After waiting yet another 2 weeks for Matt to get home, we found out the wrong cylinder sat waiting in the box the entire time. I relied on Matt to get the right part ordered, and together we fell short once again. Wasted time and wasted money. At this point I don’t care about the money, I came down to fly the airplane home and had to leave it behind again. On top of that, Christmas is coming with all the delays that will mean as well.

I was so disappointed and my patience tried once again that I just had to walk away. Matt shipped back the narrow deck cylinder we couldn’t use, and we began the search for a new wide deck.

Well it seems that these common parts for common motors have all of the sudden become hard to find. That was a surprise to me, and had both Matt and I scrambling to find one. It all comes down to time – the time it would take to rebuild versus the time it would take to ship a new one. Doesn’t matter now though, since neither option will be ‘quick’.

Matt started calling around at the same time I did. For my part, I spoke with my WestWind contacts up in Vermont, and with Paul Phillips the Comanche guy at Delaware Airpark. I didn’t hear from Paul, but Ben found me a contact that had both a cylinder and a rebuild option for me. We ended up shipping the cylinder to Triad, however, since Matt is familiar with them and was able to get a promised quick turn-around for me. They are supposed to call me with a list of the parts it needs – as if I care. If it can be rebuilt safely and reliably – please just do it and ship it back to me when it’s done right. Hopefully before I die of natural causes. Otherwise – tell me to bugger off and let me call my other contacts.

At this point I’m cynically sure that Triad will call me (after an appropriate seasonal delay) to tell me I have a unique valve assembly that is only made in India on a Tuesday in October. Then they’ll tell me that they just sold the last one, and ask me if I want to wait until next October, or pay the $500 shipping to have the now useless cylinder sent back to me.

Then again – maybe I’ll be surprised. I’m certainly sick of crushing disappointments. It’s Christmas and I want my toys back.  Rant Complete.

Repair – Zinc Chromate (green) metal on right

On the positive side, and there is always a positive side: The metal work looks wonderful to the untrained eye. All the rivets look professionally installed – tight and clean, and the damage to the paint appears to be minimal. The new metal looks original and the airplane is sitting on its own gear. She wants to fly and I want to be the one to do it.

I sat inside to re-install the cameras and verify the current software versions for the radios to be updated. Turning on the battery master, avionics master, and Aspen switches, the radios all came to life smartly. I recorded the S/N and software version numbers for my radio folks to order the updates, and sat inside to just look around. The cockpit seemed smaller to me than I remember it being, but  I’ll get used to it again. I took a few pictures to allow me to start planning the upgrades to the right side. Maybe an engine monitor and co-pilot instruments would be nice.

Fly Safe – Maybe I’ll join you in a week or so.


By fdorrin

Recently rated Gulfstream 280 pilot, working on instructor qualifications. WestWind and Astra corporate jet flight instructor. Contract corporate pilot. Own and operate a PA30 Twin Comanche. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; Typed in DHC-8, B-25, IAI-1124, IAI1125, G100, G280. Retired engineer / executive - Delmarva Power, Conectiv Energy, and PEPCO Holdings, Inc.