A couple weeks ago I got a note from Mike Arntzen, one of the folks on the Microsoft Pilot's distribution list. I'm not sure how you do it, but Mike mentioned that he "accidently" bought half an Avid Catalina and wondered if I'd come take a look. Hummm.. Mike is one of the well-known Cessna pilots on our e-mail list, so the conversion from Cessna, to finishing a half-complete project was going to be interesting for sure. Well...I had the opportunity to visit Mike and the project today and see what a Catalina looked like. I'd seen a video on the web, but hadn't had a chance to see one up close.
Well, as Mike said, it's probably 60-70% complete, and pretty close to applying the cover. The wings appear complete, most components are installed in the aft fuselage, some instruments, some wiring, the engine was installed at one time, and a lot of fiberglass is done. That said, there's still a lot to do.
Mike has some time in the Austrailian Air Force (avionics tech) and currently works for Microsoft. He and a partner bought the project basically from a neighbor, have access to a lakeside hangar on Lake Samm, and hope to use the Avid to fly to Harvey and Boeing Field to access their other aircraft (sure beats the drive!).
We should start seeing Mike around the Chapter meetingssoon, and look forward to seeing the Avid come together. Besides, it's a good opportunity for Tom Staggs to use his new seaplane rating when it comes to first flight!