By Norm Goyer
This photo by Lynn McCready was taken for an article I had commissioned for Private Pilot some years ago. This is N3089B after Ron Karwacki had completely restored it to like new condition.
Last week we wrote about the final flight of N3089B as a Cessna 190. The Businessliner threw its prop over the snow covered hills of Vermont, later found by hunters. The pilot, an airline Captain, on his way home, safely made an emergency landing on a snow covered street in a small Vermont town. The airplane was ground looped to slow it down; it then slid backwards into a snow fence, damaging the tail feathers. It was then tied down in a neighboring field. This is where we found it when we arrived with our trailer to haul it back to Northampton, Massachusetts.
Karwacki flew his beautiful 195 to many Sun 'n Fun and AirVenture meets. This one was taken at AirVenture, I believe.
My friend, the late Roger Atwood, had learned about it from a pilot friend in Vermont. He knew I was looking for an inexpensive 195 to rebuild, so he contacted me. I had a nine-passenger heavy-duty Land Rover at the time, Roger also had a long trailer he used for retrieving aircraft, together they were just what was needed to haul the carcass home. In 1969, I was producing TV ads and had a large studio for filming scenes. We unloaded the dismantled 195 and assessed the damage; we needed a new engine, new prop, elevators and rudder. The fuselage was okay. I had paid $3,000 for the crashed aircraft and that about broke me. Roger checked his sources and found an L-126 in crates at a dock in New Jersey, just returned from Korea. The spec sheet showed it had a 300-hp Jacobs with less than 200 total hours, the fuselage was bent in the middle but rest of the aircraft was okay. We loaded up the Land Rover again and hauled the L-126 back to my studio. It looked more like an aircraft hangar than a movie set but, they wouldn’t be there long, hopefully. The Jacobs fit perfectly on the swinging engine mount on the firewall. We had already removed the Continental 240-hp engine. We stripped the accessories and wiring from the engine and junked it. Forty years later I am still using bits of the high quality wiring in the harnesses for my electric RC fleet.
This is a generic view of the panel on Cessna 195s. All now flying have been modified with modern instruments and gauges. Some had a throw-over yoke.
While I had the aircraft under cover, I painted the wings and tail feathers to match the cream and brown of the aircraft. We hauled all the parts to Roger’s airport in Hatfield, Massachusetts for assembly. The local FAA inspector came and looked at the aircraft and told us what we had to do to convert it from a Cessna 190 to a Cessna 195. There was a lot of little details which were not difficult to do, as we had all the parts we needed from the L-126. Most of the work was in replacing the tach drive and rpm gauge which needed swapping out. We also had to make a new data plate, replacing the old. The airplane was now essentially a 1969 Goyer/Cessna 195, the only one flying. The plate was made with a Dremel tool and then riveted to the door frame. An A & I and the FAA signed it off and it was ready to fly. Roger test flew the plane for me as required by the FAA and reported that it flew straight and level with zero problems noted. Other than a rather mismatched paint job my new/old 195 was a blast to fly. I loved the cross wind gear and learned how to use it, it really helped in a cross wind landing.
This is Cessna N3089B taken a short time ago by its new owner David Ramsey, obviously Dave has a nice taste in wheels and wings.
In 1972, I had purchased a small airport in Delanson, New York, with a 1200 foot East/West and a 1000 foot North/South runway. The 195 was perfect for the small field. During the spring, son Robert, now Editor in Chief at Flying magazine, and I stripped the paint and polished the aluminum to a semi-high luster. I also installed exhaust valve rotators, on advice of a local Jacobs mechanic, boy, was he right. That engine ran for many more years without one problem.
In 1973, we decided to move to SoCal for a better flying environment. We relocated our large family, its cars, its airplanes to Apple Valley, California, where I still reside. Here the saga of N3089B really takes off. The airplane was put on our Part 135 certificate at the FBO I had purchased and we managed to get contracts from the BLM and the Treasurers Department for surveillance work. We tracked counterfeiters, counted horses, burros, big horn sheep and cougars. The feds loved the 195 due to the super comfortable large back seat, where they could set up their tracking devices. They hung antennas under the wing and at a reduced power the old bird could lumber around the sky for a lot longer than the pilots could.
In between gigs with the feds, we flew the 195 to Canada, Mexico and many airports in the Southwest, it never failed us. What a great bird N3089B was. I finally parted with her when I purchased a new Cessna Turbo 206. Now N3089B belonged to a local realtor. I bought it back few years later and sold it again to the late Ron Karwacki, a Riverside, California heavy duty excavator contractor. Ron learned to fly in the 195 and completely did a ground up restoration including white leather interior new windows, highly polished aluminum skin and a complete modern avionics package, it was gorgeous, and still is. If you have attended any recent Sun ‘n Fun or AirVenture meets you have seen N3089B in the winner’s circle, Ron won every prize offered with his recreation. Ron passed away a few years ago, and the plane was purchased by David Ramsey living in the South East. David has the time, experience and means to keep N3089B in a private hangar along with his Porsche. Who would ever believe that this mismatched 190 and 195 old field beater would end up as the “Queen of the Breed”. For one, I am so happy that she is still very well taken care of. .