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Thread: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

  1. #1

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    Default "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    I recently acquired my private pilot cert (in a PA22-150) and am interested in pursuing the rest of my certs. I would like to ultimately turn our (my father and I) basically-stock 1955 PA-22-150 into a IFR trainer with minimal cost of course. The major modifications that need to occur are generator to alternator and adequate avionics.

    Currently I am applying for a field approval proposal for Dick Waters' 60amp internally regulated alternator (http://www.airtecinc.us/aircraft/index.html). Anybody have experience with this particular alternator?

    The avionics currently installed are:
    SPA-400 intercom
    KX-170B Nav/Comm to a KI-209 indicator with glideslope receiver installed
    Val-comm 760 #2com
    Narco AT50 Transponder with mode C encoder

    My questions are:
    What feedback/tips/hints/suggestions would you have for making the TP IFR certified?
    What suggestions would you have for installing the adequate avionics to be a basic IFR trainer. I realize the regulations read (14CFR 91.205(c)(2) "Two-way radio communication and navigation equipment suitable for the route to be flown." This leaves it pretty wide open, which is why I'm looking for input.

    Somebody just recently gave me a King KNS-80 Navigation System (operating status is unknown at this point). The primary problem with the KNS-80 is the size/space available since the '55 has the lower profile panel. This leads into my next question, what would it involve to move to a raised-centerstack-panel that would handle standard AN gyros? I know Clyde Smith Jr. has raised panels available, this to me would seem like a minor alteration in that the FAR's do not list instrument panels as a major alteration, or is there something I'm overlooking.

    I appreciate your feedback
    Thanks,
    Burk

  2. #2
    d.grimm's Avatar
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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    How about a IFR enroute/approach GPS, alternator,
    And heated pitot. Should be all set. You could get by without
    The pitot or alternator but I would like both.
    Have Fun,
    Dave

  3. #3

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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    Dave,
    What is the basis for the heated pitot? I have heard people mention that before but have not found a requirement for it.
    Burk

  4. #4
    KSG's Avatar
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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    IFR pitot static check current and your good to go. Actual IFR flight means relying on your equipment a good vacuum system and electric system. Alternator upgrade is a good idea if you have concerns about the generator. I have had good luck with plane power alts and they are Pma an an easy installed. IFR gps is nice but not necessary. Portable gps or iPad with weather downlink or now uplink is great, especially for the price.

  5. #5
    KSG's Avatar
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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    IFR pitot static check current and your good to go. Actual IFR flight means relying on your equipment a good vacuum system and electric system. Alternator upgrade is a good idea if you have concerns about the generator. I have had good luck with plane power alts and they are Pma an an easy installed. IFR gps is nice but not necessary. Portable gps or iPad with weather downlink or now uplink is great, especially for the price. Heated pitot is necessary for cold weather flying so the pitot static and airspeed don't freeze.

  6. #6
    d.grimm's Avatar
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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    Where I live you probably want a heated pitot 5 out of 12 months.
    Not a requirement, and I flew mine IFR without a heated pitot
    and with a generator, but that was the upgrade plan.
    Dave

  7. #7

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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    I'm also planning to try to use my Pacer as my IFR trainer and then for punching through the stubborn cloud layers that have recently become a fixture of the Puget Sound summers.

    I have no installed nav capability at all and I have the tall panel. I have the plane power alt., and new gyros. I have an ipad with gps, and will probably get the adsb-weather box when I start IFR flights. The avionics are Terra com, transponder, audio panel, and mode c encoder, and an old Narco #2 com.



    I'm curious what recommendations people have for getting reasonable nav capability, and do I need an alternate static port? If so, how do people set that up for shortwings?

    I was looking at using the VAL INS 429 and having just the single nav radio. Is that dumb, just having a single nav? I could replace the Narco with a nav/com to get two nav radios. Any experiences with the VAL unit?

  8. #8
    Mark Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    All good ideas....but you may want to evaluate what your goal is...I flew a Colt for years with a MX 300 nav comm (1) and a KI-208 (no glide slope) and a mode C transponder and an old Loran (good for Ground Speed, and Situational Awareness at the time)..the aircraft had original AN Gyros which were venturi powered...no vac pump......BUT we were IFR legal, kept our pitot static and Mode C checks current, and did a 30 Day VOR check and kept a log...

    that being said it was not a "hard IFR" platform....but we used 1000/2 as minimums for take off or landing primarily so we could get the gyros up to speed, before entering the clouds, or make a turn in the pattern at 800 feet and land if we sensed a gyro issue...(never had one in 12 years though)...

    We primarily used the Colt to train for IFR ratings....being a CFII I had numerous friends that wanted to work on their ratings....which we did at 6 gph....and 90 knots....the majority of your training is not shooting CAT III ILS to 50 ft with 1/4 mile vis like an airliner...or like in MicroSoft Flight Sim....we are in a GA airplane....it is too learn to maneuver the aircraft soley on instruments....and 95% of this training and IFR flying is enroute....so we could do the following in the Colt...got great ATC practice, copying clearances, vectors around the radar pattern to VOR/LOC approaches, and continually tried to stay within 2, 2, and 20...(2 degrees, 2 knots, and 20 feet)....

    Instrument Take Off, Climb out, Vectors to enroute VOR or direct to VOR....intersection work wth a single VOR, HOLDS at the VOR, or at intersections, VOR approaches (straight in and circling) as well as Localizer approaches (straight in and circling) gathered all the IFR cross country time we needed with a safety pilot, and we were legal to file IFR whether we needed to or just wanted to for practice...

