 today
In today’s world of 425 sales, the number-one question is about Cessna’s aging aircraft program and supplemental inspection documents (SID). This safety program is centered around inspections meant to insure the structural soundness of aging aircraft.
Like Service Bulletins, SIDs are optional in the United States for Cessna piston twins; however, compliance is required for turbine powered aircraft. A significant price difference on what may appear as two similar 425s may be due to the status of SIDs.
This entry-level turboprop is an easy-to-fly aircraft with simple systems and excellent performance, plus sound ownership and operational costs.
Moreover, the support system for quality maintenance and pilot training is excellent. Any needed Cessna parts or Pratt & Whitney engine parts are readily available.
A Conquest I is also highly customizable. Buyers often seek out aircraft with a newer interior, a modern panel and performance upgrades, or they plan to make those improvements after purchase. Either way, the 425 was a winner in 1981 and it’s still one in 2015.


Jerry Temple founded Jerry Temple Aviation (JTA) in 1995. JTA provides pilots with hands-on service from the research stage to delivery and checkout. Before founding JTA, Temple worked for 20 years in several positions in the Cessna Aircraft system, including at the Cessna factory as well as in distributor and retail sales. Send questions or comments to .

The reliability and ease of operation of the PT6A engines as well as the incredible performance makes the Conquest the finest aircraft Jim Irwin, president of Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co., has ever flown.

June 2015-

In addition to Jim Irwin’s own 50-year career with Aircraft Spruce, he’s been a private pilot since 1976. Irwin has always been partial to Cessnas, moving up in the predictable way through 200-, 300- and 400-series aircraft.

Today, after 15 years of ownership in his 425, there’s nowhere else Irwin wants to go—that is, airplane-wise.
Some may know Jim Irwin as president of Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. Others probably know him as one of the pilots of N425WT, a Cessna Conquest I aircraft that rolled off the line in 1982 for model year 1983. Still others likely know him as The Kid in the Backseat of the Vultee.
“I grew up in an aviation family and have been fascinated with flying as long as I can remember,” Irwin said. “My dad, Bob, taught celestial navigation to bomber pilots in the Army Air Corps in World War II. He met my mom, Flo, shortly thereafter—and many of their early dates were flights in his surplus 1942 Vultee BT-13 around the L.A. basin. They married in 1953.”
“I spent many weekends at Brackett Field in Pomona—and can still remember the thrill of riding in the backseat with the canopy open [and] the smell of that old airplane in the air,” he continued. “Flying with my dad is one of my fondest memories of my childhood.”

A true family business
Irwin met his wife Nanci in high school, and the two married after college. Irwin earned a business degree from Cal State Fullerton while Nanci graduated from the University of Southern California in 1978.

In 1980, Jim and Nanci became president and vice-president of Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.—the company that had been started by Irwin’s mother, Flo. Together Nanci and Jim have led the company to success for several decades. (For more about Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.’s first 50 years, see “Aircraft Spruce Celebrates 50 Years of Service to Aviation 1965-2015” on page 38 of this issue. —Ed.)
“I’ve been involved with Aircraft Spruce my entire life, starting with sweeping floors as a 10-year-old when the company was founded at our family home in Fullerton, Calif. in 1965,” Irwin recalled. “As the company grew and moved to larger warehouses, I cut spruce lumber, cut metal and pulled and packed orders during high school, and then moved into office responsibilities.”

Over 50 years, Aircraft Spruce has added many product lines, the catalog has grown to 1,000 pages, and the company has over 200 employees in three regional warehouses across North America.
“We have been blessed with thousands of loyal customers worldwide and a very dedicated and hardworking staff here at Aircraft Spruce,” Irwin said. The couple’s four children—Mike, Krissy, Jeff and Rob—are all in management positions with the company, too.

Of course he’s a pilot!
“I earned my private pilot certificate at Chino Airport (KCNO) in 1976 and added an instrument rating the next year,” Irwin told me. “I purchased a Cessna T210 in 1983 which I owned for 10 years until our growing family made a larger plane a necessity,” he said.
“We purchased a Cessna 340 in 1992, a Cessna 421C in 1997 and our current Cessna 425 Conquest in 2000.
“I enjoy the whole line of Cessna aircraft,” Irwin commented. “We flew the 421 for four years, and [the 425] is even better, with more room.”
Irwin’s number-one mentor in flying has always been his father. (Perhaps Jim’s sons can say the same, as Mike and Jeff are also pilots.) Irwin says his father Bob was always a confident but cautious pilot that taught him to respect procedures and weather.

“I have tried to adopt his philosophy on flying as my own over the years, and have passed those same principles on to my sons,” he said.
Irwin has 5,200 hours and has logged flights all around the United States and in Mexico. “Of course, the flight to Oshkosh each summer is always one we look forward to,” Irwin said. To arrive at The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration, Irwin flies a route from Chino (KCNO) to Denver Centennial (KAPA) and then on to Wittman Field (KOSH). Each leg is about three hours in the Conquest.
You may be surprised to know that Jim Irwin takes a very traditional approach to flight planning. Though he has all kinds of avionics, software and other resources at his disposal, he revealed the following: “Paper charts work for me. I use the [avionics] for weather, but as far as flight planning...
I do things on paper.”

