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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 07 Jul 2020, 09:19 
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Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 10794
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Location: Idaho (U70) NorCal (KAUN)
Aircraft: A36, 182, PA-12
My favorite flying month
Could not be a better time to be in the Idaho mountains.

Schools are back in. Tourists are gone. Moderate, stable weather.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 07 Jul 2020, 17:38 
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Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 10794
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Location: Idaho (U70) NorCal (KAUN)
Aircraft: A36, 182, PA-12
Stuart,
Check your PM...… Amy Hoover had a ton of great info for you. PM me your cell number and I'll text you all her comments and recommendations. She said she would have been happy to do it herself as she has 2000 hours in 180/185s in the backcountry but she's locked up with business. She had other great recommendations, not only CFIs within McCall Mountain and Canyon flying but nearby with even more experience in type in the backcountry.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 08:16 
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Joined: 11/25/11
Posts: 6354
Post Likes: +9472
Location: KGNF, Grenada, MS
Aircraft: C-180, C-195, J-3
When I bought my 180, it seemed to be a good airplane. Flown by the same family for almost its entire life. When I really started digging, after the purchase, it became "suspicious" that some logged minor structural repairs had been anything but minor. The airplane flew fine, and fast and the first annual at my regular shop uncovered nothing amiss.

I started my refurbishment which began with the interior being removed and Selkirk installed. Another good IA, Chris Ruud, who does a lot of work for the U.S. aerobatic team comes up regularly and helped with the Selkirk installation. He found some things that seemed marginal, but nothing to shock him or me.

Next, was the avionics which I thought went well. I was looking for paint shops when I decided that the control surfaces were just too rough, so I took the airplane to Del who went over it with a fine tooth comb and we came up with a list of structural redos that simply had to be done. With each page turned, the suspicion that damage had been covered up became more than a suspicion.

Del started going a lot deeper and with each step, found more and more issues. Without Del, I would have been a goner, or the airplane would at least. Del fixed everything, including installing the correct rudder assembly that had originally had rudder trim but had been jury rigged to operate without trim. He also called in an avionics shop to redo wiring that had been improperly installed during the avionics and panel makeover. Del oversaw the painting and finish, installed new glass, and handed me back a complete and beautiful airplane complete with new annual for which he charged nothing extra. If anything, Del undercharged me.

Somewhere in this process, Del named the airplane the Psycho Billy Skywagon after the famous Johnny Cash song.

This week, Chris drove up from his home in south Georgia to do the annual on Psycho Billy. Yesterday, after he had completed the airframe inspection, I went out to see him and his helper. Chris had a smile a mile wide commenting that after Del's work, the airplane was almost perfect.

No doubt, I walked backward into what would have been a trap had it not been for Del Lehman. I have more $ in Psycho Billy than I should, but the money, especially that spent with Del, was worth every penny. A "cool" ride that will carry almost 1100# and cruise 155 mph on ten gallons an hour at near gross. I think the real measure of "value for your money" is whether or not you get what you want.

I did. :thumbup:

Jg


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 09:13 
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Joined: 03/01/14
Posts: 1697
Post Likes: +893
Location: 0TX0 Granbury TX
Aircraft: T-210M Aeronca 7AC
Great story!
After all we’re just caretakers of these fine machines and will leave our legacy with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 10:14 
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Joined: 11/25/16
Posts: 1330
Post Likes: +853
Location: CNC3
Aircraft: AEST
Congrats John. That's a really, really sharp looking Skywagon.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 17:09 
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Joined: 01/23/13
Posts: 4220
Post Likes: +2274
Company: Kokotele Guitar Works
Location: Albany, NY
Aircraft: C-182RG, C-172, PA28
John, I’ve always loved the story of Del making your retirement Skywagon perfect. Thanks for sharing it again.

:cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 17:33 
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Joined: 07/22/14
Posts: 6635
Post Likes: +9278
Company: Mountain Airframe LLC
Location: Mena, Arkansas
This is very kind and unexpected, and I appreciate it very much. Thank you, Johnny.

Looking at the time of Johnny's post, he didn't know about my "oops". I received a text at 8:15 this morning that said "found a wrench", with a piece of said wrench. The text was from another BTr local to Johnny, and a friend, and I assume helping with the Annual Inspection.

I showed the picture of the wrench to my guys, and sure enough one of them winced and said "that's mine".

I called Johnny immediately, and he didn't even know about it yet. What a great man.

I've said this before; everyone makes mistakes. We hope we catch all of them before the plane leaves. Sometimes that doesn't happen. This is reality.

The wrench was found under the floorboard. I'm embarrassed, but at the same time I'll sleep better tonight by owning my mistake, and I hope this post can serve as a catalyst for other owners and mechanics to not get complacent.
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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 17:35 
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Joined: 05/29/14
Posts: 2362
Post Likes: +2181
Location: CEA3
Aircraft: PA24-260, C340 Ram 7
John & Del,

In the picture of the C-185 above, there’s two great guys and friends, BUT if I see correctly, the C-185 is half way out of a hangar door, which sends shivers up my spine!

