Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Commitment To A Cessna 172B
Dream hot, work hard and make sure there’s money in the pot: The chronicle of a 40-year path to the perfect C-172B
“Well, you start out conservative. You have this idea to spend a few bucks, so you buy something old. You mean to just fix it up and fly it to those $100 hamburgers. But because I’d been smitten with the 172B so long ago, nothing was going to stand in my way. I wanted it right.”
So, what’s a guy to do when the fire burns out?
Start another fire. “I went out and bought a Glastar Sportsman [www.newglasair.com].”
Any advice to pass along to the similarly afflicted—other than don’t get afflicted in the first place?
“Yes. A key is to make a budget list of everything you want to do to the airplane. Most people rebuild to save a bunch of money, which usually turns out to not be true. So, be strict about what you’re going to pay, and when you get there, either stop or marry a very rich person!”
It helps to have some expert guidance along the way. “I was very lucky to have Dave Light, an FAA-designated inspector. He shepherded me through the whole project.
“I’d also suggest joining Cessna Pilots Association [www.cessna.org]. That was the first thing I did. I called them every other day. They’re a fantastic group. I got hooked on eBay and bought a lot of stuff there too.”
“Not a one. I cruise about 115 to 118. With the STOL kit, I bring her in over the fence at 60, no problem, and can land short and take off short. On cruise, with that overhauled engine, I lean it back to about 8.2 to 8.4 gph at 5,000 feet.”
Don’t forget the fringe benefits: an airplane that will bring top dollar on the market, and mondo bragging rights.
“I’m pretty much a local flyer—I keep within a 500-mile radius. But everywhere I go, folks come over and look, smile and praise it. I meet a lot of new people that way.”
For Peter Petrus, many green northeast fields have slipped beneath the wings since that day in 1961 when a seed was planted. There have been $100 hamburgers, lots of smiles, two newly rated pilots and winged dreams still to be realized.
Such is the nature of seeds that wait for fire.
SPECS: Cessna 172B
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Labels: Piston Singles