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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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03 Sep 2021 01:50 #3159


Picture is 89P sitting on ramp with the "big iron" behind her at KSOP.

Had time and good enough weather to fly a bit. We had not gone to Pinehurst yet so that became a "quick trip" destination. Overall it went well and while I had planned to fly south of the Class B airspace around KCLT we got cleared by ATC to fly through the Class B at 8500'. That really helped to shorten the trip which was much appreciated as we had about a 10 kt headwind.

KSOP (officially Moore County) is a fairly busy airport for a smaller General Aviation airport. While listening to the Unicom on arrival I heard 3 different planes and once on the ground there was an Air Force C-130 starting up. I taxiied around them to our parking spot near the FBO.

Wifey and I went into Pinehurst to lunch and browse. The FBO very generously gave us the Courtesy Car and we didn't even buy fuel. I offered to top the mains but it wasn't worth pulling the fuel truck around for!

On taxi out the right brakes acted up again. They had felt a little weak on taxi out but they were working. So I continued to do my run up. The plane "inched" forward as I checked the engines and now I was unable to get enough from the right brake to avoid a taxiway light in front of me. Decision time. I shut down the engines as there was no other option there. Wifey got out with me and I pulled the hand held tow bar out of the baggage compartment and we pushed the plane back enough to allow a forward taxi again. Started up again and tried the brakes enough to see that I was getting some braking on the right. Since I had lots of runway ahead of me and lots at my destination I took off and we flew back to Shelby. Everything was normal except I was being super careful on turning to the right. No problem once I knew to be gentle with it.

We had a little tailwind going back but didn't get cleared as direct to Shelby so it was a little longer mileage wise but a few minutes shorter time wise for the return.

So, a nice day of flying but the Apache is back in the hangar waiting on more attention for the right brake. Hopefully we can get the brake issues taken care of and move to other things!

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Last edit: 03 Sep 2021 01:51 by Eric Parks.

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31 Aug 2021 00:37 #3157

The last time I taxied the Apache the right brake "gave out". Yup, while taking it to the hangar. So apparently giving the left brake all the attention only made the right brake jealous. So today was the day to fix that. Of course, since we had so MUCH experience in doing the left brake this was going to be a breeze.

I got to the hangar and my mechanic buddy had already gotten started and had the new O-rings in the caliper. So all we needed to do was use his handy "pump thing" to bleed the brakes and we would be good to go. Of course.... NOT.

He began to bleed the brakes and I also worked the brake pedal from the cockpit. We were getting NOTHING. Finally as we got more frustrated the hand pump just broke in his hands. Cheap plastic. So now we are back to the old way to bleed the brakes but getting nothing. We worked for quite a while. Finally he told me to pump it 10 times and I felt the pressure build! I told him it was working... until number 8 when I felt it go flat again. What?

However, this time he saw where the issue was. He removed a (T-fitting?) and put three tiny O-rings into it. When he put it back in we were finally able to pump up the brakes and got everything working again. So I guess we will get that additional part re-built on the annual for the other side. At least we are back to flying. I tested the brakes with a slow taxi, a fast "taxi" down the runway and finally I did 3 landings with everything working properly. Now it's time to put some flight time on it!

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