When I first laid my eye on the Colt, sitting there at CYPK (Pitt Meadows Airport) under the tinned roof, I had to put my imagination into a maximum overdrive to recognize the beauty in this ugly duckling. It was in a bad need of a wash, and the inside was, well, 1961 vintage. I knew right there and then that I could not live with it as it was sitting there. I almost walked away, but on a second look, I started to see a potential here. Somehow, the old bird was able to charm me into buying it.
As the first annual under my ownership started to drag, I decided that this might be a good time to have a good look at the interior. Besides the obvious dated decor, I noticed that the original headliner installation would make inspection and service of important control systems cumbersome, and in fact, some of the systems would be impossible to inspect without removing the headliner. I am absolutely convinced that there are many Colts and Tri-Pacers out there, whose owners never bothered to take the headliner out, to make sure that all the hidden components are in a good condition. The zipper access to the trim system is simply not adequate for inspection of the pulleys and cables hidden in the ceiling.
With all the internals exposed, it was time to call upon professionals to suggest a solution. One thing I knew right from the start, the headliner, and in fact all interior furnishings, must be easily removable, so periodical inspections of the hidden control components is unimpeded.
I called on Walter Kaiser, the owner of K.C.F. Ltd., located at CYVR (Vancouver International Airport), to seek some advice. Walter’s company is specializing in aircraft interior restorations, and refurbishing. Walter is a good, old-fashioned, German artisan. He liked the challenge, and took me under his wing personally. He made several great suggestions on how to resolve the inspection and maintenance issues, and give the interior fresh look. We shook hands, and Walter went back to the shop to apply his craft, and make the interior look more contemporary looking.