Question Flying an Apache

  • Eric Parks
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11 Nov 2022 17:14 #3701 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache
More Apache "fun" today. We are in reassembly mode. Which on an Apache means LOTS of screws to put the engine nacelles back together!


We finished the last of the work on the left engine and began "wrapping it up". I tend to forget how many screws hold the nacelle together. I wish I had the contract to supply Piper with screws!


We got the ALT OUT lights moved and working. We had a little trouble with locating them so the right one is slightly off center. However, when viewed from the left seat it looks right on! We had to add a plastic "spacer" to make the lights fit where we wanted them. We still have the cosmetic stuff to do such as paint and labels.


If I'm very careful with my angle it almost looks completed. We still have the right side to go.


After we finish this we still have a few things to do but the plane is now flyable once we finish getting the nacelles put back on.
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08 Nov 2022 21:26 #3696 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache
Steve,

Obviously this has become a labor of love and I hope others can enjoy “hearing” about it as you do. The Apache had gotten a lot of “new stuff” on this cycle. Actually way more than I originally thought when we opened it up but I really want this bird to be reliable. My mechanic has replaced a lot of wiring, switches and circuit breakers. He understands that I don’t want to do this long of an upgrade again but we both want to be comfortable that the electrical system is ok. Also, I really wanted more info on my engine’s health so the GEMs are a huge plus but again a LOT of wiring to do each cylinder.

I guess for whatever reason he felt the mag switches were supposed to go in opposite what was actually correct as he had all 4 switches “backwards”. At least it was an easy diagnosis and fix!

Thanks for the comments (and encouragement!).

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07 Nov 2022 09:08 #3694 by STEVE ELLS
Replied by STEVE ELLS on topic Flying an Apache
Hi Eric,
It's so much fun to watch your on going upgrades on your Apache. Glad you're saving it. So many older airplanes are left to rot away. Sad.
And thanks for being so honest about your findings (mag switches installed upside down). I hope it helps people realize that a mechanic's task, esp on big projects is enormous. We like the challenge but there a many opportunities to make mistakes. Days spent photographing and labeling parts during the disassembly stage of these projects pays big dividends when, months later, the reassembly begins.

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05 Nov 2022 16:49 - 06 Nov 2022 13:42 #3693 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache


We got all the new digital gauges working! It looks great to see them light up. I am very excited to try out the new Insight G2 GEM's.


The battery box was already upgraded and we just finished the last of the Bogert cable upgrades, We will be putting new copper cable from the GPU plug as well and that will give us all new copper cables.


We put in a brand new Concorde battery as the old one just died on us. I think a combination of sitting in the hangar, occasional engine runs with little charging time and a trickle charger not optimized for the battery.


Nice to get the plane out again today and start it on it's own power! We found the issue with no oil pressure indication on the left engine. It was a little bit of air in the line. Once that was "bled" it worked fine. Mag switches were turned around and now work as they should with up being "on".
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14 Oct 2022 14:25 #3670 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache


The Apache made it outside the hanger into the sunlight of day for the first time in a year (almost!). We had to do a little work on the pilot's seat to get it to work with the new (thicker) seat rails. Then we got the plane out and confirmed that the battery was really and truly not going to start the plane. So we got the FBO to give us a jump off. The fact that the GPU receptacle had been fixed earlier was a nice plus!

At that point we found out the magneto switches were installed upside down and once that was figured out we got the engines started right up. No oil pressure indication on the left engine so we will investigate that. Most likely a blockage in the line.

So a new battery and few more fixes and we still have a couple things left to do with the upgrades but they will be done as we close the plane up. So maybe flying in a couple weeks....???
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13 Oct 2022 16:41 #3669 by Eric Parks
Replied by Eric Parks on topic Flying an Apache


The "new" seat tracks got installed today. We actually finished the Annual part of the work and started clean up duty! We ran out of time today so tomorrow we will test run the engines and try out the new gauges. If everything looks good it should be time to close it up and fly!
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