|Wild Mama arrives at Boss Aircraft Refinishers
|All stripped and drying in the sun.
Wild Mama in the Buff!
The painting process has
begun - Boss Aircraft Refinishers has her stripped down to her birthday suit. Bill sends the following report:
|Note the areas on bondo that were previously slapped on her.
October 11th: The stripping process has begun: All
of the plastic and composite parts are removed or covered, the stripper will ruin these and they cannot be repaired.
Then all of the seams are masked off with foil tape as well as any holes to the interior covered. Then and only then is any
stripper applied. Any stripper that gets where it does not belong will cause corrosion. After the chemical portion of the
stripping process is completed the tape is removed and the remaining paint is stripped by hand. No sanding allowed! Stripped down
to the bare metal, Boss Aircraft Refinishers had some surprises on Wild Mama: There were areas of bondo on the fuselage and
tail and there was a crack ahead of the wheel well that had been repaired unsuccessfully in the past and covered with paint. All of
the old body filler will have to be removed, areas inspected, repaired, and new filler reapplied and contoured to match. We
had no idea that the filler was under the paint.
Bill sends this report: We found another issue while prepping today.
There is a crack which was stop-drilled in a dented area on the LH side of the fuselage, just in front of the main gear wheel
well. The attached pictures show the crack has propagated beyond the stop-drill holes. Steve, my IA, recommends a doubler patch be fabricated and placed
over that area to strengthen it .
I am grateful that Bill is taking the time to inspect her while he has her in the buff
and to make sure that anything wrong is addressed properly. He expects to have the prep work finished by the end of the week
and will start the priming process.
October 23rd: Bill sent a photo
of Wild Mama decked out in green primer. I KNOW this time that there is primer on the plane. Boss is doing a great
job on my baby. Please note that all of the fairings except the strut fairings have been removed, wingtips, rudder tip, verticle
tip, elevator and horizontal tips. Now for the first time there is corrossion protecting primer on all exterior surfaces,
not just the ones that you can see. The primer is a US Navy military spec product made by Sherwin Williams. It is an
epoxy based primer for maximum durability and adhesion that also has Zinc Chromate in it. The good stuff! This is
also the same primer that is inside both wings for maximum protection. A good paint job starts with good materials. Thanks,
Bill. I can't wait to see the finished product.
October 28th: From green to white. All of the stuff
that was primed with the Epoxy/Chromate primer has now been painted white. PPG Aerospace paint was used. Again all of the exterior, even the stuff under the fairings has paint, not just what you can see. Please also note that all
of the controls are off of the airframe. They were painted separately and will be balanced as the Cessna Maintenance Manual prescribes on the actual
Cessna flight control balancing equipment. It will not just be a statement in the log book entry and the bolts with
fresh paint on them. Next comes the hardest part, layout of the color scheme and the N numbers.
November 10: From white we have to add the colors. Each section
has to be masked off and only one additional color added at a time. Great care must be taken so as not to disturb the last
color applied and there must be drying time in between each new addition. As with the white, you must still keep everything
covered - glass, wheels, etc. - so as not to have a lot of nasty clean-up afterwards. Once all of the colors are applied, it is reassembly, balancing
the control surfaces and the unveiling! She is partially unmasked below.
November 30th, 2011: The day I have waited for - for the
last 5 months - Wild Mama has emerged from all of her repairs beautifully. Vern picked her up from Boss Aircraft
Refinishers this afternoon for the cloudless VFR trip home as I was land bound in the car. Thank you Boss, for doing such
an excellent job on the paint. She will proudly wear your colors for the rest of her life.