Airplane Owner Maintenance

A Maintenance Oriented Podcast For Airplane Owners

Month: January 2017

050 – Stuff You Don’t Want To See In Your Airplane’s Oil Filter

As an airplane owner, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with the task of cutting open the oil filter at an oil change.

It’s a routine part of airplane oil change.

But what should you look for, and how do you know when to be concerned?

In today’s episode, we discuss an issue that came up just the other day, that may end up requiring this engine to be removed for a teardown inspection.

Here’s what was found in this particular oil filter:









Perhaps you know right away what that orange stuff is.  If not listen to today’s episode to hear about it.

This filter came from an experimental airplane with a Lycoming engine on it.

This whole deal reminded me of an article that Mike Busch wrote for the April 2013 edition of Sport Aviation magazine, called “A Little Dab’ll Do Ya – In.”

In that case, some gasket-maker on a cylinder base was a factor in a Beech Debonair crash landing in a vineyard.

You can read this article here:

So, what can we learn from stories like this?

Here are a few things:

  1. Take a look at your engine and make sure you don’t have any silicone or gasket-maker that has been squeezed out between the cylinder bases and the crankcase, or between the crankcase halves.  Not sure what you’re looking for?  Check with your A&P.  (The cylinders need to be installed with all surfaces totally clean, with a new cylinder base o-ring, lightly lubed with the proper engine oil.  The crankcase halves need to be installed per the overhaul manual instructions, and not with any silicone or gasket-maker.)
  2. When you have a cylinder removed and reinstalled, make sure no silicone or gasket-maker is used at the cylinder base… just a new o-ring with the proper oil on it.
  3. When you have your engine overhauled, make sure no silicone is used between the crankcase halves, or in any other places it should not be.
  4. Be vigilant and keep learning.

Finally, I want to encourage you to check out this new podcast by Adam Sipe and Don Sebastian:

It’s called the “Airplane Intel Podcast” and you can find it on iTunes, and at

Let them know you heard about it on Airplane Owner Maintenance.




049 – Changing An Airplane Tire – Don’t Let It Explode!

As an airplane owner, you ARE approved by the FAA to change tires.

But be careful, because airplane tires can be bombs, if not handled properly.

ALWAYS get some one-on-one training before changing tires yourself.

And even after you’ve changed many tires, it’s so important to be extra vigilant and aware, and never allow yourself to become complacent.

Check out this video that demonstrates how dangerous an over-pressurized tire can be.

Here’s another website worth checking out to understand the potential dangers involved in changing airplane tires.

Listen to today’s episode for some valuable information on changing tires on small airplanes.

But remember, this is NOT A TUTORIAL!

You are responsible to get your own training and to keep your airplane airworthy.

Changing tires on small airplanes is simple, but it demands proper training, as well as full attention and respect.

Here are a couple other videos I found that might be helpful with changing tires:

And as that previous video reminds us, don’t forget to do the paperwork when you’re finished.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode.  You can comment on the website, or leave me a voice message.  See that tab right over there to the right?  Just click it, and record.  Then you can listen to your message before you send it.  It’s about that easy!  Thanks!

And of course, you can always email me.

Have a great week!

048 – Can You Help Me With an Electrical Charging System Problem?

Today is a little different .

Instead of me just sharing things with you that I hope will be helpful, I’m asking for your help here.

But first, in today’s episode, I clarified something that I talked about in a previous episode… the one about the simple alternator inspection.

And then, for today, find out about an issue on a Piper Cherokee, that has been a nuisance for quite some time.  I’m asking for your help… have any of you experience anything like this?  Or if not, what about your mechanic?  If so, could you let me know?  Either send me an email at, or leave a comment on the website.  Some of the best ideas could appear on a future episode.

One cool thing about this whole thing, is that as I was preparing for this episode, I ended up doing some online research, and I think I now know what the problem is with that charging system… time will tell if my idea is accurate, or not.

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s 2017!