Wayne Grau's Nice Cessna 177RG
I convinced myself that you will find two types of Cessna Cardinals; the ones that are maintained to get highest degree and the looks reflect it or the ones that are total rat bags, there's nothing in the middle or at least that's my opinion. Wayne Grau's Cardinal 177RG is the nicest Cardinal RG we've ever had in the shop, bar none. It's obvious to the most casual observer the Wayne insist on keeping his Cardinal in top shape. The paint looks as if it's never set out side, the interior is as nice as any custom interior you will ever find and the airframe and engine are so clean one could eat off of them. Wayne wanted a nice IFR equipped Cessna but didn't want to spend all of his retirement on it. Together, we discussed and chose the avionics that best suited Wayne's needs today as well as the future.
During the first phase of the installation Wayne had my boys install the nice custom panels you see here along with two King KX-155's, a King KT-76A transponder, PS-Engineering 7000 audio panel and a IIMorrow GX 55 so he could fly direct. A JPI was added that allowed Wayne to keep track on the temperatures under the bonnet. Notice we added extra holes on the copilots panel just in case the owner decided to add some more equipment in the future. During the first phase of the installation we retained the old Cessna 300A autopilot but Wayne decided to add a "real" autopilot to make his life easier during IFR conditions. This was a wise move in my opinion.
Recently Wayne gave us the nod to install a System 30 two axis autopilot made by S-Tec. During the installation we added a directional gyro that would work with the System 30 so the autopilot could track a heading. The System 30 has the capability of accepting remote switches thus making it easier to operate the autopilot. But the problem is, with the small Cessna yokes there's just not enough room on the yokes to install these switches to where the look pretty. At this point we elected to install a pair of modern yokes made by Avion Research; these yokes are STC'ed thus no FAA problems installing them. Oil temperature was also added to the JPI just as a back up; Wayne likes keeping the IO-360 cool. The original directional gyro was installed in the copilots panel as a back up.
Wayne picked out the color and it matches the interior perfectly; even Wayne's wife likes the color combination. Yes, fancier equipment could have been added but would the fancy equipment really give you any more bang for the buck? Layout of the switches and annunicator lamps are just the way Wayne wanted them; easy to read and figure out when things are busy. Wayne was complaining that he didn't get to fly the machine as much as he would like. Avionics West even had a cure for that problem; just leave it at SMX and I'll make sure it gets flown regularly. Sure, you may have a Cessna 177RG on your local airport but I bet you will have to look far and wide to find another Cardinal as nice as Wayne Grau's Cardinal.