Avionics on track

The sweeps 182 is now into its fourth week at Advantage Avionics, a shop located at the Chino, California airport. While almost all of the new avionics components are at Advantage, the panel still is in its gutted stage. The work these days is focused on installing the many antennas and airframe-mounted components that will serve the Garmin G500, the Garmin GTS800 traffic advisory system, the Cobham/S-TEC System Fifty-Five X autopilot and flight control system, and the new comm radios.

“The panel work comes last,” says Advantage’s Mark Krueger. “We have a lot of boxes still to install,  but we’re closing in on the last of them.”

The accompanying photo shows two of those boxes. The photo is of the interior, aft of where the rear seats would be. The large box on the left is the GTS800’s processor unit–the one that detects nearby transponder returns and generates warning symbology on the G500. To its right is the Garmin GDL69A datalink receiver, which handles inbound signals for depicting XM WX satellite weather information.

But there’s something else about this photo. I want you to look at the interior of that tailcone. It is as bright and corrosion-free as the day it left the factory, back in 1974. This is a quite remarkable state of preservation. And, frankly, it’s the main reason we purchased N52832.  When we bought it, the panel was ancient, the paint was shot, the interior was dreadful, and the engine had seen better days.
New Avionics

But in restoration projects like the ones AOPA performs for its sweepstakes airplanes, none of that matters. All those items can be replaced or otherwise improved upon. But corrosion? That’s a deal-killer. Repairing corrosion–or even worse, replacing corroded parts–is too costly and time-consuming for a 10-month upgrade project. Then there’s the ugly fact that’s the title of a Neil Young album: Rust Never Sleeps. You may think you’ve fixed corrosion, but chances are it’ll be back.

We sure didn’t want that. So a sight like that tailcone interior was a green light to go ahead and buy N52832.

  • don sebastian

    When I first saw this 36 year old Cessna, I thought, opps! But you can’t judge a book by its cover, So I quickly got into the easiest place to disqualify this AOPA candidate airplane. The luggage compartment has a large removable cover, that exposes the entire aft fuselage. This area is not primed with that green Zinc Chromate paint. I was amazed to see a bright shinny aluminum finish, not the dull white powder finish of surface corrosion. So instead of getting into the hardest places to look for corrosion, which would take the rest of the day. I said, lets fly. The flight test irregularities could cause more concern of structural integrity to look into. But the flight test went well, no high speed dive flutters, out of trim variations with speed, my opinions of this airplane really started to change.

  • Mike

    Wow this is going to be a great restoration!! Looking forward to the updates on the processes.

  • http://www.finalflight.info David Reinhart

    What’s the black box behine the traffic processor? A magnetometer?

    • http://www.aopa.org thorne


      It’s the trim motor

  • Jerry

    The first thing I noticed about the picture was how clean the interior was, it was as clean as a whistle. I wondered if it had been prepped until I read further. Thanks to the author for pointing that out in the article, valuable information that would have been overlooked in most stories.

  • Jeff May

    OK, so why can’t I win this time? I’ve been a member >25 years and this is just what I’d like!

    • http://www.aopa.org thorne

      This could be your year, Jeff! One thing’s for sure—I can’t win it!!!


  • John S. Allen

    That inside looks great! Its hard to believe it is a 36+ year old airframe. Cant wait to see what the old girl looks like when you are through….

  • Pat G.

    Quick question. I just got done reading, First Flights in January’s edition. What is the cause of the heavy right wing? Improper rigging, maybe?

    • http://www.aopa.org thorne


      Rigging issue is my guess. It’s not as bad as it was originally, but it must certainly be dealt with in order to have the autopilot work well


  • Jim Faix

    How about next year you do a Lake amphibian.

    • http://www.aopa.org thorne


      We’ll put it in the suggestion box!


  • Albert Marks

    Will there be a float kit installed

    • http://www.aopa.org thorne

      No Albert, no floats this time. We talked about it, but it would a A LOT of pressure to the work schedule, which is tight as it is…..


  • Randy White

    Hi Guys, I am working toward my A&P at an aircraft repair station here in Colorado. ProAv, see’s all kinds of aircraft from Citations to the PA-12 Super Cruiser that I own. I concur with you on Corrosion. It seems that as I perform Annual after Annual, I find various stages of Corrosion in many aircraft. We have to go thru some extreme measures to fight the demon. Usually replacing the panel or rib is the needed fix. Glad to see such a clean Skylane. Keep up the good work. Randy

  • Dennis Pharoah

    Why not treat the aluminum with green primer so that it will remain corrosion free for ever?

    • http://www.aopa.org thorne


      It will be treated when it gets to the interior re-work phase…..


  • Gretchen Clinkingbeard

    What an exciting job.

  • George Merriam

    It’s fun to watch the rebuilding of these fine older craft,,,will the new panel be user freindly? Easy to pick up and pass along to those unfamiliar?

    • http://www.aopa.org thorne

      Thanks George–

      User-friendly? I’ll let everybody know when I pick it up in two weeks or so


  • Dennis Faver

    Love to see the pristine no-corrosion condition of the airframe. My question then becomes: if an owner wanted to apply additional anti corrision treatment (ala ACF 50) what affect would it have on all the boxes in the stern of the airframe?