Photo & Video Report – 9A-BKS Roaring Again

By me
Photo & video me too (copyrighted)

A couple of years ago when I first started this blog, I made mention of a skydive-configured Cessna 185 Carryall that had been involved in a landing accident awhile back, and had remained confined to the corner of the hangar ever since. The topic of one of my early Plane’s Anatomy posts, this specific, slightly understated ( 😀 ) aircraft had recently been thrust into the local spotlight again, this time when it finally coughed back to life after its long rest.

Overall not a particularly interesting or exciting aircraft by any objective measure – just a regular 185 – 9A-BKS is nevertheless one of the most endeared and endearing aircraft at Lučko; a charismatic fuel-to-noise converter that had at one point or the other served as a jump platform for virtually every skydiver in the area. Quite a loud aircraft, sporting a two-blade transsonic prop, BKS had cut a distinctive high pitched noise that could be heard all the way to the suburbs of Zagreb – some 10 km away – and pretty much represented the main symbol of the airfield.

The noise stopped however at the beginning of 2008, when BKS’ pilot braked a bit too hard on landing, sending the prop tips into the ground. While the aircraft itself had suffered no damage, the propeller was ruined and the engine overstressed by the sudden stop, both necessitating a thorough – and thoroughly expensive – overhaul. These costs, coupled with the operator’s poor financial state (which continues to this day) had dragged repairs through more than four years, until BKS finally fired up on 10 June this year 🙂 .

Naturally, I was ready to immortalize the event with my camera – even though it had meant a whole day of waiting at the airfield on an empty stomach 😀 – and even decided  to shoot a spot of video to capture the moment.

But, “first start” was much overshadowed by the death of one of our most beloved skydivers, who tragically died on a jump at a county fair while we were preparing to light BKS. In view of that, both the following photo and video are dedicated to our dear Jasna 😦 .

Trying to avoid a “Carryall haircut” as I attempt to bring out the raw power and poise of the 185. Ran for the first time since overhaul, the engine had lost most of it characteristic deep roar, sounding for awhile like an 8.5 liter sewing machine. With just a few minutes of operation on the clock when this was taken, the engine still hadn’t fully drawn in oil and lubricated all of its parts – most notably the valves and valve seats – leaving it clanking like it’s falling apart

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