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Topic-icon Flying an Apache

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21 Sep 2021 01:56 #3176



Putting the Apache back in the hangar.

Today was going to be a fun day to fly to Triple Tree. However, early low ceilings and later rain put a damper on that. So my buddy Brent that is going to Triple Tree with me agreed to put it off until Saturday. We think that will be a better day anyway. Originally I wasn't able to go on Saturday but that has opened up.

So.... Since I couldn't go to the fly-in at Triple Tree I got to work with my mechanic on the plane today. We got the final parts put in for the nacelle screws as there had been a few that needed attention. Then we put our attention on the fuel gauge switch. After adjusting it we think we have cured the "flaky" gauge. The microswitch needed adjustment. Also, the right fuel tank selector lever was very stiff. After playing with it we decided it was the cable itself that was dragging. So we lubricated it and worked it a bit. So far that seems to help so we will wait and see how it goes for now but it looks like that is taken care of. HOWEVER, in digging into the underneath of the plane we found the aileron cables are starting to touch on the sheet metal that forms the rear of the footwell. No issue yet but that is not something to ignore. So that will get attention very soon. I am always careful to do my control checks and I will be extra attentive to them for now. But I don't see any issue right now.

We got in a few trips around the pattern just "because" and the plane is flying well. We have moved to the "optional" part of improvement for 89P and we now get to do more "fun" stuff. I have quite a bit planned yet so hopefully we will get to do all that in the coming months.

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Last edit: 21 Sep 2021 15:19 by Eric Parks.

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16 Sep 2021 19:47 #3174

Steve, the tool worked great about 3 times and then fell apart in his hands. I think he said it cost $75 and when he called them on warranty they said it was out by a week or two. So he wasn't too impressed with the cheap quality. So he needs to find one that works as well but doesn't fall apart!

Update: he has bought another tool for bleeding brakes so we will see how well that one works.

Last edit: 19 Sep 2021 23:59 by Eric Parks.

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15 Sep 2021 15:29 #3173

Hi Eric,
Thanks for posting the on going adventures of you, your mechanic and your Apache. Your posts are always welcome.
Please ask your mechanic what tool he bought for bleeding the brakes. Bleeding Cessna brakes is easy, Piper brakes can cause mechanics to chew their fingernails, or worse.
Thanks
Steve

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15 Sep 2021 02:07 #3172



Getting ready to take the plane out to check the brakes and do some speed runs



I really like the polished spinners. But you have to stay on top of the polishing!

Took the Apache out to check the brakes again. It looks like the brake issues are finally behind us. Now we get to the more "fun" part of the rehab of 89P. I am looking at new Manifold Pressure, Tachometer, CHT/EGT and Fuel Flow gauges. Right now I have one manifold pressure needle that "vibrates" and the left tach reads low by about 100 rpm (I bought a hand held digital tach to check the tachs). The CHT gauges are giving way different indications and it doesn't currently have any EGT gauge. The fuel flow is a very nice JPI instrument but the right side doesn't read correctly at all. The left side always seems high. So it's time to get all that squared away.

Today I did some "speed runs" and just enjoyed the nice weather and looking out the window while the autopilot did the work. At 8500' I got speeds from 139 kts at 2500 rpm to 129 kts at 2000 rpm. At 2200 rpm it was getting 135 kts so I think that will be my typical cruise rpm for now.

The plane is performing well so far as I'm concerned so now I want to get the less important things taken care of.

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10 Sep 2021 02:14 #3169


LED lights work great. They are bright even in full sunlight.

Quick picture of AVL scenery while waiting for takeoff clearance at runway 35 at AVL.

Got to test fly the Apache today. Brakes worked great. I couldn't see any hydraulic fluid leaks so we will continue to watch that but hope it stays fixed.

I took off and it was such a gorgeous day (after low ceilings and rain this morning) that I just had to do more than pattern work! So I climbed up going west and called Asheville approach for landing. They were fairly busy but they worked me in after some vectoring to the south. Actually this worked great as I was able to set up the ILS and fly it visually to see how it all looked. I LOVE the G5 displays!

On landing there was a bit of northerly wind and I easily made the first turnoff. I was ready to depart and as I was getting ready to take the runway I saw the left main fuel tank gauge was on empty. I knew it should have plenty of fuel but decided I should check it out on the ground, not in the air. So I told tower I had a low fuel indication and they had me taxi down the runway to clear (two Navy trainer jets behind me!) and I went to Signature to get fuel. Of course it was just a "flaky" gauge. So we need to check the switch on that as it has to switch from MAIN to AUX indications with the fuel lever and I think that is where the issue is. I can push the lever and get the needle to "bounce".

No issues going home and I'm getting more at home in the Apache.

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07 Sep 2021 02:05 #3163


Got to go out to work on the Apache today. We dived right into the brake issue. We found the hydraulic reservoir about empty. So we filled it. And the brakes worked great on the first try. Hmmm....
We checked all over the bottom on the plane including removing the huge belly pan and we just couldn't find enough hydraulic fluid that would indicate that big of a leak. So we cleaned everything off and we will carefully watch for leaks and fluid usage. At least the brakes themselves are ok.
Once the brake was taken care of we got into replacing the fasteners on the left engine. We got it almost finished. Just a few that need a different size washer and one that will need repair. Otherwise it is finished. We did find two minor issues that we fixed while we were in there. A cooling blast tube for the magneto was loose so it was riveted back and we found a missing rivet on a patch on the firewall so it was replaced as well. Also, we noted areas in the engine cooling baffles that will need to be fixed on the annual.

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Last edit: 07 Sep 2021 02:06 by Eric Parks.

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