Thanks for all the notes about the Sweeps 182’s fate during the March 31 tornado event at Sun ‘N Fun. The airplane survived in fine shape–more than you can say about a lot of airplanes on the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport that day.
But there was a catch. On the last day of the show–as with all such large fly-ins–the exhibit airplanes are towed and/or pulled manually out of the exhibit area. The result is a traffic jam because everyone wants to get out of there asap. So there I was waiting for the airshow to finish and the red flag to descend–meaning that the field was now open, and taxiing for takeoff could begin. (All I wanted to do was cross the active, taxi over to the FBO, and get ready for a departure the next morning.)
The plane started fine, but then, uh oh. The 60-ampere Alternator circuit breaker popped! I was on battery, stuck in a conga line that wasn’t budging, and watching my battery indicator dropping through 11 volts. No way was I going to reset the CB and risk further problems.
Long story short: I made it to the other side, had AeroMech’s mechanics look at the charging system, and waited for the verdict.
“The voltage regulator was full of water,” said AeroMech’s Ken Willaford. “I took it out, shook it, and water came out. So I blew it and the rest of the engine compartment out with compressed air, started it up, and everything worked fine.”
The next day I took off–bound for the paint shop. Three hours and change later, I was at Boss Aircraft Refinishers at Salisbury, North Carolina’s Rowan County Airport (KRUQ). Bill Lucey took the keys, and I was outa there.
Anybody else out there been waterlogged like that?
So now, let the painting begin! And brother, does this airplane need a new paint job. Look for more updates on the stripping of the bad old paint and the application of the new paint job over the coming weeks.