Airplane Owner Maintenance

A Maintenance Oriented Podcast For Airplane Owners

Year: 2018

084 – I Want You to Question the Safety of Your Airplane

Yep, you heard me right.

But don’t worry, it’s not for some weird, fear-driven reason.

This is for a good reason… I want you to question the safety of your airplane, so that you will go on a search to find anything that might need some attention.  You might be able to do that search yourself, or you might want to grab your A&P, or a fellow aviator, to help you.

Whatever the case, don’t fly around with something like I discovered the other day as I was inspecting a Lycoming IO-360 engine.

If you look closely at the picture, you will notice the center plug is safetied backwards.  If you were to put a wrench on the plug and turn it in the loosening direction (left) you would be able to turn it perhaps 1/4 turn.  This would be enough to cause a significant fuel leak.  This safety wiring on the plug, is beautiful, but it’s backwards!

What about you? Have you taken a close look at your airplane’s engine recently? If not, it might be a good time to take a look. And one thing to look for, is to confirm that all safety wiring is installed properly, in such a way that not only does it look nice, (which is important in my opinion,) but it is actually done correctly so that the component or piece of hardware, cannot become loose. You certainly do not want to be flying along and have something shake loose on your engine!

I know you want to fly safely and confidently, knowing you’ve done everything you can to make that happen.

But what if you’re not sure what to look for? What if you lack the confidence to determine if all the safety wiring is done properly?

If this is your situation, I can absolutely help you. I have created a tool to help airplane owners just like yourself, to develop the ability, not only to evaluate safety wiring to determine if it’s correct or not, but to also develop the personal skill to perform safety wiring. “Safety Wire Like A Pro!” is a powerful video tutorial course, designed to walk airplane owners through all the necessary steps, to perform safe and effective safety wiring, on a variety of components, every time. It will also give you the ability to evaluate safety wiring, using my three-part criteria. You’ll know how to determine when safety wire is done properly, when it’s done poorly, when it’s backwards, and when it’s just ugly.

But more importantly, you’ll be able to install safety wiring yourself in a way that you know for sure it is done correctly.

It took me years to get really good at this skill. But I’ve boiled it down into a clear-cut, easy to follow, set of tutorial videos. If you go through the course, and practice your skills, you can learn quickly, what it took me a long time to learn.

If you’ve never done any safety wiring at all, this course is for you.

Or, if you’ve done a little safety wiring, this course is for you also, and has the very real potential to help you get much better at it.

And if you’ve done a lot of safety wiring, this course is still for you, because I’m guessing you may discover something you were not aware of, that will be a difference maker for you, and take your safety wiring skill to a new level.

So what are you waiting for?

Go sign up now, for “Safety Wire Like A Pro!” and take your safety wiring to a new level.

Don’t wait, because from now until the end of February, you can get a $30 discount on the course. The normal price is $97, but until the end of February, you can get it for $67 by using the code “WIRINGCOURSE” at checkout.

I look forward to seeing you in the course,

Dean Showalter

083 – Can Airplane Owners “Safety Wire Like A Pro?” Absolutely!

Good news:  The “Safety Wire Like A Pro” video tutorial course is now available!  You can read about it here:

Build Your Safety Wiring Skills with Dean

Or, just click the picture in the right sidebar that says, “Learn to safety wire with Dean.”

Regardless of your current skill level with preventive maintenance, I’m confident you can take your skill to a new level with this course.  And if you hurry, you can get a significant discount on the whole thing.

The normal price of the safety wiring course is $97.  But we are having a  discount to celebrate the release of our very first training course for airplane owners.  Now through the end of February, you can get it for $67.  What a deal!  Do it now, so you don’t forget about it.

To get the discount, just enter the code “WIRINGCOURSE” and it will take $30 off.

In today’s podcast episode, I talk about meeting one of the listeners who happens to be a student at the local A&P school at SHD.  It made my day!

I also talk about some recent things I’ve worked on at Classic Aviation, that made me think of the concept of “The problem behind the problem.”  You may be interested in going back and listening to episode #13, “Avoid the Gotchas,” after hearing this one.

The two issues we cover in this segment are a broken fitting on an engine driven fuel pump on a TSIO-550 engine in an experimental airplane, and a wiring harness plug that was not fully attached on the back of an HSI in an A36 Bonanza.

So back to the safety wiring course… I encourage you to try it out.  It’s a small investment that can make a big difference.  Think about it.  You need some safety wiring skills to  do some of the preventive maintenance items, and you need to make sure it’s done correctly.  Over a period of time, you can really save some labor bucks if you can perform these tasks yourself.  So invest in yourself and become confident with  your safety wiring.

It’s a no-risk investment… if you are not fully satisfied, you can get a full refund in the first 30 days.  That takes all the pressure off.

So go for it, and let’s learn together!

Also, some of you have asked me how you can help me.  Here are two ways:

  1. Buy the safety wiring course and hone your skills.
  2. Share this information wherever you can… forums, social media, and anywhere else you think is appropriate.  Thank you so much!

And if you need to buy safety wire pliers, here is a good option:

These are reversible, automatic return safety wire pliers.  There are cheaper options available, but these will serve you well.

A can of .032 safety wire is also a necessary item you’ll need for your safety wiring tasks.

As we release this first video training course for airplane owners, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Bob Huber, my video editor.  He has been a superstar with the quality of work he’s done on the videos.  I could not have done it without him.  All the intros, music, special effects, and conclusions, are all Bob’s work, and I’m beyond grateful.  Thank you Bob!

