Blue Skies Consulting
a division of
02 May 2014
The Repair and Restoration of N6479Y
By Mike Racine, President and Chief Pilot, Blue Skies Consulting
N6479Y ready for the 2014 flying season
N6479Y is a 1981 Cessna T210N. Blue Skies took delivery of the aircraft in August of 2013, and immediately began a six-month repair and restoration process on the aircraft. The aircraft was (quite literally) gutted, and brought back to a state where it even has “that new airplane smell.”
The photo above shows the aircraft ready for the 2014 flying season. Blue Skies has an FAA certified exhaust modification field-approval for the side-discharge exhaust pipe seen on the side of the engine cowling. This modification ensures that the heat and exhaust gasses from the engine are directed out the side of the aircraft, and away from the sensor port in the belly of the aircraft. The camera’s forward-looking viewfinder optics can be seen under the aircraft. The photo below on the left is what the exhaust and paint job looked like when we took delivery. The photo below on the right shows the completed Blue Skies exhaust modification and the exterior paint post restoration.
Exhaust and paint job condition at delivery
Completed Blue Skies FAA certified exhaust modification and post restoration paint
When we took delivery of the airplane, we knew it was going to be a real piece of work to get it up to Blue Skies’ standards. The below left photo is what the interior looked like before we gutted it. The below right photo is after the interior was completed. The smell of the airplane went from something like wet dog house to new airplane.
Interior before restoration
The instrument panel needed a little bit of work. The bottom left photo shows what the instrument panel looked like when we did the pre-purchase inspection, and the below right photo shows what the panel looks like after the restoration.
Instrument panel before restoration
Completed instrument panel
The last step was to install the new camera system. While the plane already had a camera hole, it was necessary to fabricate and install a custom mount. N6479Y received the very last RC-30 camera made by Leica Geosystems in Heerbrugg, Switzerland. The two photos below are of the new RC-30 camera installed.
The last new RC-30 camera installed in N6479Y
RC-30 camera with viewfinder / navigation site in the foreground
When I picked up the airplane in Kentucky, the folks there kept telling me ”It’s a work airplane, it doesn’t need to be beautiful.” That may be true for some folks, but we take pride in the work that we do, and the equipment that we fly. For us, it does make a difference how we treat our equipment, and the image that we present as geospatial professionals.
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