Airplane Owner Maintenance

A Maintenance Oriented Podcast For Airplane Owners

Month: March 2017

055 – Bret Chilcott, His 1947 Stinson, and His Company, AgEagle

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce to you someone who has an incredible life-story of the convergence of different aspects of aviation, from model airplanes, to a 1947 Stinson, and a cutting edge drone that takes aerial surveys of crop fields.  Listen to today’s episode to hear about how all this happened.

This gentleman has become a good friend of mine through the podcast, and through email.

Welcome, Mr. Bret Chilcott!

One of Bret’s earliest aviation memories is building model airplanes at his parents’ hobby store.

Now, Bret owns a 1947 Stinson that he loves to fly with his wife and anyone else he gets a chance to take for a ride.

Bret is the founder and CEO of a company called AgEagle, that uses a cutting edge, uniquely designed, computer operated drone, to fly over farm fields and survey the crops for any necessary treatments.  It’s a very fascinating concept!

If you know of a farmer who might need this service, be sure to have them contact Bret.  (His contact information is at the bottom of this page.)

Here are some pictures and videos of some of Bret’s flying, and also some links for Stinson owners:


Bret Chilcott
117 S. 4th Street
Neodesha, KS
General office:  620-325-6363 X177
Direct office:  (620) 625-4622
Skype:  bret.chilcott
Google Hangouts:

Thank you Bret, for taking the time to talk with me, and share your story with the Airplane Owner Maintenance community!

054 – A Very Special Guest… The “Savvy Aviator”

Welcome to the first interview on the Airplane Owner Maintenance Podcast!

Today’s guest is the “Savvy Aviator,” Mr. Mike Busch.

Thank you Mike, for taking the time to talk with us today!

Mike has 50 years of aviation experience, and has done all kinds of fascinating things in his career.  Listen today, for just a sample of some of those experiences.

Interesting quote from Mike:  “Borescopes never lie; compression tests lie all the time.”

Here’s a classic case of a time when the compression test lied, but the borescope did not:

Figure 3 in that article is a picture I sent to Mike years ago, and the compression test indicated above 60/80!  But the valve was obviously burning.

Connect with Mike and his services: – Main SavvyAviation website – Place to find all my articles, webinars, book, and lots more – SavvyAnalysis engine monitor data analysis platform (free!) – My Patreon page where folks can sign up as patrons of my writing – Link to my book “Manifesto” on Amazon

Read Mike’s Bio Here:

Check out the borescope Mike recommends:

This one is $199.98 on Amazon:

Vividia Ablescope VA-400 USB Rigid Borescope Endoscope with 180 Degree Articulating 8.5mm Diameter Probe


The following one is $289.98 on Amazon, and apparently includes equipment to use with iPad, iPhone, etc.

Thanks, Mike, for all you’re doing for general aviation!



053 – Things That Frustrate Airplane Owners About Maintenance

As an airplane owner, have you ever been frustrated by maintenance issues?  If so, listen to today’s episode.

If you’re an airplane owner, I bet you’ve had at least one or two very frustrating maintenance situations with your airplane… Today, we’re going to talk about some of these potential frustrations, and some ways to prevent, or at least minimize them.

Thank you, Kevin Greene, for leaving a rating and review for the podcast.  That really means a lot to me, coming from a fellow A&P / IA!

If any of you want to check out the company Kevin works for, you can find it at:

In today’s episode, we have voice messages from the following people:

Tom Martin:

Tom has become a great friend and encourager of the podcast… thanks Tom!

Bret Chilcott:

Bret is another great friend and encourager, AND he has agreed to having an interview with me for a future episode.  I look forward to sharing his story with you soon!  Be looking for that some time in the next month or so.

Nick Tarascio:

Nick is the CEO of Ventura Air Services in Farmingdale, New York.  He left me a message that led to a phone call, and a very interesting conversation.  Thanks Nick, for prompting me to think about today’s topic!

