Dan Putman's Like New Cessna 182
We started talking to Dan months back and planning the installation of some "basic" equipment in his Cessna 182. As you can tell from the pics, the only thing basic about this aircraft is the hobbs meter. Dan wanted a top notch autopilot and the S-Tec System 55 fit the bill. While we were installing the S-Tec Mr. Putman decided to add some S-Tec options such as the auto-trim and altitude pre-select system. These two nice options really ease the pilot work load under heavy IFR conditions which often occur in the areas the aircraft will be flying. Being a monster size Garmin GNS 530 was being installed, it was only natural to install the S-Tec GPSS steering module. I've flown several aircraft now that we've installed the GPSS system in and in my opinion, it's the best bang for the buck in aviation. If you haven't read about the S-Tec GPSS, read my product "Review". For the co-pilots side we added an electric back up horizon and a vacuum directional gyro. We also added the digital tachometer which I have my own opinion about but never the less, we install what the customer desires. Notice with the lay-out Dan desired, we've got plenty of empty holes for future growth. My guess in the near future we will be adding a WX-500 or TCAD.
Not only were custom panels made on both sides of the instrument panel but lower switch panels were fabricated and installed. It may not look like it but the lower panels are just as hard to design and make as the actual instrument panels. On the pilot's yoke we added the manual electric trim, S-Tec CWS switch, autopilot disconnect and PTT button. The co-pilots yoke supports a PPT switch only at this time. The center panel layout is easy to use even in heavy IFR work loads. In the center stack, at the top are the control switchs for the autopilot, trim system, altitude pre-select and dimmer for the GPSS switch. Next is the actual altitude pre-select controller and to the right is the GPSS switch. The rest of the radio stack consist of a Garmin GMA 340 audio/marker/ICS panel, Garmin GNS 530 GPS/MAP/ILS/COM system, King KX-155 nav/com with glide slope and a Garmin GTX 327 transponder. Under the transponder is a data port to upgrade the Sandel EHSI when the desire arises. Extra circuit breakers were added under the co-pilots panel and are the pull type.
The pilot's panel is another story. The most obvious instrument is the Sandel EHSI which is the best thing around sense sliced bread. The Sandel is powered by a reliable King KG-102A gyro system. The vacuum horizon indicator was overhauled while everything was out. The turn cordinator is new and is part of the S-Tec autopilot system. No aircraft should be without a JPI FS-450 fuel flow system that is interfaced with the Garmin GNS 530 and a clock to the far left of the panel. Again, there's plenty of holes for future growth, it's amazing what custom panels can do for an aircraft.
Dan cut no corners. Several of the antennas were in need of replacement and Dan decided to replace all of them. We found some minor corrosion behind the instrument panel and while the machine was apart, Dan insisted we give the aircraft to the maintenance shop for a week to correct and treat the corrosion. The interior and paint are in excellent condition and it's very obvious the aircraft has been well taken care of. The panels have been powder coated a light blue to match the interior. I'm sure the color was picked by Dan's wife because few of us guys have a clue when it comes to matching colors.