July included a 100-hour inspection

As always, a 100-hour inspection or annual is a bit of a nail-biter for anyone who owns an airplane. What will the mechanic find this time? On the bright side, nothing major was found. Unfortunately, a long list of snags still made this an expensive month.

One item on the list should make your life as a renter slightly easier. The lock barrel on the pilot’s door was starting to rotate in its mounting. That’s a warning sign that it’s about to fail. While in there to fix that, the springs and pins in the pilot’s door handle were fixed. The door hinge pins and the striker plate were also fixed. The window hinge was repaired. The bare rivets around the handle are testament to work done to now have smooth operation of everything on the door!

Some of you had noted bouncing fuel gauges and flashing low fuel lights. This was due to a fuel sender in the right-hand tank wearing out. I had warning about this, so I was able to avoid getting the same Rochester part from Cessna at $610 for the sender and $75 for the gasket. Instead, Paul Malkasian at http://fuelsenders.com rebuilt my unit to better-than-new for $350 and a $10 gasket. He claims to clean up some of the design deficiencies of the original part, and it’s certainly working great so far.

If you’re an instructor, you will appreciate this one. The co-pilot’s seat height adjustment nut had worn out due to the previous owner not lubing it properly. It made the seat height crank impossible to turn. It also wore out the jack screw threads. A new nut in Cessna’s new, longer design and a new jack screw, and the seat rises and drops like it should.

The week in the shop didn’t help the flying time. At only 35 hours this month, it was not a break-even month. In exchange for that, the plane just gets better and better, and I’m hoping to make this your favorite round-dial Skyhawk on the line at Tradewinds.

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July included a 100-hour inspection