I got some Sweet Emotion’s when Zach asked me to take on the task of accepting the new-to-him Piper Lance from paint/interior/avionics work at Aerosmith Aviation. With a Wednesday arrival, I was able to spend an afternoon going over the details of the airplane, noting some final items and flying the aircraft on a few approaches to verify all systems go. I thought this would end up being a simple trip but had to Dream On; read more to Chip Away The Stone that is this story!
Accepting an airplane always takes time, a keen eye and a fine tooth comb. Before taking the Lance out for its systems check flight, I performed an initial walk around with a flashlight flat against the new paint to look for any items that needed attention and pre-flighted every system on the aircraft. Some items revealed were noted and briefed to the ground team so that they could prep work to be done while I got Back in the Saddle.
- Chip on the pilot door frame
- Sanded and repaired post flight overnight
- Tight inflatable door insulation could not be closed from inside
- Reworked and adjusted post flight
- Pilot flooring panels shifted on entry into aircraft
- Flooring trimmed and Velcro installed to prevent slipping
- Paint dripping cleanup across empennage seam
- Cleaned up post flight
- Missing alternate static source
- The team began fabricating one while on the test flight
- This was installed the next morning before we were set to take off for home
- Slight programming squawks between G3X and GTN650TXi
- Databases were updated for each system independently and some functions had missing programming added
- Right Magneto sensor was not set up (audibly functional and within tolerance)
- Turned out it was installed but not configured correctly
- Magnetic interference with heading indicator
- The magnetometer installed in the back of the aircraft had a wire grounded between it and the ship battery. This wire was shielded and grounded further forward so it would no longer interfere
- Gear Unsafe message at high cruise airspeeds
- Nose gear uplock spring replaced as the nose wheel could be pulled down by hand while on jacks. Much harder to pull down with new spring installed
All of these items were addressed overnight and Zach and I we were set to fly home the next morning! We ended up Cryin’ when we chased down an oil leak noticed after shutdown the night prior to find that the magneto housing was cracked and needed replaced. What Could Have Been Love turned into an extra delay as we had to leave the plane behind and head home.
About two weeks later, when the new magneto was installed, a friend of Havens Aero was able to head over from his home in DFW and run the airplane out to Zach. Not completely on time but this Amazing plane is now in pristine condition and should bring years of worry-free flying!