Airplane Owner Maintenance

A Maintenance Oriented Podcast For Airplane Owners

Month: January 2018

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!

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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!