Airplane Owner Maintenance

A Maintenance Oriented Podcast For Airplane Owners

Month: March 2016

018 -I Had NEVER Seen This Before, Until Yesterday… Don’t Let the Monster of Complacency Grab Ahold of You!

March 25, 2016

The Monster of Complacency can:

  1.  Terrify us with surprise when something happens unexpectedly.
  2.   Cause us to overlook a potentially dangerous situation.
  3.   Sometimes, it can be deadly.

Do you know what a “Rumble Strip” is?  If not, listen to today’s episode to find out.

Whether you are a pilot, mechanic, or both, one way to guard against complacency is to assume you missed something, and it is your job to find it.

Here is the part that I had never seen broken before, in all my years of working on airplanes:


If you are familiar with Bonanzas, you may recognize this as the pin that fastens the retract arm to the wing fitting.  This is an A36 Bonanza… congratulations for visiting the website, because I did not identify the type of airplane in the podcast.

Here is a view with a little more context of where we are looking in the gear well.IMG_3205

… and then the cylinder base nut that I found missing / broken:IMG_3198

Here are both ends of that stud:


IMG_3203 IMG_3202







Don’t be complacent… expect the unexpected!

Listen to today’s episode to find out 4 ideas of things you can do as an airplane owner, pilot, or mechanic, to be proactive in fighting complacency.

One last thing:

If you have a question you would like answered on a future show, please leave a comment below, or send me and email at



017 – Why Every Beechcraft Owner Should Urge His or Her Mechanic to Attend the ABS Maintenance Academy

March 18, 2016

What an experience!


 The ABS Maintenance Academy in Houston, Texas last weekend far exceeded my expectations!

It was certainly among the very top airplane training experiences I’ve ever been a part of.

Although I’ve worked on Bonanzas and Barons for many years, and have had various opportunities for specific training, I found the weekend to be incredibly valuable, and I learned so much.

It was absolutely timely training for me, as I returned to Virginia, and we started an annual inspection on a turbo-normalized A36 Bonanza this past week.  Then, on Thursday, we had three A36 Bonanzas and one Debonair at our shop for various work.IMG_3186

Listen to today’s episode to hear what we did with each of these airplanes.  Some of the work we did was a direct result of information from the Maintenance Academy.

Thanks so much, Bob Ripley and Curtis Boulware, the two ABS technical advisors who do such an excellent job teaching the course.  Both of them own Beechcraft specific maintenance shops, which gives them the best possible perspective from which to teach the ABS Maintenance Academy.

And thank you to all the fine people at ABS who make this type of training available to ABS members twice each year in various places around the country.  (By the way, the $70 membership fee is a small price to pay for the value you get from this training, not to mention all the other resources available on the website

The next Maintenance Academy is scheduled for September 30 to October 2, 2016 in Puyallup, Washington, which is about 35 miles South of Seattle.

If you are an airplane owner with a Bonanza, Baron, Debonair, or Travel Air, then PLEASE, urge your mechanic to attend… both of you will certainly benefit from the experience… your mechanic will learn, and YOU will have a safer, more reliable airplane.

Go to and check out all the valuable resources.  There is so much helpful information for Beechcraft airplane owners, pilots, mechanics, and flight instructors.

If you listen to today’s episode, you can hear about the following:

  1.  Things I learned at the ABS Maintenance Academy that I was not aware of.
  2. Reasons your mechanic may feel it’s not necessary to attend this training.
  3. Ten reasons why your mechanic SHOULD attend. 

To contact me, hit the comment button at the bottom of this post, or send me an email at


016 – Should I Run My Engine Past TBO?

300px-AVCOLycomingO-235C2CPhoto01 (1)

A Lycoming O-235-C2C engine mounted in an American Aviation AA-1 Yankee light aircraft. (From

March 4, 2016

What is the highest recommended TBO number of operating hours for Continental or Lycoming engines… and which model is it?

TBO times… are they a requirement or not?  Listen to today’s episode to find out.

When discussing “Hot Topics” like this, just remember, have a lively discussion, but also be kind to your fellow aviators.

In today’s episode, we talk about:

What is TBO, anyway?

Continental Motors SIL 98-9c (TBO times.)

Lycoming SI 1009 (TBO times.)

Some possible scenarios.

IF you are considering running past TBO, here are some things you might do well to consider:

  1.  Perform meticulous maintenance.  (Listen to find out more.)
  2. Use a different shop or inspector every few years (better chance of catching squawks.)
  3. Talk to your insurance company.  (It IS legal to fly past TBO under Part 91.)
  4. Educate yourself and keep on learning!

Finally, I give 5 true statements regarding running past TBO.

So… which engine model has the highest recommended TBO hours?  And the winner is… Lycoming O-235 series (except for the F, G, and J models;  these are 2000 hours due to not having the higher strength pistons, like the other 0-235 models.

Let me know if you have any good TBO stories to share with the rest of us

Have a great week!