Murray


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 18:12 
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Joined: 08/31/17
Posts: 938
Post Likes: +320
Aircraft: C180
Its become something of a summer tradition for my wife and I sans children to take a three day weekend in northern Michigan. Its quite the rigmarole to get kids with all their stuff to grandparents house (in the wrong direction of course) and then get ourselves to our destination usually Traverse City, Gaylord or Harbor Springs.

While I was bemoaning my bad luck with the Aztec breaking (AGAIN) and that I was going to have to take the 180 I realized what a debbie downer I was being. :beechslap:

I told the wife only one bag for her, packed my back pack, kids bag of toys and things, and the STUFF for our vacation into the truck and headed to the airport.

The 180 swallowed our
Carseat (installed on the folding jump seat in rear)
Trek hybrid bicycle
Specialized Allez road bike (wheels and seats come off both bikes)
Childs electric motorcycle (check out Stacyc really very cool kids bike)
Tool Bag
My back pack
Wifes small duffel
Kid's stuff


I get to run from Indiana across Ohio, then up the entire length of MI tomorrow is this awesome machine. Yes I have to fly myself instead of using the autopilot.
Yes the bumps are going to toss us around some.
Yes its slower and it'll be hotter down low but man do they look and sound cool. :thumbup:

Yes I'm sure mine has some "psycho" in her. We call her Charlie.

:pilot: :peace:


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 18:58 
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Joined: 11/25/11
Posts: 6354
Post Likes: +9472
Location: KGNF, Grenada, MS
Aircraft: C-180, C-195, J-3
Del called me this morning to tell me about the wrench and apologize. **** happens, but in Del's case, not because of lack of effort, **** just happens. Can you believe that Del wanted to pay part of my annual inspection for the retrieval? :bugeye: He is a hell of a guy. I still feel like he undercharged me when he rebuilt the damn thing. Love you man. :bud:

Psycho Billy came through again on this annual. Two bad cylinders, real bad. The borescope may indicate a cracked valve in one. Chris is pulling #1 tomorrow to look inside. If it looks good inside, we are going to put two new ones on and keep trucking. The engine has about 1300smoh and runs as smooth as honey. If Chris isn't fully satisfied with the inside, I am ordering a brand new engine from Continental. This is really not unexpected. When my hangar neighbor, Wayne Roberts, saw me and said, "Heard you were having a bad day." I laughed and said, "Wayne I've had bad days, this isn't one." Hell, this is hardly a bump in the road. :dance:

Karen and I are planning a trip, SOON, to Bar Harbor. We were going in the 180, but it may not be back up in time. Nice thing about having two "retirement" airplanes. The 195 will do quite nicely.

Jg

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 21:58 
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Joined: 01/28/13
Posts: 4731
Post Likes: +2693
Location: Indiana
Aircraft: C195, D17S, M20TN
Username Protected wrote:
Its become something of a summer tradition for my wife and I sans children to take a three day weekend in northern Michigan. Its quite the rigmarole to get kids with all their stuff to grandparents house (in the wrong direction of course) and then get ourselves to our destination usually Traverse City, Gaylord or Harbor Springs.

While I was bemoaning my bad luck with the Aztec breaking (AGAIN) and that I was going to have to take the 180 I realized what a debbie downer I was being. :beechslap:

I told the wife only one bag for her, packed my back pack, kids bag of toys and things, and the STUFF for our vacation into the truck and headed to the airport.

The 180 swallowed our
Carseat (installed on the folding jump seat in rear)
Trek hybrid bicycle
Specialized Allez road bike (wheels and seats come off both bikes)
Childs electric motorcycle (check out Stacyc really very cool kids bike)
Tool Bag
My back pack
Wifes small duffel
Kid's stuff


I get to run from Indiana across Ohio, then up the entire length of MI tomorrow is this awesome machine. Yes I have to fly myself instead of using the autopilot.
Yes the bumps are going to toss us around some.
Yes its slower and it'll be hotter down low but man do they look and sound cool. :thumbup:

Yes I'm sure mine has some "psycho" in her. We call her Charlie.

:pilot: :peace:


Jacob,
Do you know what the seat material is in your 180? Love it it looks cool, clean and tough.
Thanks’
Chuck

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Chuck
KEVV


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 22:13 
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Joined: 08/31/17
Posts: 938
Post Likes: +320
Aircraft: C180
Username Protected wrote:
Its become something of a summer tradition for my wife and I sans children to take a three day weekend in northern Michigan. Its quite the rigmarole to get kids with all their stuff to grandparents house (in the wrong direction of course) and then get ourselves to our destination usually Traverse City, Gaylord or Harbor Springs.

While I was bemoaning my bad luck with the Aztec breaking (AGAIN) and that I was going to have to take the 180 I realized what a debbie downer I was being. :beechslap:

I told the wife only one bag for her, packed my back pack, kids bag of toys and things, and the STUFF for our vacation into the truck and headed to the airport.