One more thing… If you live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area in Texas, (or if you want to fly there,) and have an interest in public speaking, I’d love to meet you!  And here’s the perfect opportunity:

My good friend Brian Holmes is hosting a “Maximum Impact” speaker training workshop on Thursday, February 22nd, and I will be there.  I highly recommend all of Brian’s training, so go watch the short video and see if this might be a good fit for you… and as a bonus, I’d love to meet you too.

Watch Brian’s short video here.

Have a great week everyone, and don’t forget to check out the safety wiring course.

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082 – Design Your Airplane’s Interior With Maintenance In Mind

When it comes to airplane interiors, an important detail that can be totally overlooked, is how the interior installation will affect future maintenance operations.  I highly recommend you give it some thought if you’re considering having new interior installed in your airplane.

Before we get into that, here are some highlights of today’s episode:

  • Audio message from Tom Martin with an option for a great tool to remove and install inspection covers on fabric aircraft.
  • If you own a fabric airplane, you may want to get one of these kits for yourself, and one for your A&P… it would make a great gift!
  • Two iTunes reviews.
  • A brief report about why I traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this past week.  (I spent a few days with some of the most amazing young people on the planet! )
    •  Check out this unique and inspiring way to get a college degree.
    •  This is the conference I spoke at this week.

You might ask, why are you putting that information in here?  Good question.  Because I just spent a few days with some of the brightest young people I’ve ever seen, who have their sites set on really big dreams and goals.  I figured some of you might have kids who are about ready to go to college, and I thought I’d pass this info along as an excellent option and alternative to the typical college scenario.  Feel free to email me with any questions.

Now for today’s topic… Airplane Interiors, and how if affects maintenance.  The audio includes more details, but here are a few recommendations I have if you are considering a new interior for your airplane:

  1. Talk with your A&P or your IA and get ideas for how to design the interior in a way that makes the annual inspection simpler.
  2. Talk with owners of similar airplanes to get ideas.
  3. Ask questions in online forums.
  4. Brainstorm ideas for simple removal and reinstallation, especially seams and fasteners.
  5. Don’t use glue for areas that need to be accessible.  Use fasteners or snaps instead.

Remember, if you have a fabric airplane, scroll down and consider the tool kit Tom Martin recommended for removing and installing inspection covers… maybe get one for you and one for your A&P.

The “Safety Wire Like A Pro!” course is almost ready… I’ll let you know when it’s available.

Thanks everyone!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


081 – One Simple But Powerful Idea for a More Efficient Annual Inspection

I had a situation last week at Classic Aviation that made me think about this topic… cable tensions and how easy it is for confusion to creep in around this topic.  Listen to today’s episode to hear about a situation on a Piper Saratoga that took some digging to get to the bottom of it.

But first, I want to say thanks to Matt Reedy for his feedback about a gear down light in his Piper Arrow.  He referred to episode 058, and if you have not listened to it, you can find it here:  Airplane

If you have a gear down light in your airplane that is slow to illuminate after you extend the landing gear, you might find that episode helpful as one idea to consider.

Matt also shared with me something about safety wiring.  Here is what he said:

“I watched your YouTube video on safety wiring a brake caliper several times.  It really helped me figure out how to safety wire the oil filter and oil sump suction screen on my Lycoming engine.  I’ve now changed my own oil several times.”

Thank you Matt!

The safety wiring video course will soon be available.  More information to come on that.

In the mean time, if you’d like to watch the video Matt was talking about, here it is:

The upcoming safety wiring course, “Safety Wire Like A Pro,” will go far beyond what you see in this video.  I

Also in this episode, I mentioned a very special Christmas gift I received from my daughter.  Here’s a picture of that 🙂

(You’ll have to listen to the audio to find out why in the world she wrote “#bestbananaever” on that banana…  I loved this gift!

Today’s main feature:  Airplane cable tensions.  Find out what it took to get all the cable tensions up to proper specs, including the primary cables, trim cables, and autopilot servo cables.

And after this experience, I’m more convinced than ever, that it would be a really good idea for every airplane owner to put together some sort of maintenance file that can be used as a reference when it comes time for the annual inspection.  It could include things like:

  • Cable tensions
  • Tire pressures
  • Strut extension levels
  • Engine oil type
  • Common part numbers
  • Recurring AD’s
  • Acomplete AD compliance record
  • And more

And, if you have other great ideas about what to include in a maintenance file like this please let me know… leave a voice message here on the website, or send me an email.  dean{at}airplaneownermaintenance{dot}com

Thanks everyone, and have a great weekend!

080 – Citabria Annual Inspection Review

Do you know where the name “Citabria came from?  Check this out:  The name “Citabria” is actually “Airbatic” spelled backwards.  Interesting trivia.

Today, we cover a quick review of the annual inspection checklist for the Citabria.  Thank you to Dan Frankel for requesting this topic.

Also, I’d like to thank Brian Schober for his kind words in a recent iTunes review, and also in an email he sent me.  In that email, he mentioned how the podcast “allows us to identify concerns before they become actual issues.”  Yes!  That is precisely one of the things I love to see happen… airplane owners identifying possible concerns, and taking action to keep them from developing into dangerous situations.  So thank you Brian, for sharing that.  If anyone wants to hear the rest of what Brian said, just listen to today’s episode.

Finally, I’d like to thank Leon and Wynne Johenning, owners of a pristine 1997 Citabria, model 7GCBC.  I’ve mentioned them in some previous episodes, including the very first episode.  If you’re interested you can listen to that one at

I’ve enjoyed working with Leon and Wynne so much, and they’ve become great friends.

Thank you, Leon and Wynne!

Reminder:  The new video course, “Safety Wire Like A Pro!” will soon be available.  Watch for more details coming soon.  Even if you have zero experience in safety wiring, this course can help you learn to perform the task with excellence and make it look like it was done by a pro!