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Thread: Retired California Highway Patrol 185s

  1. #1
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Retired California Highway Patrol 185s

    Anyone have any experience with these planes?

    Looks like in service from 1983-2000 or there abouts.

    Lots of hours (20k) but heard they were well maintained and basically rebuilt every 10k hours.

    Just wondering how hard those 20k hours would have been on the airframe.

  2. #2

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    Depends on how many times it was wrecked/ground looped, and that may or may not all be in the logs. If it had good pilots and just spent time flying or had repairs done properly it may be a good plane or a huge money pit if not. Someone with a good amount of Cessna experience should look at it hard with that many hours. Often the Government planes have been taken care of well but sounds that that was 20 years ago!! So how bad are the wing tanks, engine cam, instruments, radios, ect. All have to be taken into account. Prices are still high for a 185 right now even ones in poor shape. DENNY

  3. #3
    SJ's Avatar
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    I was looking at some of those once... but as Denny said, it was twenty years ago!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  4. #4
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    Prices are still high for a 185 right now even ones in poor shape. DENNY
    I think high prices are here for the foreseeable future. Lots of people dont have to go into an office anymore- more time to fly.

    Could be wrong
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    We have one on the field here in Redlands. It was rebuilt at about 10K, has quite a bit more on it now. It's flown regularly by its current owner, a retired CHP pilot who flew 185s and 206s for the CHP. It seems to be in really nice shape and I'd love to have it!
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  6. #6
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Jones View Post
    We have one on the field here in Redlands. It was rebuilt at about 10K, has quite a bit more on it now. It's flown regularly by its current owner, a retired CHP pilot who flew 185s and 206s for the CHP. It seems to be in really nice shape and I'd love to have it!
    I keep hearing about this rebuilt at 10k hours. Wonder what exactly that means. I pulled the FAA records- but its not mentioned. Saw somewhere else that claimed at 10k all high wear items replaced.). I need get my hands on the logs.

  7. #7
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Saw this in an ad for one:

    All wear Items replaced or overhauled. New: Hunge Pins, Sheaves, Cables, bushes, flap rollers, bearings.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Saw this in an ad for one:

    All wear Items replaced or overhauled. New: Hunge Pins, Sheaves, Cables, bushes, flap rollers, bearings.
    How about “stressed items”, like landing gear, axles, tailwheel attach, wing structures, tail, etc, etc. “Wear items” are relatively easy, but I’d worry about other stuff.

    MTV

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    I keep hearing about this “rebuilt at 10k hours.” Wonder what exactly that means. I would say it means little. Routine maintenance and inspection should keep all the high wear items in good condition anyway. So I would not give too much credit to the Rebuilt at 10K hours hype. It still will need a complete and hard look at all the stuff MTV mentioned that is what is going to cost you in the long run. DENNY
    Last edited by DENNY; 02-06-2023 at 10:35 AM.
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    daedgerton's Avatar
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    I would steer clear from anything flown by bunch of cops...
    -Andrew
    (Police Helicopter Pilot)

  11. #11
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Cessna wings need replaced by 15,000 hours.

    Rear spars and other internal parts get stress fatigue, and are going to fail. While they may have spent hours circling and looking, I also hear stories of them making landings beside highways to do business. Not always easy on the planes. Also, California has thermal turbulence, which equates to stress on wings.

    One thing to research in the logs. How long since wings were rebuilt?
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    Quote Originally Posted by daedgerton View Post
    I would steer clear from anything flown by bunch of cops...
    -Andrew
    (Police Helicopter Pilot)
    Agreed! Agency squads at a fleet auction might look like a bargain until you actually witness how hard those 100k miles are in person. Aircraft probably treated better but I never met an officer that drove or steered anything like they owned it. Except maybe Mike Vivion.

    We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
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  13. #13
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scout88305 View Post
    Agreed! Agency squads at a fleet auction might look like a bargain until you actually witness how hard those 100k miles are in person. Aircraft probably treated better but I never met an officer that drove or steered anything like they owned it. Except maybe Mike Vivion.
    I always flew YOUR airplanes with the utmost care....right up till I didn't.