The 180 swallowed our
Carseat (installed on the folding jump seat in rear)
Trek hybrid bicycle
Specialized Allez road bike (wheels and seats come off both bikes)
Childs electric motorcycle (check out Stacyc really very cool kids bike)
Tool Bag
My back pack
Wifes small duffel
Kid's stuff


I get to run from Indiana across Ohio, then up the entire length of MI tomorrow is this awesome machine. Yes I have to fly myself instead of using the autopilot.
Yes the bumps are going to toss us around some.
Yes its slower and it'll be hotter down low but man do they look and sound cool. :thumbup:

Yes I'm sure mine has some "psycho" in her. We call her Charlie.

:pilot: :peace:


Jacob,
Do you know what the seat material is in your 180? Love it it looks cool, clean and tough.
Thanks’
Chuck


I'll look. We did back seats several years ago. Fronts just got done first trip in them this weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 22:29 
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 Profile

Joined: 11/16/14
Posts: 6327
Post Likes: +5649
Company: (student pilot)
Location: Richland Washington
Aircraft: 1947 Bonanza 35
Username Protected wrote:
Its become something of a summer tradition for my wife and I sans children to take a three day weekend in northern Michigan. Its quite the rigmarole to get kids with all their stuff to grandparents house (in the wrong direction of course) and then get ourselves to our destination usually Traverse City, Gaylord or Harbor Springs.

While I was bemoaning my bad luck with the Aztec breaking (AGAIN) and that I was going to have to take the 180 I realized what a debbie downer I was being. :beechslap:

I told the wife only one bag for her, packed my back pack, kids bag of toys and things, and the STUFF for our vacation into the truck and headed to the airport.

The 180 swallowed our
Carseat (installed on the folding jump seat in rear)
Trek hybrid bicycle
Specialized Allez road bike (wheels and seats come off both bikes)
Childs electric motorcycle (check out Stacyc really very cool kids bike)
Tool Bag
My back pack
Wifes small duffel
Kid's stuff


I get to run from Indiana across Ohio, then up the entire length of MI tomorrow is this awesome machine. Yes I have to fly myself instead of using the autopilot.
Yes the bumps are going to toss us around some.
Yes its slower and it'll be hotter down low but man do they look and sound cool. :thumbup:

Yes I'm sure mine has some "psycho" in her. We call her Charlie.

:pilot: :peace:


Jacob,
Do you know what the seat material is in your 180? Love it it looks cool, clean and tough.
Thanks’
Chuck


Chuck for Just a Moment, I thought you were speaking to Johns 195 Motor :bugeye: :lol: :rofl:
The next sentence would say, Be sure to get John and Karen Home safely from their Journey :D :thumbup:............................. Love You Folks :bud:

Sidney

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 10 Jul 2020, 01:25 
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Joined: 10/19/08
Posts: 1229
Post Likes: +1228
Location: Far West Texas
Aircraft: Baron 58, Cessna 180
Gents:

My cousin had a nickname for my 180: "Johnny on the spot". He used to chide me everytime I called him, b...chin' about the Baron having yet another problem that grounded me. HIs comments are not printable, but he did remark on the superior reliability of the Skywagon.

Mine has been a wonderful friend, trusted servant, and soulmate for going on 40 years. Ranging from Point Barrow to Baja, Costa Rica, Belize, Yucatan, the Florida Keys, up to the Great Lakes,Canada, and many points in between. It is the keeper, above all others.

Best,

Tom


Last edited on 10 Jul 2020, 16:40, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Skywagon
PostPosted: 10 Jul 2020, 02:01 
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Joined: 10/19/08
Posts: 1229
Post Likes: +1228
Location: Far West Texas
Aircraft: Baron 58, Cessna 180
Jacob: In reading about your 180, I noted its name: "Charlie". I wonder if you have read the book "Three-eight Charlie", by Jerrie Mock. She was the first woman solo pilot to fly around the world, in her 180, besting what Amelia Earhart had not been able to do 35 years earlier.

I was a great admirer of Jerry, and we became friends toward the end of her life; all by handwritten letters, as she hated computers. I once visited her in her Florida home, and we talked late into the night. I invited her to fly with me the next morning. At first reticent, she finally acceded. Tiny and frail, I gently picked her up in my arms, and placed her on the copilot's seat. Shortly after takeoff, I gave her the controls, and she flew that 180 beautifully, albeit with tears of joy in her eyes.

She asked about the cylindrical device attached to the right strut near the wing, and i told her that it was used for dispersal of cremated ash remains. She was quiet for a few minutes, then we resumed our chatter on the way back to the airfield near her home.

Jerry died a few months after my visit. Shortly after that, I received a letter from her family, in which she posthumously directed me to disperse her ashes over the Gulf of Mexico: "Take me as high as you can, Tommy, I want to go around the world again" was her request.

I released her to her heavenly home at 17,500, bidding her farewell, and good tailwinds; with tears in my eyes.

TN


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