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.
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.
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.)
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.
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 .