Plane Update – 2015 Annual Inspection Part 1

So it’s November 11, 2015 and right now our airplane is down for its FAA required annual inspection so we can fly in 2016. However, it’s a good time to take care of a bunch of needed little tasks at the same time.

Here is a picture of the plane in the shop during it’s annual inspection. She sure looks lonely.

Annual in the Works_pri

While the skilled mechanics are looking to plane over, I’ve been busy upgrading the interior with some simple solutions.

First, the old interior panels were stripped out of the plane and all the interior plastic panels in the baggage area. Those were so old and brittle they needed to be replaced.

in the picture below you can see one of the new panels in place, lighter beige, and the old 1970s goldenrod color panels laying on the floor. Out with the old and in with the new. Inside Work

The side panels sure showed their age. That old 1974 color scheme has not been in vogue in decades. All the cleaning in the world wouldn’t make that look spiffy. So in the interest of recycling I decided to repaint the old panels with specially formulated paint. Repainting them was the least expensive way to go and I’m all about saving money so we can fly more.

Old Panels to Paint_pri

Updating the look is multiple step process. The first step is to mask off the chrome and paint the vinyl on the top of these interior panels. In this picture the panel is turned for painting but the weird color carpet can be seen, untouched.

Top Part Painted_pri

The next step is to mask off the newly repainted top part of the panels and cover it all over to make sure none of the black paint color gets on it.

After multiple coats, the old carpet is recolored and the panel looks fresh and up to date. Now all that needs to happen is to get this back into the plane and once all these panels are reinstalled, the panel repainting work will be checked off the list for years to come.

Finished Panel_pri

Three of the front panels I had already completed so repainting these panels represents the entire job done.

The new plastic panels for the baggage area are scheduled to arrive in a couple of days and once I paint all of those to match the interior project will be completed. Whew!

But that doesn’t mark the end of the updates for our 2016 flying. We are also adding a couple of exterior performance modifications including flap gap seals that help to smooth airflow over the bottom of the wing and a cowl fairing kit. I know, that probably sounds like gibberish but it is a modification to also increase performance in the air.

These metal pieces help to cover up the area in front of the flaps on the plane to make it more aerodynamic.
These metal pieces help to cover up the area in front of the flaps on the plane to make it more aerodynamic.

Once all of the work is over I’ll send out another update to the awesome newsletter subscribers.

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