    MTV
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  14. #14
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    My neighbor that crashed had over 15K hrs on his C-185. After flying in rain black streaks from fretting would form here and there, especially on the doors, ailerons, flaps, and tail. His gear box was corroded and worn where the shims were jammed in to keep it tight. He was his A&P but I helped him at times do gear changes. There's a lesson there someplace.

    Gary

  15. #15
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    I actually got my hands on the airframe logs yesterday- all 7 of them. Read through every page. 100 hr inspections basically every 5 weeks and always swapping something out.

    They did do a big rebuild at 10,000 hrs- which took ip three of the adlog pages- of course- that was 10000 hrs ago

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    Cardiff, if you’re seriously looking at a plane with such high time? You’d be wise to read the SID documents. Find out what the manufacturer recommends inspecting based on calendar and flight time. Airframes weren’t built to last forever.

    SID inspection varies with age and type of use. Here’s a paragraph worth considering.

    If the airplane has been engaged in operations at low altitudes such as pipeline
    patrol, fish or game spotting, aerial applications, police patrol, sightseeing, livestock management, etc. more than 30% of its life you must use the SEVERE inspection time limits.
    Last edited by stewartb; 02-06-2023 at 04:53 PM.

  17. #17
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Cardiff, if you’re seriously looking at a plane with such high time? You’d be wise to read the SID documents. Find out what the manufacturer recommends inspecting based on calendar and flight time. Airframes weren’t built to last forever.

    SID inspection varies with age and type of use. Here’s a paragraph worth considering.
    The only place I can find above referenced is for 210 wing spars. Where is that quote from? Also, Cessna's support page appears down for me.

  18. #18

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    I have the Skywagon SID files on my phone. The paragraph came from that.

    I’m not implying those planes are bad. I just think you should have some idea of how Cessna views age and hours.
    Last edited by stewartb; 02-06-2023 at 08:43 PM.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Anyone have any experience with these planes?

    Looks like in service from 1983-2000 or there abouts.

    Lots of hours (20k) but heard they were well maintained and basically rebuilt every 10k hours.

    Just wondering how hard those 20k hours would have been on the airframe.
    Since you have all the info now, can you post it here for all of us to see?
    Thanks,
    Dave
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  20. #20
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 707Light View Post
    Since you have all the info now, can you post it here for all of us to see?
    Thanks,
    Dave
    Its about 7 books of airframe logs. What are you looking for?

    Since they are not my logs i wouldnt post them, without consent, but I may be able to pull some info if there is something specific.

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    Lots of good advice on all the above posts. Best guess is that the reason that 185 looks interesting is because of the price. Best guess the reason its not already sold is 20K hours. Next best guess is no matter how cheap you buy it and how much you spend on it you will be in the same position as the current seller when you go to sell it sometime down the road. 22,000 hours a low price and no buyer. Might be quite a bit cheaper to buy a more expensive one.
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  22. #22

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    They did do a big rebuild at 10,000 hrs- which took ip three of the adlog pages- of course- that was 10000 hrs ago[/QUOTE]
    I should have been more clear. Can you give the highlights of this 10,000 hour rehab? That’s the meat in this sandwich. I’d imagine there is/are several 337’s that would go along with the work in the logs. It might be handy to have a C-185 parts manual if they quote a bunch of p/n’s just so you can understand the work description. There are some you can find online.
    If it’s a lot of “lubed cables and pulleys, checked AD’s, and an annual stamp- then caveat emptor.
    Cheers,
    Dave
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  23. #23
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 707Light View Post
    I should have been more clear. Can you give the highlights of this 10,000 hour rehab? T
    Sure:

    - Removed flight control surfaces. stripped acid etch alondized primed with durathuraon white top coat with... checked control surfaces for balance and reinstalled
    - replaced exhaust muffler and both collectors with new
    - replaced throttle and mixture control bracket
    - replaced mixture and prop control with new
    - replaced cabin heat valve actuator with new
    - resealed fuel strainer and replaced drain control cable
    - replaced throttle switch actuator
    -replaced cowl flap hinges with new
    -replaced left cowl light
    - replaced all seat rollers and washers
    -replaced rudder trim bungee with new
    - engine mount was painted and installed new engine mounts
    - replaced all aileron cables with new
    - main landing gear legs sent to north sound aviation for reconditioning, reinstalled after pain
    - removed oem windshield without center strap per LP Aero plastic inc....
    - installed 180&185 vortex generator kit
    - installed cast landing gear fuselage attach angles in accordance with P. ponk aviation...
    - new engine with new mags, starter, fuel pump, fuel control, flowdiveos, propeller, propeller governor (all this since replaced)
    - complied with some AD
    - replaced instrument panel shock mounts
    - replaced both elevator trim pulleys in mid tail section
    - replaced pulley in aft door jam bulkhead on left side for flap system
    - installed new rudder pedal carry thru cable
    - replaced all pulley at battery box bulkhead
    - resealed both brake calipers
    - replaced all brake pads
    - replaced both main tires with new
    - overhauled stabilizer trim activators
    - replaced stabilized hinge spacers and bushings
    - removed fuel bladders and installed monarch fiberglass fuel tanks
    - replaced vertical fin bracket
    - repaired cabin heat duct
    - replaced all flap tracks
    - replaced all flap supports by installing service kit
    - replaced all aileron hinges and control rod ends with new
    - replaced aileron rod end attach brackets
    - replaced vertical fin rib
    - performed an alignment of the landing gear. rigged and adjusted ailerons and flap systems..
    - seb 95.2 tailcone bulkhead reinforcement by installing service kit
    - 100 hour tailwheel inspection
    - replaced the following with new: tailwheel steering bell cranks, tailwheel steering cables, tailwheel steering pulleys, tailwheel steering cables, tailwheel steering pulleys, tailwheel spring attach and carry through, strobe power supply, doorseals, kick panels, and cabin insulation.
    -installed cessna bubble windows
    - relocated elt
    - bled brakes
    - painted interior plastic

    This was in 1995... and almost 10,000 hours ago. I'm sure much of this was replaced again but this was done all at once.

  24. #24
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    For what it's worth... I'm probably going to pass. But learned some more.

    I guess I am just curious how much above would matter on an airframe? and what are the things that really matter in that list.

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    They spent a sh-tload of money and after hundreds of hours of labor they still had an old, worn out airplane. Would you feel comfortable with your family in that plane when you encountered a few minutes of severe turbulence? I’d feel a whole lot better in a plane with 10% of the total time on the structures that matter. But that’s just me.
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  26. #26
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Pay now or pay later. Kinda a gift that keeps giving.
    Steve Pierce

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  27. #27
    mvivion's Avatar
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    For perspective, when I bought my H model 180 years ago, it had 6000 hours. I commented to my mechanic at the time that A. It had accident history, and B it was high time (this was a long time ago….”high time” definition has changed.

    His response: “ Yes, but look at the logs after that accident: R &R right wing assy with Cessna part number xxxx Right wing assembly, R & R horizontal tail with Cessna part number zzz Horizontal tail. That went on for four pages, including replacement of gearbox, fuselage checked on jig, all done by Beegles.

    But, I don’t see anything on the list you posted from the CHP plane that suggests they really dealt with structures. With 20 K hours, of beating around in low level turbulence, no thanks. This is NOT flight time in the flight levels, BTW.

    MTV
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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    For perspective, when I bought my H model 180 years ago, it had 6000 hours. I commented to my mechanic at the time that A. It had accident history, and B it was high time (this was a long time ago….”high time” definition has changed.

    His response: “ Yes, but look at the logs after that accident: R &R right wing assy with Cessna part number xxxx Right wing assembly, R & R horizontal tail with Cessna part number zzz Horizontal tail. That went on for four pages, including replacement of gearbox, fuselage checked on jig, all done by Beegles.

    But, I don’t see anything on the list you posted from the CHP plane that suggests they really dealt with structures. With 20 K hours, of beating around in low level turbulence, no thanks. This is NOT flight time in the flight levels, BTW.

