Bellanca Cruisemaster
Maintenance Tips
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This is a list of collected maintenance problems and solutions that I have run into.

Many of these are one-time problems, however some are due to inattention in performing recurring maintenance tasks.  My particular plane doesn't have a lot of flight time, but it sat for many years with no attention paid towards maintenance and consequently had more than its share of calendar-time related problems when I acquired it.

If you're looking at buying a Bellanca you should not be scared off by this list.  As high performance retractables go, the Bellanca is about standard for maintenance complexity and overall the type is reliable, especially the 230.  There are two things to consider if you're a potential Cruisemaster buyer:

  • Are you prepared to deal with the extra complexity and price of a high-performance retractable airplane, independent of whether it is a Bellanca or another make?  If you're looking for a 172 level of simplicity and cost you're going to be surprised at your first annual because there's retractable gear, more systems complexity, a six cylinder engine, and a constant speed prop.  If you're looking at a Cruisemaster you should keep in mind that the comparables are a Bonanza, a 182RG, or a Piper Arrow.
  • If you aren't able to keep a Bellanca hangared (cost, availability) then you should probably find another aircraft type.  If you run across a Bellanca that has been stored outside for any significant stretch of time you should shake your head in sadness but then walk away before getting thoughts of "saving it".  Saving it is a heck of a lot of work and expense, and you will recover none of your money upon resale.

If you are ready to support a high-performance retractable and have a hangar, then a Bellanca is a good choice:  great flying characteristics, a taildragger, style, and usually a lower price compared to other types in the category.

If you have a Bellanca maintenance story that you'd like to contribute please mail me and I'll post it on this site.