Close-up photo of Beechcraft P-35 Bonanza N61JC in air N61JC in flight at sunset

Photos by Donald Treadwell Photography, San Angelo, TX

We purchased N61JC in January of 1994 (she was known then as N63AW). She had a fine airframe, but her engine was nearing major overhaul time and her avionics and interior needed some updating. I started with the avionics. As an Electronics Engineer with avionics shop experience in my past, and since I have my A&P, I did the work myself. I had a friend who runs an avionics shop look at my work and sign off the 337.

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As Purchased

Original Panel

It'll never fly again!

Finished Panel

About a year later, it was time for the engine to be overhauled. I pulled the engine and sent it to America's Aircraft Engines. While it was out, I cleaned and painted the engine compartment and installed all new silicon baffle material. After about another year, I replaced the interior. I purchased all material from Airtex and hired a man with lots of aircraft upholstery experience to do the actual work. I changed to blue and grey in anticipation of the paint job to follow in about a year.

Disaster strikes!!! In February of 1997 a strong storm totally destroyed my hangar and badly damaged the plane. Luckily, I had just increased my hull value by $10K and changed to USAIG via Falcon Insurance. The damage looks severe, although there wasn't any real structural damage (spars, formers, etc. were fine) but it was still costly to repair and I thought for a while that they were going to total her. Fortunately, they agreed to have her fixed and I insisted on letting Glen Biggs in Oklahoma do the repair work. As you can see, she came out looking real "spiffy". It only took Glen and his crew a little over two months! N61JC was chosen as the Contemporary Grand Champion at the EAA Southwest Regional Fly-in held at Abilene, Texas in 2001.

In August of 2010 I upgraded the panel to include a Garmin GNS430. I removed the KX-165 and M-3 GPS. I enabled crossfill to my Garmin 496 from the 430.

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Work in Progress

Glen Biggs

N61JC at new home

Equipment List
View of the old Christian Ranch Airport—7XS5