Prop Gov…

Got the prop gov back from the shop… Pulled it as it was getting a bit wonky and as the thing hadn’t been overhauled since 99 it was about time. Figured if I’m upgrading the prop I’d better get it all perfect… Love that old Garwin!

I had Aircraft Accessories do the work in Tulsa and they really did an amazing job. p


Speedy Delivery…

Prop came last week… Now just gotta get the time to swap em out!


MT on the Way…

Been flying the piss out of the old girl lately, but ran into a stumbling block that has had me grounded for two weeks with a bad prop gov. Sent the old Garwin out for overhaul which got my wheels turning….

Regrettably, I fell victim to temptation…..MT_Manual

Which prop did I go with? The STC only covers a two blade for the stock O-470 so its the only real option, but for me, it was really the better choice anyway. The two blade pulls a bit harder, is cheaper, and is lighter than the three blade. The jury is out on exactly what the weight savings is going to be.   Time will tell indeed….

First Oil Change & Weight Savings…

Well Im happy to report I just did my first oil change and have 27 hrs on the clock. Still ironing out some small squawks here and there, but overall I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m gonna bang out another 25 in the next two weeks or so after which I will try to sit down and give some honest critiques of some of the choices I made on the build.089a147732e738a8dfdc0dd0

In the meantime, the modifications have in no way stopped. (slowed perhaps, but not stopped) During the oil change today I took the opportunity to install the Sky-tec I picked up at OSH. Sorry bout the pics… just had the damn iPhone.

Saved almost 8lbs at -4.25″. (welcomed as I have a pretty far fwd CG after all the mods, but more on that later…)


(Old Energizer weight)


(New ST3 Weight)

She Flys…

Time to light a cigar… Finally got her up in the air. Logged 3.1 hrs of testing. It’s a good day.


She is Rolling…

Did some taxi work tonight…  Big smile indeed!


Closer Still…

Annual is done, but bogged down with finishing all the paperwork.  The good news is I might be flying early next week! Dem bush tyres sure are big!



Rolled out the ABWs to see the difference.  New shoes are 39.3 lbs ea and are about 5.5″ taller than the 5.5 x 10’s. Ironically (from my previous notes) the 8.5×10’s on AB 10″ wheels are 42.5 lbs ea. I will weigh em when I remove em, but it looks like the

pypa6uteweight savings continues….

Annual and FedEx…

Annual is done. Just hammering out a couple of squawks. FedEx brought a nice surprise today….


STC’s, 337’s, and Various Paperwork…


Where the thread title “Madness” came from… This is the binder containing the STC’s, 337’s, etc… It’s about 80% complete so far.

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” JFK-

Weight & Balance…

So the weight:

The net net is that I was pretty bummed out earlier today not getting even close to where I wanted. We weighed her, freaked out, pulled the scales, zeroed them again, and re-hung her. Same.

Like many who have come before me, (and many yet to come) I fell victim to my own hyperbolie and half baked dreams of a bushed-out sub-1700 H model. After a tasty sandwich and a cup a joe, I came to realize that I had done pretty damn well considering all the mods and gizmos I added, so I’m content with where she’s at.


The day before I ripped into the Skywagon I had her on the scales for a baseline. On 8.5x10s with all old seats, junky interior, old radios, 12 qts of oil and 79 gal full of she came in at 2303lbs.  This morning on the scales she weighed in at 2265 (with another 2 lbs getting subtracted for a flashlight and portable GPS that was left inside.) Net savings of -40lbs.

For my standard flying config, I will have the back seats out, which will give me an empty weight of 1802lbs on big wheels, max gross of 3190, and a useful of 1388lbs. (Skytec starter on order to get me under 1800 lbs) Of course my CG will probably be right up against the forward side of the envelope and will have to stuff 50lbs of gear in the ext baggage to get her to land in the sweet spot.  I know I could have saved a bunch more had I forwent the comfy leather, all the powdercoating, used less 1/4″ foam, not painted the interior and not shot base coat/clear coat on the exterior, but I recon it’s a respectable enough weight considering all the mods on the airplane. I think not to shabby for an auto-pilot’d IFR bush plane…

CG paper work tomorrow, then all that’s left is to bleed the breaks and I can start her up…

Polishing Sucks…

Big hump in the rear view today… Finished the entire A/C with Nuvite F9. Now its a hard march to the scales… I’ll pick away at the Nuvite “C” and then “S” after I fly.

(BTW… Polishing sucks)


Flap Tracks & U Channel…

Since the flaps and ailerons are already painted red, I shot a coat of UTech on the flap rollers and cove edges. I just need to spend some time polishing the cove and then the flaps can go back on!



I also got all the rubber U-channel installed and the tail cone buttoned up. (from Brown Aircraft if anyone needs to source it) Almost finished!



Pockets & Leather…


One of the downsides of the “utility” interior is lack of places to put stuff. When Ron (Aviation Creations) did my 170, I had him make some custom map pockets for the front. When he did the seats for the Skywagon there was a bit of leather left over so I designed a bunch more custom pockets for him to sew up. Like the rest of the airplane, form follows function. The pockets are based on how I like to use the airplane. I was pretty anal with the designs sending him detailed drawings. I know he cursed my name, but Ron really stepped up and made exactly what I wanted.

Today I started to install a couple of the pockets. Below is a map pocket for the half panel up front, a small door pocket to hold a flashlight and fuel tester (you can also see the armrest he covered w/ the grey leather,) and a small pocket for the baggage door. All the pockets have the same Italian double needle stitch that the are in the front and jump seats. More to come.



VG’s Finished…

Finished the VGs and got em on the wings…








Then pulled her out to get a look in the fresh air… Been a while since she’s seen the sun.



Pulled out the old Vestal White Imron today and added the missing cowl stripe today. It was totally bugging me… Another line item crossed off the punch list.

Tomorrow the plan is to finish up the painting with the red on the spinner backplate.



Progress. Polish & Illumination…


Some more good progress today… Had some friends lend a hand and we got to polishing the tops of the wings. Hit em pretty hard with Nuvite F9 as they were/are pretty rough. Polishing ain’t no joke… After the F9 pass, we still have to hit it with “C,” and then finally “S.” She’s never gonna be a 1 foot beauty, but at ten feet she sure is starting to look nice. (dreading the underside)



Also got the AeroLED Sunbeacon runnin up on the top of the vert stab along with a LED bulb in the tailcone. Its nice as it syncs with the NSPs on the tips. The vStab fairing for the light was courtesy of Willie and Stene Aviation.

AeroLEDs installed…

A pic of the Aeroled landing and taxi in the wing.


Sportsman Finished…

Well I’m happy to say that the is finally F-ing finished. Life really got in the way over the past couple of months, but its finally finished. Part of the time suck on the project was due to being super anal, but in the end, it was worth it. Since the wings will be polished, I painted the fiberglass parts the same silver Imron that I used on the gear legs. Matches polished alum pretty well. Here are some detail pics over the last week. They are a bit incongruous, but its what I got…







N# Change…


Well the paperwork is finally complete and I can officially change my N# to my own number. Took a shit-ton of time, paperwork issues and delays (due to the gov shut-down,) but my N# is now personalized… Late, but thanks FAA-


In a nutshell, the first step is to see if a number is available. Then you reserve it for $10. Next step you submit the application with another fee, and wait…. If you want info on the process, here is the link: