Airplane Owner Maintenance

A Maintenance Oriented Podcast For Airplane Owners

Month: August 2016

034 – An Airplane Fuel System Mystery is Solved When a Guy Named Kevin Saves the Day

Recently, I’ve been working on a Cessna 414, for the annual inspection and associated repairs.

Listen to today’s episode to find out about why we removed both the left and right fuel selector valves for repair, and how it all worked out.

Each wing has one of these selector valves








The fuel strainer bowl, in this case, is part of the selector valve and can be accessed through the bottom access opening in the wing.








The selector valve can be removed through an opening in the top of the wing, after draining fuel and disconnecting all the lines and cable attachment.








Today’s episode also tells the story of a fuel leak on an Aerostar aircraft a few years ago, and how challenging it was, until we found the right person, who knew exactly what to do to fix it.

I also tell a story of how a Cessna 172 engine was kept running in a very innovative way, that resulted in a safe, airport landing, but could have been catastrophic, if this technique had not been used.

Finally, I have 3 recommendations for fuel system familiarization:

  1.  Take a little time to study your fuel system in your POH, or Flight Manual.
  2.   If you have an issue, do some research, and try to find the best person to help, who has experience with that issue.
  3. Get involved in your airplane’s maintenance, and learn about the fuel system… it just might help you in the future.

IF YOU HAVE A UNIQUE OR INTERESTING FUEL SYSTEM STORY, please sent it to me so we can share it with others and all learn from it.





033 – Airplanes I Saw and a Pilot / Medical Examiner I Met at Dare County Regional Airport

This replica of the original Wright Flyer is displayed in the lobby at Dare County Regional Airport on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.









This Waco is used for air rides at the Outer Banks… it’s a “flying convertible!”








If you’re interested in skydiving, you can also do that at Dare County.








You can jump out of a perfectly good airplane!  This sign is posted on the inside wall of the Cessna 182 that is used for hauling skydivers.









This Bellanca was in the shop for repairs due to a gear collapse, or not fully extended situation… oops!  But, let’s not be quick to judge here… it can happen to the best of us.  Listen to today’s podcast for some talk about gear up landings and avoiding them.








This Cessna 421 was also stuck at Dare County for a teardown inspection due to prop damage… must have hit something – maybe a runway or taxiway light?


















The Outer Banks is one place that feeds my soul!













032 – Aviation Reflections from the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Hello from the Outer Banks of North Carolina!

Yesterday, I stood on the end of runway 2 and took a picture at the First Flight Airport on the Outer Banks… if you stick with me today, I’ll share with you some of my personal aviation memories from the Outer Banks.


My family is on vacation here this week, and I thought I’d share with you some of my personal thoughts about general aviation here on the Outer Banks.

As I reflected on my personal situation, I realized that I’ve had a fair number of aviation experiences that are somehow related to the Outer Banks.

I share some of those stories in today’s episode.

First Flight Airport is a worthwhile stop for aviators who make it to the Outer Banks.


It’s a fairly short, but steep hike to the Wright Brothers Memorial at First Flight Airport.


We really owe a lot to Orville and Wilbur for their extreme perseverance.









This clever entry code is used at First Flight Airport, and at Ocracoke Airport, to gain entry into the flight planning facilities.





Check out this video of a flying replica of the original Wright Flyer.  What a crazy adventure!

I was thinking about all this as it relates to mx, and being a mechanic, it hit me that visiting a place like the Outer Banks is an especially good time to make sure you have at least some sort of tool kit and a few spare parts like a couple spark plugs and tools to change them… there is no maintenance at 3 of the 4 airports we talked about today.

So… if you don’t have a small aviation toolkit that you carry with you, consider putting one together… it just might save the day for you sometime!

And please… send me your ideas that could be shared with your fellow aviators…if you do have a toolkit with a few spare parts that you carry with you, I would be interested to know what is in your kit… also any times you had to use the kit, and how it helped you.

The better prepared we are when we go flying, the better!

Thanks so much for joining me today for this special Outer Banks episode.

Have a great week!