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Thread: Total Newbie

  1. #1

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    Default Total Newbie

    So, my son-in-law of 2-years finally took me out to visit the hangar his grandfather has owned for decades at a little uncontrolled airfield within a couple miles of my house. He'd been telling me that he had an old airplane sitting in there, but that it hadn't been flown in quite a while and that he thought it needed a bunch of work. Turns out the aircraft in question is a '57 PA-22 Tri-Pacer 150, converted to taildragger, and with droop tips. It's dusty and has obviously been sitting for a while, but it seems to be in fine shape, with a snazzy yellow/red paint scheme. Looks like it was parked after it's last flight. The front seats are out of it, presumably to facilitate disconnecting the battery, but that's the only thing out of configuration I can see. That said, I'm sure it'll take some effort to get this beauty back in service. So, looking for advice, tips, warnings, notes, cautions, etc. as we look into what this will take. We're in Colorado at close to 7,000', so humidity shouldn't really be an issue.

    I've got my PPL SEL, but it's been quite a while since I've flown, so I won't be doing the initial flights. I have decent mechanical skills, but know that most of the work needs to be accomplished by an A&P.

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    - Glynn

  2. #2
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    What a great sounding project and adventure. Get a local mechanic on board and to look over the project and help you write out a list of things you can do.

    Get the engine running, check compression, new batter. Clean and lube controls. Check electrical system. Does it have radios? This will all lead up to an annual.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    The local mechanic was probably the guy doing annuals, mine sat ten years before I bought it. it was started 1 or twice a year but never flown. the annuals were done. He the mechanic said it was flight worthy. I taxied around awhile and took it up. never been in a tri pacer before that flight. An old timer told me you can fly right? yes. well it flys like every other plane, first landings about 75 across the fence. other than that go up high and play, slow flight and trying to stall it. He said make it float like a leaf. I am not sure I make it float, but I can drop it over the top of trees pretty good.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    Likely will need new main gear bungies or it will likely waddle and wallow all over the taxiway. Since it’s a PA-22/20 checking gear alignment will help the first flight not be overly sporty. Might see if you can get some time in a PA-22/20 with a CFI. Lots of going through, cleaning, lubing, swapping and checking for mouse houses and wasp nests. Fun project to get a wonderful little bird back flying again. Get it annualed and enjoy it.


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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    Thanks for all the replies so far—exactly the stuff I was hoping for. I got the name of the mechanic who’s been doing the annuals and he’s still around and working, so I’ll start with him. I also met a local pilot while we were doing some repair work on the hangar doors, who might be able help out. Evidently, this was one of the first hangars at the field and a bunch of people had been trying to find the owner so they could look into buying it. It’s right next to the run up area. The first day we opened it up, we had a bunch of visitors stop by who had never seen anyone there or the doors open. One guy we met is in the process of buying a Colt and was pretty enthusiastic for us to get the Tri-Pacer flying. He offered to cost share some time in the Colt for familiarization. Again, thanks for the help and I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance for any ignorant questions or statements.
    Last edited by TatesRUs; 05-15-2018 at 08:23 AM.

  6. #6
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    Find a mechanic that can do an annual inspection. If you are a paying member of ShortWingPipers.org you can download the Piper Tri-Pacer Inspection Report which pretty much covers everything. http://www.shortwingpipers.org/member/docs.php

  7. #7
    smcnutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    How exciting! Our airplane was also a Hangar Queen that sat around for about 10 years. We discovered the hard way that the tires needed replacing. They looked fine but would cause the airplane to dart right about rotation speed. As a student it taught me to get real quick on the pedals. We thought it was a gear alignment issue and did all sorts of things but it was finally figured out to be the tires. Might as well (a dangerous phrase in aircraft ownership) just plan on replacing them along with the bungees. Enjoy!

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    “Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”
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  8. #8
    SClow303's Avatar
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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    What a great find. Now get us some pictures!!!!


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  9. #9

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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    I will, ASAP. It's still covered in dust and we haven't even rolled it out of the hangar yet. I'll get some in-situ reference pix as a baseline. Of other interest, there's also a '62 International Scout 80 stored in the hangar. It's all there, but in rough shape. Another son-in-law project, but will be a more long-term effort.


    Quote Originally Posted by SClow303 View Post
    What a great find. Now get us some pictures!!!!


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  10. #10

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    Default Re: Total Newbie

    Best I can do so far, but we’ll get more and better ones later. The tires look fine and hold air, but we’ll likely replace them before we fly.
    C45ADAA4-2ED1-4FA2-8707-AB685A6E3C29.jpg

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