Airplane of the Month • April  2006

1976 Aerobat N9819J Aerial Photographs by Ryan Williams

1976 Aerobat N9819J

Peter & Ryan Williams' Pristine 1976 Aerobat
Year: 1976 Model: A150M Serial#: A1500628
19 of 75, 1976 A150M's manufactured
628 of 734, 150 Aerobat's manufactured in the USA

Back in 1964 I started my flying career in a 1959 Cessna 150. Later I moved into a 1964 model, and eventually got my private license in 1966. By 1970 I had completed my commercial license and flight instructor ratings in later model 150’s. I worked at the Cessna dealer in Phoenix, and we always had several new 150’s to instruct in. I instructed in these planes for four years in the early 1970’s. My career in aviation has taken many turns in 35 years and 15,000 hours, and now I’m flying a Gulfstream 4.

N9819J  came to us really by surprise. We had been looking for a plane for many months. Finding one that was low time was a priority, and one that was in original condition was what we really wanted. We were having a hard time finding anything that was original, let alone low time. Trade-a-plane was the primary source for our search.

My son, Ryan, who completed his Private at the age of 17 and his Multi-Engine rating at 18, did most of the looking. One night he found N9819J’s listing: Original, 1976 C150, Aerobat, 360TT, one owner. The next day I called Norm Hibbard of Hibbard Aviation in Carson City, Nevada, who had placed the ad. We found out the actual total time was 354 total time since new. There were no pictures on Hibbard’s website until 2 days later.

Ryan made a hurried trip to Carson City with an A&P to look, and if they thought it was a good one, leave a deposit . Needless to say, we left Norm a deposit. It is original in every way right down to the RT-328T (that didn’t work!). No encoder, RT-459 transponder, Red, White and Blue .The cargo net is still in the plastic cover in the baggage area!

Only 361 Hours TT!

N9819J’s history started in 1975 at Sky Harbor Air Service in Omaha, where Jerome Herman bought it. He took it to Carson City, and that’s where it stayed in a hangar…… till now. It flew only occasionally, and some years it didn’t even get an annual.

A week or so after seeing the plane for the first time, the money changed hands and N9819J was ours! Now all we had to do was wait until the weather over the Sierra Nevada Mountains improved. Later that week, we flew to Carson City and picked it up, and returned to Livermore (KLVK).

1976 Aerobat N9819J

The trip over the Sierras was as pretty a trip as I have ever taken in a small plane. Snow was everywhere, and the weather was clear and100 as they say.

In the few short weeks since N9819J has been taken out of its time capsule, we had Navcom Avionics of Visalia, California do a basic Garmin installation. Eric and Brian installed a GMA-340 audio panel, a SL-30 nav/com, a GI-106A indicator with glideslope, and a GTX-327 transponder and encoder. We gained about 8 pounds of useful load in the process, and everything works.

Avionics Before and After
Avionics Before and After

How the engine performs is an issue. Sitting and not being flown, as we all know isn’t the best thing. But if it’s going to sit, the high desert climate, with its low humidity, is one of the best. Compression is mid 70’s at this point, and we are cautiously optimistic that it will be OK. We just finished nine hours of flying and it is ready for its first quart of oil.

1976 Aerobat N9819J

We look forward to many hours of good fun in N9819J!

Peter Williams, Livermore, CA

[Posted March 31, 2006]

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