    MTV
    Once you see Beegles name on a repair your in a very good place. Did some business with them when we lived in CO. They really know their stuff. Quite a difference between somebody with factory jigs doing 10 complete rebuilds 24 -7 and some maintenance shop doing a 5 year corner of the shop winter project.
    Agree with the TT comment. Its not that long ago that I wouldn't buy one with more than 2000 hrs. Now I try to stay well under 5000. In todays market its not so much that there are no low time NDH airplanes for sale its that they dont get to the open market as they are snapped up by someone close by. The chances of getting one of those low time cream puffs off of places like Barnstormers is not going to happen unless your quick draw McGraw and prepared to buy sight unseen within an hour of being posted. It takes a lot of patience and time to find those planes in todays hot market but they are still out there.

  29. #29
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    .....This was in 1995... and almost 10,000 hours ago. I'm sure much of this was replaced again but this was done all at once.
    Was this 1995 work done by CHP?
    I'm curious when they surplussed out the airplane,
    and who (if not CHP) put another 10K hours on it?

    CHiPs In The Sky - Plane & Pilot Magazine (planeandpilotmag.com)


    "In 1999, the CHP began replacing its aging Skywagons with Cessna Turbo-Stationairs. Working with two Californian Cessna dealers—Tom’s Aircraft in Long Beach and Channel Islands Aviation in Camarillo—the highway patrol placed an order for 14 very special T206H Stationairs."
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  30. #30
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    17k chp

    2 k since 2003

    I told the owner i am passing.

  31. #31
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    @Cardiff Kook

    You are wasting time, you need to order that BH
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  32. #32
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    @Cardiff Kook

    You are wasting time, you need to order that BH
    Could be right

  33. #33

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    Nope. Skywagons are the time-tested real deal. And a damn good investment. You just have to buy right.
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  34. #34
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    @Cardiff Kook, You are wasting time, you need to order that BH
    Kinda depends on whether you wanna build or fly.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  35. #35
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    Building is a pain, I’ll give you that. But you end up with a new plane just the way you want

  36. #36

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    The problem is how does he knows what he wants? Remember he is a very low time pilot. Best to just spend his money on flying for a while to figure it out.
    DENNY
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  37. #37

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    Cardiff- these ex-CHP ships have a legend/mythology that you have helped tease out fact from fiction. Thanks. I remember when they were being sold (was that really 20+/- years ago?) and all the discussion around their "rebuilt" status.
    As already said, they had a lot of parts, time, and money thrown at them but per your description of the logs not the heavy airframe work that I would have expected given the legend. Logbooks tell the tale in this case.
    And remember the word "rebuilt" has a definition with the FAA.
    Cheers,
    Dave

  38. #38
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 707Light View Post
    ....And remember the word "rebuilt" has a definition with the FAA. ....
    Can you cite where that is definined?
    As I recall, lots of people used to use "rebuilt" and "overhauled" interchangeably,
    until it was pointed out that "rebuilt" has no definition in aviation.
    As opposed to "overhauled".
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    Can you cite where that is definined?
    As I recall, lots of people used to use "rebuilt" and "overhauled" interchangeably,
    until it was pointed out that "rebuilt" has no definition in aviation.
    As opposed to "overhauled".
    43.2 Records of overhaul and rebuilding.

    (a) No person may describe in any required maintenance entry or form an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part as being overhauled unless -
    (1) Using methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the Administrator, it has been disassembled, cleaned, inspected, repaired as necessary, and reassembled; and

    (2) It has been tested in accordance with approved standards and technical data, or in accordance with current standards and technical data acceptable to the Administrator, which have been developed and documented by the holder of the type certificate, supplemental type certificate, or a material, part, process, or appliance approval under part 21 of this chapter.


    (b) No person may describe in any required maintenance entry or form an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part as being rebuilt unless it has been disassembled, cleaned, inspected, repaired as necessary, reassembled, and tested to the same tolerances and limits as a new item, using either new parts or used parts that either conform to new part tolerances and limits or to approved oversized or undersized dimensions.

    [Amdt. 43-23, 47 FR 41084, Sept. 16, 1982, as amended by Amdt. 43-43, 74 FR 53394, Oct. 16, 2009]
    Cheers,
    Dave
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  40. #40
    Speedo's Avatar
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    I’ve flown 207s with 7,000 hours and with 34,000 hours, although not back-to-back. That 34,000 hour plane had just come out of the equivalent of a D Check, and was fast and smooth. It was a very pleasant surprise.
    Speedo

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