First Airplane

I found this site a short while back and figured it was time to say hi!

Got my PPL in mid 80's and flew for a few years until life happened and I began to rust!

In Dec. 2017 I got the bug and decided to see if flying was something I could pick up again after 30 plus years! I went to an AOPA Rusty Pilot Seminar, did a bunch of studying and scheduled a Flight Review... two hours of ground and a little over 3 hours (3 flights) later I got signed off!

The FBO I got the BFR at was not very pilot-friendly and only had two really beat Cherokee 140's, so I found another FBO about a 30 minute farther drive that had 5 Pipers: Warrior II, Cherokee 180, Archer II, and 2 Arrow II's. A couple hours in the Arrow got me checked out in all of their piper fleet. Not only do they have much nicer looking aircraft but they appear to be much better maintained also!

Fast forward to early April 2019. While looking around the web one evening I stumbled across a '78 Piper Archer II for sale at a nearby airport and decided to take a look at it. The archer looked pretty good in the pictures but in person, it looked great! Long story short it flew me to my home airport by the month's end.

I plan to update:
The transponder/ ADS-B
A pair of G-5's, ditch the suck pump!
Change one mag to a SureFly electronic
New ELT that transmits on 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz
New audio panel and a pair of nav/coms Or one nav/com and a GPS Nav/com (navigator)

I also need to find out why the electric pitch trim quit working... anybody know where the pitch trim actuator/motor is located in an Archer II? I'm hoping it's something simple like motor brushes needing to be cleaned or such!







Comments

  • Very Pretty!

  • OMG, she's beautiful! :) Great buy, you'll love this plane! So here are a couple of things to add to the list. Getting a 406MHz ELT is imperitive, as you already guessed. But please buy yourself a PLB, too. I recommend this to everyone. As my attorney used to say, belt and suspenders. A PLB (which you where everywhere when you travel) is a personal locator beacon or a personal ELT. Where an ELT might take an hour before someone locates you, the PLB is about five minutes. They're only about $200 and they hang on your neck like a lanyard. Also, swap out your number 2 navcom with a TKM MX-170. They're 30 years newer and slide right in the slot where your KX-170 was. They're TSO'd (765 channels, and modern). New they're $3k and used about $1.5k. Tremendous value, no install cost.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Thank you, I do feel lucky to have found it. The paint is about 6 years old, always hangared and looks like it just rolled out of the paint shop... no chips or scratches except where my tug slipped off and bumped the nose gear weel pant... made me sick!
    I ordered a PLB at OSH this year, if the back order ever gets filled! Thanks also for the nav/com info I will check out the TKM, sounds great!

  • Roger that!

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Sorry, not up on all the latest acronyms. What is a "PPL" and "PLB"?
    Austin

  • Hi Austin,
    Private Pilots License and Personal Locator Beacon. Here's a link to the one that I have. I always have it around my neck, even on an airliner. https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/aquaplb.php?clickkey=4066

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • I guess I don't keep up with the latest gadgets either. When you turn 70, no one is looking for you anyway!!
    Austin

  • Austin, I wish that were true. I am busier now than when I was 65 and on call almost all of the time. I tried to reduce my schedule but it hasn't worked out that way.

  • Same at my house, lol. :)

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • I may have to sit thru the yearly IA symposium next year because I may not get the min 4 Annuals. Most of the people I know now have home builts and only require a "Condition Inspection". These same people want me to fly with them in their aircraft for a flight review. Many only have one set of controls. Not me!! So the CFII stuff is drying up also. I did aircraft appraisals for ten years also and that started drying to the point the $85 a month for software wasn't worth it. I'll have to admit, I'm not exactly beating the bushes to find work though.
    Austin

  • That's because you're spending alot of time on the Piper forum! It doesn't pay well but it's hugely gratifying! :)

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Hey Archer owner,
    It didn’t look like anyone addressed your question about electric trim. Mine worked as well until the first annual. My A&P set the cable tension and that caused the clutch to slip. The unit is under the floor of the baggage compartment and can be viewed by sticking your head through the battery access door. I bought a new friction disk but after seeing what’s involved I just turned it off. I was told you have to set the cable tension to the loose end of specification and change the disk. I suspect labor would cost a fortune and I can get by with the trim wheel. Hope that helps. Steve Kyle
  • Steve, Thanks for the response.

    It turns out the yoke switch was the problem. The switch case had popped open so the contacts were not making contact. Cleaned it up reassembled and epoxied it back together and the switch is working fine now.

    Unfortunately, the pitot-static system was found to be leaking caused by a broken pneumatic switch in the Electric trim stop sensor. Since it's a safety thing the electric trim is disabled until I can find a repair part ;-(

    Gotta love dealing with 40+ year old parts!

  • Beautiful aircraft! You don't have to upgrade everything at once. Enjoy the experience of flying your aircraft as you consider your options. If considering an autopilot, have a look at the TruTrack, now King autopilot. You have a perfect panel spot! I installed one virtually myself (A&P IA assisted) last year and it is truly amazing. I have a 1966 Cherokee 180, predecessor to the Archer.

    Regards,

    Mike

  • Thank you Mike. I recently upgraded the dino-transponder to a Garmin GTX 335 so it is ADS-B compliant. My ELT battery is close to timing out and fortunately, the Artex I had ordered at Oshkosh finally arrived a couple of days ago so the ELT will be up to date shortly. Both of those items were high on my "safety" upgrade list!

    I have been considering an Aspen E5 for several reasons, it interfaces to the new TruTrak Vizion Autopilot and it is compatible with most legacy autopilots if you want to drop a grand on an interface module. My auto control 3B is single-axis and also original to the 41-year old airframe so I'm weighing the option of the interface or use that $1,000 toward newer hardware with more capability. I'm sure I will be needing to do something soon as the DG needs an eye kept on it all the time. Flying straight and level it's fine but occasionally after performing 60-degree bank turns I've noticed it needing adjustment back to the compass heading. Again, dino-instrumentation!

    Lots of things to consider.

  • We sent a men to the moon with "Dino-instrumentation!" ;)

    Believe it or not, there are only 3 wires needed to interface a WAAS GPS to the TruTrak. I have a Garmin 430 WAAS and that is all it took. Of course physically locating those three wires was a bear!
  • Don't get me wrong, I don't mind steam gauges at all... that's what I learned onto fly with in the mid '80s.
    What I don't care for is the old stuff needing a large cash infusion to keep alive, if it can even kept alive, when what I really want is to upgrade anyway... eventually!

  • Beautiful airplane!

    Like the others mentioned, no need to do all the upgrades at once. Enjoy the heck out of the airplane!

    Griff

    Jim "Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

  • The first airplane I flew as a student, some 50 plus years ago, had a brand new high tech VOR in the panel. We were told not to touch it. Today my plane has a GTN-650 and GTX-330ES, plus GI-206 etc. It is amazing how far we have come and with such speed in the last 10 years.

  • Microprocessors and LCD screens have revolutionized avionics. It's truly unbelievable how much money I can spend on that stuff :)

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • No kidding. I paid too much for this airplane and could easily double the investment in the panel.

  • Spot on Ray. Back when I was first getting into aviation (when airplanes had boilers and we had to shovel coal into them), some of the old guys told me that you can easily spend as much on avionics as the whole rest of the airplane. Technology has made incredible advances, but that statement still holds true today. By the way, your airplane is beautiful!

    Jim "Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

  • Thanks, I'm doing my best to keep it nice!

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