    Get a good Sim program you are comfortable operating....MS Flight Sim is fine...and very reasonable....I like a joystick controller because they are much better at finding neutral when released than a yoke does....they are also less expensive...CH makes a nice one with integral trim controls, and throttle....all you really need.

    Do everything, on the SIM first....you can plan, "file", and fly your entire training flight on the sim, a couple of times once with your CFII then a coulpe of times SOLO....then go get in the plane and fly it for real....the best part of the sim is that you can pause, reset, compress time, make a printout of your track, and do it anytime in any weather you want to set up....

    I think the addition of a LEVIL AHARS system ($800) and an iPad/iPhone as a GPS and alternate "entire panel" would be a great investment, and it is portable to use in any plane you fly....one of the Stratus ADS-B in receivers that would provide WX info (FREE) to the same iPad/iPhone would be great....and very useful IFR or VFR and again is portable...in the absolute low budget section of the aviation department of WAL Mart...get a NUVI car GPS....look under transportation, air transit and you will see most public airports are in the GPS database....it is a very reliable ground speed instrument, and will leave a track you can review after your flight....just use "off road" mode....and always start with your home airport, then your next airport, then your next point then back to your home airport....this will give you a course line to reference....for each leg.....you can create waypoints (VOR/NDB/Intxn) by coordinates and save them in these GPS by any name you like under favorites, and even put them in the air transportation category and assign little icons to each point....again purely for Situational awareness, and practice...not to try to sub for an IFR certified GPS....a lot of the iPad GPS programs, like foreflight, DONT leave a track that you can review....so if all you do is toss the NUVI on the glare shield and let it record your track that will be useful info after the flight...(hold entries, station passage, course tolerance, etc...just like the MS Flight Sim does....if you fly with a safety pilot you can show your CFII what you did, how well you did, and then clear that track to prep for next flight...

    If you want to practice ILS, (in VFR conditions) you could practice using a Sportys handheld, ($500), it is very relaible, especillay if hooked up to share your existing external VOR antenna....it will give you an alternate/back up VOR and ILS tuner, CDI and Glide Slope display, and is a great back up COMM transceiver if you did lose all electrical power...

    As for power production....we sent our 30 amp generator out to have it overhauled, came back better than new....we are using a PMA'd Zeftronics regulator, and have recently switched to one of Svenns STC'd smaller batteries (AGM) and new Master Switch/CB to eliminate the fuses and their inherent issues....all working great in our 58 Tri Pacer which has the original Piper Auto Control Autopilot....(heading hold only) which works just fine....The Tri Pacer has Terra Avionics, which are older, but still fully supported by the current repair station certificate holders at Texas State Technical College, in Waco TX....they will make an old Terra like new for $400....we like ours very much...again simple, reliable, inexpensive...

    Another very good technique I use is to have folks BUY a good DVD or on line IFR course....pick you favorite....I really like the way Sportys does their video editing, but King, ASA, etc are all very good.....get a course, and actually do it, all of it, and take your written FIRST....or sooner than later.....it makes the training so much more meaningful if you have at least seen a presentation about what you are attempting to accomplish....this is probably the most important $400 you can spend on your training.....way less expensive than having your CFII explain it to you, and you can pause, rewind, stop, etc...

    Rod Machados Book on Instrument Flying is excellent, and one that is out of print, but available on Amazon...."Mastering Instrument Flying"...is also very good....

    You will need an IFR capable airplane to take your check ride, with precision and non precision approach capability....but you can rent one of these or find a trusting friend and get checked out in theirs for your check ride....if you have practiced in your very basic PA22, and can do it all in that you can easily do it in another more sophisticated plane....

    I see folks spend 10 - 20K on their airplanes INstrument panel, and then never even take their written IFR exam....let alone get their rating...

    Take the test, practice on the $100 sim/joystick combo, with an instructor, then run what ya brung (use your airplane) with the least amount of $$$ spent to accomplish the aeronautical knowledge portion of the rating requirements.....while it is very very valuable to get some actual IFR time during your training....IT IS NOT REQUIRED....so you dont really need an IFR Cert aircraft to do any of your training, just your checkride....just a minimally equipped aircraft (with a full understanding of its limitations), a CFII and/or asaftey pilot, and a comfortable pair of foggles....

    Save all that panel mounted GPS Glass $$$$$ for fuel....and just go fly the simple airplane that we all have come to love....it is a very good IFR training platform , and even with just a single VOR you can stay current in it as well.....once you finish this very important IFR rating...


    Good Luck to all....let me know if I can help in any way....

    Mark

  9. #9

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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    Mark - one of the many things I like about this site is the depth of information available. This post is a ripper! I last held an instrument rating in the mid 80's and never considered using a Piper ragwing as an IFR platform to renew my rating. After reading this I may just have to reconsider. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Mark Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: "IFR-ing" a PA-22-150

    I think you will find that the ol tri pacer will do everything you need. Back in the day a single VOR and an ADF were the bomb as far as avionics.....and we all got along just fine....right....hey were not shooting approaches on the old AN ranges just on the basis of a solid tone....if you keep the cost low, and the plane simple it is exponentially more likely to be flown often.....we should all try to wear these planes out vs letting them rust away in hangr
    ers with really expensive avionics in them....right?

    Have fun and stop by if you're ever near GPT in south MS...our field is MS82....

    Mark

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