Saturday, April 23, 2011

2011 Annual Inspection (vi)

The 2011 Annual Inspection of N631S is history. Mike the IA finished all the work and had the airplane closed up last Tuesday morning. The CorrosionX treatment was completed and the replacement ELT and new voltage regulator were installed.

I discussed the ELT replacement a couple of posts ago. It took Mike a couple of hours to adapt the baseplate from the new Pointer ELT to the installed bracket from the old unit. He also needed to re-route some cabling to reach the connector locations on the new unit. But the result looks good and didn't cost nearly what the installation of a new 406 MHz unit would have.
The replacement voltage regulator is a Zeftronics R15V00(Rev A) solid state unit with an integral over-voltage sensor. The existing (and occasionally troublesome) over-voltage sensor was removed. The old voltage regulator was original equipment.

Wednesday morning I returned all of the loose items to the aircraft and during the day the line crew at Three Wing washed it. Then Thursday morning I took it up for a brief (0.4 hour) test flight. There was only one squawk - when I did my pre-flight I found that one of the landing lights was not illuminating. I wasn't about to tell Mike to pull the cowling off again just for that; I'll replace it at the next oil change.

The new voltage regulator controlled the bus voltage at about 13.2v with all of the night operations "stuff" turned on, where the old one was giving me barely more than 12v. I expect this will put an end to the weak-battery disease that has plagued N631S over the last couple of winters.

With a successful return-to-service test flight completed, N631S and I were all set for a Friday afternoon flight back to the DC area...which is fodder for another post.

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