We knew the first annual could be painful, and it's turning out to be exactly that. We had saved up $2600 to cover it, and we're already at the $4000 mark. If they don't find anything else seriously wrong, my guess is our first annual is going to cost us between $4000 - $4800. Believe me when I say we're scrambling to figure out how to pay for it. This expense-combined with the same amount we put into the airplane dealing with failed systems-- is pushing us to strongly consider selling the airplane. We're hoping the expenses will level out a bit after this and give us time to recover financially, assuming we don't take any big hits like losing our jobs, something very possible for both me and my wife this year.
In any case, I drove down to photograph the airplane while it was in a state of disassembly. The photos are below. As you can see, the spars are in good shape and at least what you can see of the wing appears to be, also. The other good news is that the engine compressions were great. They were 78/80 on all four cylinders!
Notice that the forward windscreen is gone. It had small cracks down in the mounting screw area and some scoring and is being replaced. The engine is hanging from a hoist in front and on this side of the airplane.
Close-up of the left wing with the spar, the pitot tube, the aileron balance, the pitot heat wiring, and the left wing navigational light wiring visible. Parts of the aircraft cowling are visible on the floor behind the wing. The red parts on the little stand in front of the wing are from a Grumman Traveler Bill is also working on.
Close shot of the elevator and rudder control mechanisms.
Closer shot of the same. Getting rusty back there....
Close shot of the tailcone area under the rudder on the right side.