The aircraft with everything...
“We were told that there was a very nice 425 at Palomar Airport (KCRQ) and found it to be in excellent condition in all respects. It was well maintained and always hangared,” he said. The Conquest is a company aircraft for Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
“I took my initial Conquest training at Flight Safety in Wichita during the worst snowstorm they had in years. It was actually better to be sweating it out in the simulator than to be outside that week!” Irwin said.
“I have since taken my recurrent training at ProFlight in Carlsbad where Caleb Taylor and his staff have provided excellent classroom and sim training.” (ProFlight, LLC offers a variety of courses including Cessna supported initial and currency training for Cessna CJs as well as initial, currency and transition training for Conquest I and II pilots. —Ed.)

... including a few changes
Like anyone else, Irwin sometimes struggles with finding the time to fly. However, he can’t use the frustrations of Southern California traffic as any excuse. “Our Conquest is hangared at Chino Airport, which is about 15 minutes’ drive from Aircraft Spruce headquarters in Corona,” he explained. “Our avionics shop, Advantage Avionics, is housed in the same hangar building.”

“The Conquest had original Collins nav/coms when we purchased it, and we replaced these with Bendix King KX-165/155 radios immediately,” he explained.
“In 2007 we upgraded to Garmin GNS 530/430 [GPS nav/coms] and in late 2014 replaced those with GTN 750/650 avionics which are loaded with great features,” he said. “Quite a change from the avionics that were in use 40 years ago when I began flying!”

When I asked him how he likes the latest and greatest from Garmin, Irwin said, “I’m amazed at the size of the screen and the quality of the graphics; turning knobs [before] wasn’t a big deal, but I do like the touch screen. N425WT has about everything I would want in it now.”
The Conquest is also well prepared for weather; the partners recently replaced the wing boots with Ice Shield boots. Irwin told me the boots look great and have proven very effective in icing conditions. “About the only thing we will need is a new interior and exterior paint at some point, although both are still in reasonably good shape,” he said.

A Blackhawk upgrade
from the operator’s perspective
The performance on Irwin’s 425 has been upgraded too. “N425WT had the original PT6-112 engines when we purchased it in 2000,” he said. “We flew with these engines until they were timed out in 2009.”
“We looked at the Blackhawk upgrade pretty extensively,” Irwin said. “We installed Blackhawk PT6A-135A engines and have been very pleased with the improved performance [of the Conquest]. From an operator standpoint, it’s great.”
Though the engines changed in 2009, the props didn’t. “We could have had a four-blade prop option, but it does make the idle speed and taxi speeds higher,” he explained. “We kept the three-blade props, as they were relatively new.”
The increased performance of the new engines has been very good. Irwin told me, “Cruise speed has increased from 250 KTAS to 265 KTAS in the mid-20 flight levels—and climb performance has improved dramatically as well.

In addition, he said, “ITT temps remain much lower during climb and allow the pilot to maintain higher power setting without reaching temp limits.” (For details about Blackhawk’s XP135A engine upgrade, see “Blackhawk XP135A Engine Upgrade for Conquest I Aircraft” on page 35. —Ed.)
“I flight plan for 500 pph fuel flow which provides a comfortable range of about 1,000 nm,” he said. “The reliability and ease of operation of the PT6 engines as well as the incredible performance of the Conquest makes it the finest aircraft I have flown and perfect for our flight profiles.”

“But don’t you want a jet?”
“People sometimes ask me, ‘Don’t you want to move to a jet?’ But I’m very comfortable in the 425. It’s easy to fly—and more economical.”
Irwin uses his Conquest for business trips around the southwestern United States as well as for flights to Oshkosh and Sun ‘n Fun. “We fly to Mexico quite often, as well as for weekend getaways to destinations in the western states,” he said.
“I like that we’re not limited. We [can] go to Monterey [Calif.], Oregon, Seattle, Puerto Vallarta. In this aircraft, 700- to 1,000-mile trips are a pleasure.”
“The Conquest has proven to be reliable over the 15 years we have owned it with very reasonable maintenance costs. It has proven to be a very solid IFR aircraft which sheds light ice easily and which has the capability of topping most weather, even in the summer.”

Appreciation for Cessna aircraft,
General Aviation
Clearly, Irwin has been partial to Cessnas during his 40 years of flying. Though he flies his father’s Navion Rangemaster as well, Irwin has no plans to sell the Conquest. “It is fun and easy to fly, and I look forward to many more years of great service from N425WT,” he said.
Not only is the Conquest a business tool, it keeps the Irwin family closer. “My dad is now 95 years old and living in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., where my brother John also lives,” he said. “The Conquest makes the trip from Chino in about 50 minutes, making it easy to fly out to visit. It would be a six-hour drive, which makes you really appreciate General Aviation!”

Heather Skumatz is managing editor
for Cessna Flyer. Send questions or
comments to .

Resources
Advantage Avionics
advantageavionics.com

Blackhawk Modifications, Inc.
(CFA supporter)
blackhawk.aero

Garmin
(CFA supporter)
garmin.com

Ice Shield De-Icing Systems
(CFA supporter)
iceshield.com

ProFlight, LLC
proflight.aero

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