Terry Cunningham's Custom Cessna 185
We've found that Cessna 185s come in two flavors: ones that are beat all to heck and the ones that are show quality machines. Fortunately, Terry's flying machine falls in the show class. To start out, the airframe is in better condition than it was when it rolled off the assembly line. Terry's added all kinds of speed fairing trying to get a couple more knots out of the machine but if I owned a Cessna that looked this nice, I doubt that I'd be in any hurry to get anywhere.
Several years ago Avionics West installed a nice avionics package that included a couple of King KX-155's, the King KCS-55A HSI system and the S-Tec System 55 autopilot. A short time later Terry asked us to install some custom panels in his Cessna which you can see the results of on this page. This year Terry wanted to update the Cessna 185 again so he called on Avionics West to complete the job. During this installation we installed a Garmin GMA 340 audio/marker/ICS panel, Garmin GNS 530, GNS 430, GTX 327 transponder, Sandel SN3308 EHSI and a BFG SkyWatch TCAD system. The SkyWatch TCAD is displayed on both the GNS 530 and the GNS 430. The pilot can view the traffic on either moving map or both should he desire. The mechanical King KI-525A HSI was used for the number two indicator for the GNS 430 and the Sandel EHSI was moved into the number one spot and works with the GNS 530.
Terry elected to keep the Argus 5000 mainly because there was room in the panel. Fortunately, we planned ahead and did not have to make new panels for this installation. Notice how well everything fits even though these panels were not originally cut for the avionics you see here. As I've always said, careful planning today can save you countless dollars tomorrow and Terry's panel proves it. Take note that there are a couple of holes that are empty and an avionics rack available on the copilots side should Terry wish to add something else in the future.
Not only does Terry have one of the nicest Cessna 185s on the planet, he's also one of the nicest pilots I've ever met. The few times I've actually had some time to fly with Terry, he's always helped me with business questions I've asked him. He's a smart business man and doesn't mind sharing his insight with me. Terry's a real down to earth person that doesn't mind paying a fair price to have his aircraft maintained the way it should be. One would think, what could be added to this fully equipped Cessna. My guess is within a short period of time we will add the S-Tec GPSS guidance system and maybe Sat-Com.