This blog is to chronicle my attempt to restore a 1972 Piper Cherokee 140e. This plane is the 'dog' of the airport and has been sitting untouched for 10 years. I purchased the plane and am attempting to restore it to flyable condition.
Turned out to be a very beautiful labor day after some early morning clouds, but as the afternoon rolled around the clouds started to rise and we decided to make the quick hop down to Triple Tree to visit for the day.
A quick 45 minute flight from EQY to SC00 for the afternoon walking around the Triple Tree Grounds.
And was able to get some video of the departure from the 7000 foot grass runway!
So the storm that blew through the Charlotte area in mid June damaged the window so we decided to go ahead and replace both front windows.
It's a pretty simple install on a 140, just need to remove the lower window trip bar and the strip between the two windows.
We had always assumed that the fabric on the top of the dash had been light brown, but what we discovered after removing the trim was that the original un-faded color was black. So we decided to go ahead and redye the fabric back black while the windows were out.
What a huge difference it makes, and again returns the plane closer to what it looked like originally.
For you guys on the fence with the ADSB-out solution I figured I would do a quick update on the install.
It really isn't marketing fluff when they say you can install it in 15 minutes. We took the wing tip off to place knife connectors on the wire ends. On mine I do not have a strobe so no need for the yellow wire, simply connect the "hot" wire to the red wire and the black to ground and viola.
Reinstalled the wing tip and powered the unit on. You connect to a little WIFI network to configure it. Once you connect to the WIFI network on your phone you use their app to set the variables for the unit. You set your tail number and that's pretty much it.
One little issue however, part of the setup is to set your transponder to something like 1234 and see if the unit picks that up in the status section of the app. However at our field we do not get radar coverage so your transponder won't "ping" a code since it couldn't hit the radar. In my case that means I'll need to fly around high enough for the Charlotte radar to cause my transponder to broadcast (basically when the little green light flashes) (Before ya'll ask the transponder was re-certified last week)
Because of that my initial flight failed the FAA Test, but it did pick up everything else about the flight, I think next time I'll just need to make sure I'm a little higher than the pattern and fly a little farther out.
So finally got some time to take the plane up after the annual. The annual took almost 2 months due to backlog at the shop. Luckily no issues were found and everything that was needed was just the minor (normal stuff) that's needed every year.
I was also playing around with a new camera mount. My VIRB camera mount broke a few years ago and I've just never bothered to get a new one. I thought it would be fun to try one of those external goPRO mounts as the goPRO i have is several years old and I wasn't too concerned if it fell off or not.
Anyways, I took the plane up for a few touch and gos and a quick trip in formation to another local airport for some more touch and gos.
All in all a good little 2 days of punching holes in the sky, and some good pictures from it.
So the plastic "glass" window on the dash instrument cluster was cracked. I finally got around to replacing it. Easy peasy job but if anyone is curious as to what that panel looks like without the plastic cover here are the pics!
Interesting the 2 screws also hold the cluster securely to the dash, snugged those screws back up night a tight so everything is all firm and held in place.
So a few weeks ago the suction cup that holds the iFly 740 gave way and the unit fell to the floor and cracked in flight. Fortunately it was only the touch layer that was broken and not the screen itself (the cheaper option)
But that got me thinking I've got to ditch these suction cup mounts cause they always give way at the worst times. While the unit was shipped back to iFly for repair I decided to set about and see about building a mount into the blank plate where the ADF had been at one time.
After some suggestions from facebook I decided to go in and attach a RAM mount 1'' ball mount and arm to the plate. I was able to get it all screwed down really tight so it won't "wobble" and the GPS finally arrived back on Friday.
I went down to the plane today and decided to install it before the storms rolled in. One of the guys from facebook suggested wire loom to help tuck in the lose power cables and clean up the wires that goto the ADSB-in antenna.
I couldn't be more pleased with the results and how it turned out overall. The new iFLY update provides synthetic vision as well a host of bug fixes and I can't wait to try it out in flight.
The little Cherokee visited the NC Aviation Museum today and we had a blast. It was a pretty dreary day but still clear below 12,000 but humid. Made it up from EQY in good time and spent a few hours looking around.
If you have never been before I would urge you to make a trip to KHBI and check it out on field.
After the museum we stopped into the FBO to see all the new renovations and met the great staff there. The newly remodeled FBO is really great and the staff there love to show it off.
One of the joys of small airport hopping is being able to meet new people who operate the FBOs. It's always cool to swap stories and chat about planes.
Just a really quick update... the Gil battery I had in the plane failed after only 2 years. I was able to replace the battery with a Concorde and was able to get it installed this past week.
We put about 2 and a half hours on her this week and the plane is running stronger than ever. I've been really impressed with the new battery so far. The Concorde battery is the same battery we use in Tinker Belle and they've held up very well. I'm hoping my little 140 will run for many years on the new battery.