By Shannon Avon
On December 21st an article appeared in General Aviation News “Fighting Off Boredom” about my husband Chuck’s & myÂ Stinson rebuild project. As a member of LadiesLoveTaildraggers, and knowing I was very involved in the restoration, Judy asked me to tell about my work on our project.
On January 17th when Chuck left Tennessee to go and get the Stinson from Ohio, I wasÂ excited. I couldn’t wait to see it. However when it got home I wanted to cry. It had satÂ so long it looked like heck. The paint was peeling off, the interior was all but destroyedÂ from mice, and it smelled just awful.
However we started our year long project of stripping everything down, cleaning,Â painting, and replacing everything we could. Chuck and I make a great team andÂ worked really well together. This was a joint labor of love in many ways. I would goÂ out to the garage and sand, clean and scrape paint, while he was at work. He wouldÂ come home and work on the mechanical and electrical components.
Once the stripping was finished, together we began the task of covering and tapingÂ and painting the fuselage. Since the headliner and interior has to go in before theÂ covering that was my job to get the headliner made and interior sewed. Once that hadÂ been accomplished we started the task of reassembling the fuselage.
While the fuselage was going back together, I was cutting, and prepping the wingsÂ in our living room. I managed to cover both ailerons and Chuck helped cover and doÂ the wings. Covering wings is a two person project in order to get the fabric just right.Then came the painting, and finally the reassembling of the plane in the hangar.
On January 17th she was started and taxied for the first time in 23 years. TwoÂ weeks later, after the final inspection by our IA, she flew again for the first time. What anÂ amazing feeling giving life back to an airplane left to sit for so long.