On a trip in my Arrow 180R from FL to CA. Had to divert in Louisiana due to some stutter/stumble in cruise flight. Power was at 25" and 2,500RPM, boost pump off. ~1350EGT 350CHT. Sumped the fuel prior to departure found no water. This has happened prior, but not as obvious, on a completely different fuel fill. Mechanic looked at all the spark plugs, mag timing and then 8 min into another flight it happened again- its almost like the engine wants to stall/quit for just a second then goes back to running fine. This time I noticed a fuel flow drop from 12gal/hr to 10gal/hr. No boost was running, full rich on the mixture. Mechanic just took a look at the fuel screens and injectors and found no issues. Next he will check the engine driven pump pressure. Im far from home unfortunately! Any ideas where to look next?
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.
Liked the June article on the Lance! 1978 straight tail, no turbo. Great cabin room, but burns a lot of fuel to go 145kts
Where did you have it installed?
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!
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.
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.
Thank you for taking the time to address Stephanie's question about the Black Magic wastegate control STC.
From the engine times you're quoting, you must know how to fly your engines.
If you have time, I'd like you to write up your tips for operating your engines. A brief step by step description of the changes (GAMIjectors, Black Magic, etc) you've made and what effect they have had, and the power settings, mixtures, etc. that you follow during a typical flight.
If you're able to post that here on the forums, we could archive it and pass it to other Seneca owners.
I have them on my Seneca II. I highly recommend them. They work well. In addition to increasing critical Altitude, they also help remove any throttle split at higher alt due to fixed wastegate settings. My engines are about 800 hrs over TBO. I like to run them at min RPM for the conditions. I can get 75% power at FL220 and 2300RPM. Best you'll do with fixed waste gates @2300RPM is about 12K. I also run mine lean of peak. I burn about 19 GPH total. I lose a little power, but the pay off is worth it. I lose about 7 KIAS vs running rich of peak and I'm burning about 5 GPH less. With a 123 Gal tank I can fly 200NM farther, and only lose about 5 min on a 4:15 hour leg. I've only had one maintenance issue with one. The mount cracked. I pulled it and sent it back to them and they replaced the mount.
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.
I have done very little modding.
I have installed a new set of wheels and brakes that I got from Webco.
I installed a new interior that I bought from AirTex; didn't come out too good because I didn't know how.
New vinyl floor pad from SCS Interiors.
New 406 MHz ELT
New WAAS GPS from TRIG and new transponder (ADS-B Out) from TRIG
Removed old layout floating middle instrument panel and re configured it to present instruments in a more modern lay out.
Removed some old radios and installed some good used radios.
Bought a glareshield from A/C Spruce to replace the existing one.
Installed a Electro Air electronic ignition system--a big improvement over the old magnetor
Rebuilt the O-360 A1A engine
Sent the prop and governor for overhaul.
Sent the gear motor and transmission to Matt Kurke at Comanche Gear for overhaul
Inspected the LG system and cleaned up any slights; not a complete 1000 hour gear system AD compliance but made sure everything was in good shape and lubed.
Sent the engine mount to Loree Air for overhaul--7 tubes were replaced.
Installed a Concorde RG-35 AXC battery
Installed a Plane Power alternator and voltage regulator
Installed a Electronics International CGR 30 P and 30 C engine monitor system
Installed two AV-30s; on in place of the AI and one in place of the DG.
Removed the vacuum system and vaccum driven instruments
Installed a Micro Dynamics system of Vortex Generators (VG)
I consider all these to be mechanical upgrades--making sure all the systems were up to snuff. I don't consider them to the modifications.
To me modifications are things like new wingtips, flap and aileron gap seals, Arapaho windshield and fairings, wing root fairings and other performance mods. These can be purchased from Knots2U.
There are plenty of "mods" that are supposed to help improve performance. I guess the only performance mod is the VGs. Some very savvy Comanche owners have scolded me saying that the Comanche wing is a very good high altitude wing and VGs actually slow the airplane down.
I have explored removing them but haven't yet figured out how.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for your answer to this question. I have the same prop that you have.
Have you published the details and improvements that you have done to your "180"?
I am interested to see what others have done for mods to the "180".
Thanks. I saw that as a possibility. With your suggestion, that’s what I’ll do.
I removed my original baggage door lock to install a "Medeco" door lock set from www.aircraftsecurity.com .
I can't recall exactly what I did.
As I remember I was tried to slide a thin wrench to back off the nut securing the lock barrel in from where the finger exited the door assy. I reasoned that if I could loosen the lockset enough I would be able to remove the finger.
That didn't work so I had to cut a hole in the sheet metal of the inner structure of the door to gain access to the lockset.
I also needed more access to install the Medeco lockset.
I hope this helps,
It depends on which Hartzell prop you have installed.
The HC-92ZK 8D, which was the original prop on my PA 24 180 (s/n 1707) had a restricted range listed in the Hartzell prop type certificate data sheet.
The blades were 8447A-4A Diameter not over 72 1/2 inches.
The placard needed for this prop, according to the Hartzell Type Certificate Data Sheet should read:
"Do not exceed 23 inches of manifold pressure below 2300 rpm"
For what it's worth,
I replaced that propeller with a newer "Compact Hub" HC-C2YR-1BF (7666A-4 blades) The TCDS for this prop shows no rpm/manifold pressure restrictions.
So the answer is, it depends on which prop you have on your 180.
Let me know if this answers your question.
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 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.
can someone provide instructions how to remove the cargo door lock/latch on the 1961 PA-24?
I have been checking the differences in power settings (rpm vs manifold pressure). I have seen some placards (do not operate between 1900 to 2250) and have not been able to find any documentation supporting the placards. Can anybody shed some light on this? I may be remembering the placards for a different aircraft. Thanks for any comments and insight