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Cody, Wyo.: A still-small town in the big American West

Cody, Wyo.: A still-small town in the big American West

Have you ever traveled through a town in a hurry and thought to yourself, I ought to come back here sometime when I can stop and smell the roses…? During my NetJets days, flying here and there across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, I saw a lot of country but didn’t have time to stop and look around. Assignments were mostly of the “drop the owners and move on quickly to the next destination” type. This was also the case when I first flew into Cody, Wyo. Cody is located in the northwest corner of the state and at the... Read more

Shell Introduces its Unleaded 100 Octane Fuel

Shell Introduces its Unleaded 100 Octane Fuel

Shell Oil issued the following press release on Dec. 1, 2013: SHELL REMOVES LEAD FROM LIGHT AIRCRAFT FUEL   Shell today became the first major oil company to develop a lead-free replacement for Aviation Gasoline (Avgas 100 and 100LL), which will now begin a strict regulatory approvals process. Avgas is one of the last common transportation fuels to contain lead and is used by light aircraft and helicopters. Shell’s new lead-free formulation comes after 10 years of exhaustive R&D, as well as successful initial testing, carried out in the last two months by two original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).   Xinsheng (Sheng) Zhang, vice... Read more

Spotting Airframe Corrosion and Reducing Lead Fouling

Spotting Airframe Corrosion and Reducing Lead Fouling

Q: Hi Steve, I’m considering becoming a partner in what looks like a pretty nice 1966 Cessna 182 but I’m concerned about corrosion in the airframe. I seem to remember that Cessna didn’t apply any paint or even any primer to the insides of their single engine airplanes. Is that right? I’ve owned boats and know that it’s possible to run an aluminum boat in saltwater if it’s the right alloy. Is the aluminum alloy used in airplanes a corrosion-resistant alloy? When I’m looking for corrosion, where should I look? And what can be done if I find it? Thanks, Hopeful   A: Dear Hopeful,... Read more

Garmin’s Passive ADS-B Solution

Garmin’s Passive ADS-B Solution

January 2014-  Ever since the dawn of the Computer Age, two engineering factions have regularly engaged in trench warfare. One group believes that hardware-centric devices are inherently more stable solutions for an engineering problem, while the other group—the software-centric crowd— believes that its approach offers greater flexibility for less money.  Garmin, arguably the best-known purveyor of aviation GPS devices, thinks that in the case of passive ADS-B devices, both approaches should be offered to the marketplace to allow the customer to choose which is best.  Enter the GDL 39 Portable ADS-B Datalink—and its handmaidens, the Aera series of portable GPS receivers and the... Read more

Clyde’s Vision

Clyde’s Vision

January 2014- Clyde Cessna grew up on a farm near Raymond, Kan. He was a natural tinkerer and liked to know how things worked. He showed a talent for fixing farm machinery and by the early 1900s, Clyde Cessna had developed a reputation as a talented mechanic. It was only natural, then, that his purchase of an REO automobile in 1907 would lead to more than a passing fancy with the new contraptions. In fact, it would lead him to a new career. Tinkerer, salesman, pilot At a time when many were skeptical of the newfangled automobiles, Clyde was fascinated and set about to... Read more

Skyhawk Domination

Skyhawk Domination

December 2013-  The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the top selling aircraft of all time—and it’s unlikely that another model will knock it out of its number one position any time soon. Wikipedia’s “List of most produced aircraft” shows the Skyhawk on top with 60,000-plus units and counting; the Soviet-made Ilyushin Il-2 (no longer in production) is a distant number two with 36,183 units—almost half that of the 172. Cessna’s website lists a more modest 43,000-plus units for 172 production, still leaving it solidly in the lead. Although the terms “172” and “Skyhawk” are often used interchangeably, the model began as the 172.... Read more

Learn the Three Rs: When to refurbish, repair or replace your fuel bladder

Learn the Three Rs: When to refurbish, repair or replace your fuel bladder

December 2013-  I knew it as soon as I saw the telltale stripes of blue dye on the metal fairing covering the gap between the bottom of the right wing and the fuselage. A leaking fuel bladder.  I recalled from my days as a tech rep that the most common failure of a light airplane fuel bladder is age-related deterioration of the top surface due to long-term exposure to heat. When I began to get a good whiff of fuel after filling the right main of 7 Lima Juliet, my 1966 Cessna 182J, I knew it was bladder time. Some Cessna owners “solve”... Read more

Affordable, Portable EFIS: Dynon’s D1 Pocket Panel

Affordable, Portable EFIS: Dynon’s D1 Pocket Panel

September 2013/ Who should have it, where to install it, and how to fly with it- If your panel looks like the photo on page X (Figure 1) when you’re flying in instrument conditions, then it’s time to consider a backup plan so you’ll arrive safely at your destination. The Dynon D1 Pocket Panel (Figure 2, page X) is a solid-state AHRS coupled with an internal GPS to provide GPS altitude and ground speed. All of these capabilities are packed in a 3.6 x 3.26 inch package—including a lithium battery that will power the D1 for up to four hours. The D1 is not... Read more

Trusty Companion: The venerable lap desk

Trusty Companion: The venerable lap desk

August 2013 - A pilot's lap desk is more than just a tool of the trade. My folding lap desk started as fine brushed aluminum, but these days is showing some scars and scuffs. Soldiering on, it continues to serve the mission for which it was so well designed. The dark ages My "student days" attempt at some method of organizing personal cockpit clutter involved a kneeboard fastened to my thigh with the airborne version of a portable tourniquet. With comfort just an afterthought, the designer of the thigh-clamp kneeboard system doubtlessly had his eureka moment while in convalescence from a sprain held in compression... Read more

Classic Airframe, Cutting-Edge Powerplant: Upgrade and Overhaul Options for your 206

Classic Airframe, Cutting-Edge Powerplant: Upgrade and Overhaul Options for your 206

June 2013 With so many STCs you have many alternatives, and all of them offer technical and operational improvements for your 206. Cessna’s 206 is a very fine airplane. The 206 series evolved from the Cessna 205 that hit the market in 1963. Model 205s were equipped with a six-cylinder fuel-injected 260 hp IO-470-S engine from Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM). Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) was 3,300 pounds. The 205 was suspended after two years and 577 airplanes, and replaced in 1964 by the Super Skywagon 206 that maintained the 3,300-pound MTOW of the 205 but got a power boost of... Read more

What’s in your survival/ditch kit?

What’s in your survival/ditch kit?

May 2013 Several months ago (“Heading Bug,” June 2012) columnist David Hipschman weighed in with his ideas about what to carry in your Cessna for emergencies, and he shared what he carries: “Here’s what is currently in my ditch case. But I need to point out that it changes often as I come across things I like, or contemplate flights that differ in their potential for survival challenges: A comprehensive first aid kit (unless you have a medical background, get a kit with good instructions in case what might happen exceeds your knowledge) with three days’ worth of my prescription medications, and painkillers... Read more

The Perfect Plane: Our Better-Than-New Cessna 170B

The Perfect Plane: Our Better-Than-New Cessna 170B

May 2013/ When you begin the search for the aircraft model that will best fit your most common mission profile, you define and prioritize the wants and needs that will fit into a defined budget. You evaluate necessary compromises, and debate between two-place or four-place; speed; cargo capacity; VFR or IFR. Will the airplane be used on unimproved strips or paved runways? Then come the costs to acquire, operate, maintain and insure your choice. The Light Sport category of new aircraft gives a pilot several possibilities, but most are small two-place aircraft and still run well in excess of $100,000. When one looks... Read more

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