Aircraft Aesthetics

Introducing one of the finest Arrow II's you can fly in Chicago...

What's not to love?

  • Pulse wing-tip landing lights for visual distinction after you lower the gear on approach
  • Shiny "like new" paint to impress friends greeting you on arrival

  • Leather seats and clean interior to carry you and your family in comfort
  • Garmin stack with WAAS, XM Weather, Traffic, TFR's, Terrain for terrific awareness and capability
And, a thorough maintenance program featuring extensive annual and prompt, proactive fixes for peace of mind

I know, I should be a direct mail copy writer. Be that as it may, here is a complex single that you can do so much more with, available to you from Blue Skies Pilot Shop... a fun community at a small airport which is what GA is all about.

And speaking of community, that's what this blog is for. Learn, share, contribute... Drop by 3CK and check out the new arrival, N33815. You'll be glad you did. See you soon!

2008 Annual Inspection

After the purchase was finalized in October 2008, the Arrow flew in from Peoria to 3CK. and taxied straight to hangar P64 for the annual! Mike was ready to give this a thorough spinner to tail inspection and bring this up to his demanding specifications. Well, he had already taken a first look in the pre-purchase inspection and determined the plane was generally well cared for. But he had also built up a squawk list, so off we go....

Here is the pic with the cowling, gear, spinner off and resting on stilts. Air and oil filters off, then stared inspecting from the mounts outward. The muffler was identified for replacement during the pre-buy, so Mike had ordered them ahead to arrive in time for the annual.

Meanwhile, on the inside - the seats came out, floor was removed exposing the control cables. Here are some major aspects we worked on:

  • On the airframe, several little things that had been generally let slip had added up, including installing the right spacers on the control cables. Installed a new battery.
  • On the engine: new muffler and 500 hour mag inspection were the (relatively) big ones; oil and air filter change, checked clamps, re-routed hoses, removed zip ties from engine mount. Did you know these plastic zip ties can actually cut into the metal if left like that? I thought at first Mike was making that one up...
  • Paperwork: ADs, STCs, placards compliance checked. Engine, airframe and prop log book entries made. Then binders w/ POH and appropriate info was put in the plane.

Finally, the plane was ready to test-fly. Once this was complete, with appropriate paperwork (again!) the aircraft was signed off to Mike's satisfaction to enter the fleet at Blue Skies. All in all, nearly 50 hours of labor went into this annual. And I never realized there were actually so many parts in a plane until now!

Whew, I am glad we only do the first annual once with Mike, it was starting to add up. But being just as picky as he is, I'm vicariously glad he is this way so I can "blame" Mike! Not fair, I suppose, but we really are glad for his high standards -- it's peace of mind for all, nevertheless. It simply has to be this way.

Interior and Panel

Click photo to enlarge


  • Rosen visors
  • Leather seats
  • Hydraulic seat height adjustment
  • Air conditioning (window scoop!)

Click photo to enlarge

Instrument Panel:

  • Garmin 430 WAAS
  • Garmin 496 with XM weather
  • Garmin GTX330 transponder
  • Garmin 340A audio panel
  • Bendix King KX155 radios
  • Bendix King DME
  • WX-8 Storm scope
  • Piper IIIB auto pilot
  • Timer on yoke
  • Electric trim on yoke
  • Standby vac

More cool features:

  • 430 and 496 hardwired (i.e., flight plan auto-synchronized)
  • GTX 330 Traffic display on G430
  • Terrain on G430
  • Dual wing-tip pulse landing lights (turn on for your approach videos)
  • Strobes
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