You can learn more about Nick and his company here:


At the end of today’s episode, I read an article that Nick wrote some years ago, that I thought was excellent.  Here is that article from May 12, 2015 that appeared in Business Insider:

So, after talking about things that frustrate airplane owners about maintenance, here are some recommendations:

  1. Be proactive so you are not surprised by maintenance bills.
  2. Establish healthy communication with your maintenance people.
  3. Don’t be abrasive and hard to get along with!
  4. Don’t settle for poor maintenance!  Expect excellence!
  5. If you’re buying an airplane, talk with Don Sebastian and Adam Sipe, the “Prebuy Guys.”

You can find them here:

And be sure to listen to their podcast:

Airplane Intel Podcast.

Thanks so much, to everyone who contributed in some way to this episode… I appreciate it so much!

Hey, if you’re reading this, could you do me a quick favor?  Click that tab over there on the right side of this page, and leave me a brief message.  I’d love to know a little more about you and what you’re doing in aviation out there!  Thanks!

One Last Thing:

This is not so much about aviation, but I have to share it with you guys.  I received my pre-ordered copy of a new book by Andy Andrews this past week, and it is a phenomenal book.  Whether you’re in aviation, business, sales, nonprofit work, ministry, education, government, or anything else, PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!  It’s called:

“The Little Things”

…Why You Really Should Sweat The Small Stuff

This book is packed full of out-of-the-ordinary ideas like, “How to compete in areas where most people don’t even know there’s a game going on.”

Thanks everyone, and I’ll be back with you on the next episode.

052 – The Post Flight Inspection

Have you ever had to cancel a flight because of an issue you wish you had noticed earlier?

 Listen to today’s episode for some ideas on how you can minimize the surprises when you go flying.


Here are a few other items in this episode:

  • Follow up to the recent episode about the Piper Cherokee charging system.
  • Main topic:  The Post Flight Inspection.
  • A very special announcement about an upcoming guest on the show.
  • A new segment I want to try for the show:  Interesting and Startling.
  • Some very nice people, and a great resource!
  • A gift for you that you might not be aware of…

Here are the old voltage regulator and overvoltage relay from the Piper Cherokee:










These two components were removed, and a new style voltage regulator was installed, one that has the over voltage protection built in.  Here is the new one, made by Plane Power:










Now for The Post Flight Inspection:

Listen in today, for some ideas about developing a specific “Post Flight Inspection” procedure for your specific airplane.

Also, find out about the jet we developed a post flight inspection for, years ago.

Special Announcement

I have an interview scheduled for later this month, for a future episode… listen today, to find out who that is… I think you will want to be sure to listen to that interview when it is published, probably later in March, or sometime in April.

Here’s a hint:  This guest was suggested by Joe Godfrey, who is the Director of Operations at Savvy Analysis, the amazing engine monitoring platform, for evaluating the operation of your engine in a graphic presentation.

Check it out at

Thanks Joe, for that recommendation!

Interesting and Startling!

Here’s the airplane that prompted this idea:  (It’s a really nice Piper Matrix.)









And here’s the note in the maintenance manual that got my attention:

“Warning:  Do not put fingers in holes of extended speed brake blades.  If power to the system is interrupted, the speed brake blades will close with sufficient force to amputate fingers.”

And here’s a video to show why this warning is there… in normal operation, the speedbrakes retract with normal speed, but if the circuit breaker is pulled, or the aircraft master switch is turned off, here is what happens:

Wow!  How about that for a startling video?!  I’m not sticking my fingers in there!

I’ll keep an eye out for more interesting and startling things to share with you. 

And, if you have something that might fit this category, please send it to me! or leave me a message here on the website.  Thanks!


Be sure to check out April and Reuben Zook, with the AD Toolbox.

Their website is  

They are exceptionally nice people, and this is a fantastic resource for doing AD research.


Finally, be sure to grab your copy of my free checklist for before and after your annual inspection… all you have to do is enter your first name and email, and I’ll send it right out to you.


As a result of today’s episode, I hope you will develop  your own personal post flight inspection procedure for your airplane, laminate it, and use it after your flights, so you can be better prepared for your next flight.