My time at home in April was split between catching up on the usual home and office duties and working on the interior of the Swift. I bought a new Garmin SL-30 communications radio for the plane along with a new Comant CI-121 VHF communications antenna and RG-400 cable to connect the two. About a month ago we had a nice warm day, so I decided to go out and work in the hangar and to start the new radio installation. First I took the old unit out, a big box com/nav unit that had long outlived it’s usefulness. The next step was to remove the old antenna and install the new one, then route the new cable along the same path that the old cable used.
I won’t say what I found when I removed the old antenna other than to say that it hadn’t been installed using the best practices. In order to correct the workmanship and install the new antenna correctly I would have to install a doubler under the antenna. That would involve stripping the ugly yellow/tan paint away from the area below the antenna before doing the riveting. Stripping the paint in just a small area and then painting a new color wasn’t a good idea, so now I was looking at stripping the ugly old paint in the aft area of the cockpit and repainting the whole thing. Now I needed to remove the shoulder harness installation, the electric pitch trim motor and lines and the rear windows. This list is not getting shorter!