Plane’s Anatomy – Servicing a Cessna 185

By me
All photos me too, copyrighted

Down for the count pretty much since the time I’ve started this blog, 9A-BKS is the one remaining (and interesting) Lučko resident I’ve never profiled here. A very nice Cessna A185F Skywagon/Carryall, it had suffered a propstrike almost a year ago (if my count is correct), and was in never a presentable enough state to be featured here. However, with the onset of winter and a reduction in flying activities, it was decided to finally fix it up, giving it a complete service and refit along the way. Naturally, I was ready and waiting with my camera when it all started… 🙂

BKS back in happier days. Sporting a very distinctive high-vis paint scheme - and an equally distinctive transsonic prop - it was always an attention-grabber. Manufactured in 1985 and owned by AK Zagreb, it is used exclusively for skydive flights
Our small taildragger air force on a typical Lučko day - skydivers, aerobatic flights, training ops, glider flights...
A bit less glamorous here in the present... though the aircraft itself had suffered no damage during the propstrike, the prop and engine were knackered and needed to be completely refurbished and rebuilt - so BKS had spent a considerable time looking less than dignified
Apparently the locals don't really like BKS flying above their heads :D. Showing just how many access panels there are on the 185's wing... the ones near the leading edge allow for relatively easy inspection of the electrical cabling for the wingtip lights and the wing strut joint, while the those nearer the fuselage give (some) access to the Pitot system, part of the gravity fuel system and the electric flap motors and their cables. The outboard and trailing edge ones give access to the aileron control cable, which was being inspected as part of the service (the aileron being removed first)
Up front, the firewall had to be cleaned and sanded down before the engine could be mounted back on. Among the cables seen are the prop, mixture and throttle controls, as well as control & data cables for various engine instruments (RPM, manifold pressure, oil temp and pressure, EGT, CHT...)
Inside, everything is nice and fluffy :). The sound and thermal insulation - some form of synthetic foam I think - normally hidden away beneath the upholstery (which will incidentally also be changed)
Where the aileron should be. The actual control cable can be seen right by the single access panel
Closeup of the right-hand flap, lowered to give easier access to its guide rails. Like most light Cessnas, the 185 uses Fowler flaps which, in addition to lowering, slide backwards to increase the effective wing area as well as the Angle of Attack
Inside the bare cabin. Configured for skydive flights, BKS usually only has a rear bench, maximizing the number of skydivers that could be carried while reducing weight for better performance
Already featured in my previous piston engine post is BKS's (rebuilt) 8.5 liter six cyl IO-520-D, putting out approx. 300 HP

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