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Airplanes, again. - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
Airplanes, again.
So I went out to fly last night.

It's been a month or so since my checkride, so I snagged the flight instructor, picked out 3 approaches, briefed them, and got in the airplane.

We made it as far as the runup area. Last weekend, the right brake was a bit sticky. I figured it was just a bit of rust on the pads from not being flown for 3 weeks (and the last time I did fly it, it was in the rain), so when it fixed itself on the way to the runway, I didn't worry too much about it.

Last night, it stuck as I was trying to pull onto the runway, and wouldn't release. So, with much cursing, we got out and messed with it until it moved freely again, and then pulled the airplane by hand until I was sure it wasn't going to stick again, and then taxied the rest of the way back to the hanger.

I then spent the rest of the evening pulling the right brake apart. Once again, the pistons are badly corroded and pitted. Well, they were. Now they're all shiny and clean, but I know in 6 months they'll be a mess again.

My options:
  • An STC from Univair to put disc brakes on. $2500 including parts, but it comes with all the paperwork, all the parts and no FAA hassles.
  • The Stintson disc brake kit. $939, including parts, but no paperwork for my make and model of airplane. The FAA has a new policy of no field approvals, so this is going to be a big hassle with the FAA.
  • Find a wrecked Colt and buy the disc brakes off it. Cheap, also no paperwork, same problems as above, plus with used parts you never know what you're getting.
  • Buy new pistons. $208 each, times 4 pistons. Since it's the same part, no paperwork is needed.
  • Take the piston to a machine shop and see if they can make me one. Once again, no paperwork needed, because it's an owner-manufactured part.

*sigh* I might try the machine shop first, although I'm afraid the setup charges are going to be more then I want to pay. On the other hand, if the setup charges are really bad, I could just have them make me a dozen, and then I'd have enough to last me the rest of my life, since I strongly suspect the ones I have are original (from 1955).

If that won't work, I guess I'll try to talk to my IA and see if he'll sign off on the Stinston kit and try to hassle it through the FAA process.

I miss my experimental airplane.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

2 comments or Leave a comment
From: ex_inviolet697 Date: September 23rd, 2004 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Can a machine shop make them in chromed, or in 410SS or some such?
alioth1 From: alioth1 Date: September 23rd, 2004 11:10 am (UTC) (Link)

I bet...

I'm betting Michael's solution would be to stick Stinson brakes on it and tell no one, and when it comes to the sad time the plane must be sold, put the old drum brakes back on :-)

Seriously, disc brakes are superb. We had them on the 140 (Cleveland brakes and wheels), I'm sure it had drums to start with. The Auster has heel operated drum brakes (cable, not hydraulic) and they suck because (a) they go out of adjustment continously, (b) heel brakes suck regardless because you can't easily use the rudder whilst braking because of where your heel hinges and the displacement required to move the Auster's large rudder.
2 comments or Leave a comment