Airplane Owner Maintenance

A Maintenance Oriented Podcast For Airplane Owners

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064 – Is An Airplane Prebuy Inspection Really Necessary?

In today’s episode, we talk about a real life situation that is in process right now.  Someone walked in the shop a couple days ago and asked my opinion about some lifters and the cam shaft in this C-182 engine.

The following pictures ARE NOT the lifters I referred to in the podcast.  These pictures are from a C-310 years ago that had a severely worn lifter and cam shaft, which resulted in that engine being overhauled.  If lifters look like this, they must be removed immediately, (most likely the cam shaft too.)









Many times, lifters will show just a bit of pitting.  The ones I referred to in the podcast, had a small area on each one.

If possible, this is the type of thing you definitely hope to find BEFORE you buy the airplane, if possible.  Many times it’s hard to know what things look like inside, unless you remove a cylinder and take a look.

Here’s where you can go to watch that 2:13 video I referred to, and hear from Adam Sipe about their prebuy services:

And by all means, whatever you do, and whoever you choose to hire, ALWAYS do a prebuy inspection… and consider carefully what action to take, based on the results… you just might avoid a costly situation in the future.

Send me any prebuy stories you’d like to share, to dean(at)airplaneownermaintenance(dot)com


063 – Beech Elevator Trim: Don’t Let That “One-Time” AD Come Back to Bite You!

Sometimes, a “One-Time” AD might need some further attention.

In today’s episode, we highlight one of those AD’s.   AD 91-17-01 affects Beechcraft Bonanzas, Barons, Debonairs, and Travelairs.  Listen to today’s episode to hear about the details, and when you might need to be especially aware of this AD.

Here are some pictures of the left and right elevator trim actuator areas and where the identification paint markings need to be applied.






We also discuss a couple other AD’s on a Cessna 182 that might also need some further attention, even though they are written as “One-Time” AD’s.

 And here’s the pictures I mentioned in this episode… the red velvet pancakes, and the strawberry orange cream cheese crepe!






That’s it for this week… please send any feedback, questions or comments to this email:

dean(at)airplaneownermaintenance(dot)com  (trying to avoid the crazy web bots picking up my email!)

And, you can always click the button on the right side of the page at


062 – Airplane Maintenance Lessons From a Beech Baron

Real-Life maintenance lessons from a Beechcraft Baron that could apply to many different kinds of airplanes:

  • ECI cylinder AD.

  • Fuel selector issue.

  • Cigarette lighter anomaly.

  • Heater decay test.

  • Simple check for engine controls.

  • Oil drain plug safety wiring.

  • Oil leakage at oil cooler.

  • Continental throttle body support studs and nuts.


The top area  with the dark residue, is where the missing nut and worn stud, were located.






  • Aircraft battery connections.

  • Hydraulic fluid leakage at parking brake valve.

  • Propeller slow to feather and unfeather.

  • Crankshaft seal leakage.

Since the prop had to be removed, it’s a perfect time to replace the crankshaft seal.




  • Required POH placards.

Thanks to Adam Sipe and Don Sebastian for having me as a guest on the Airplane Intel Podcast!  It was a great conversation with them and you can find that episode here:

Also, while you’re there, take a look around at all the valuable resources they provide.

I’m incredibly grateful to all the people who have taken the time to leave a rating and review for the podcast on iTunes.  I caught up on sharing those in this episode, with the latest 4 reviews.  If you appreciate the Airplane Owner Maintenance podcast and have not left a rating and review, I’d be grateful if you would do that, and the process is simple:

  1. Go to iTunes.

  2. Click on “Store.”

  3. Type “Airplane Owner Maintenance” in the search bar and press enter.

  4. Click on the little square podcast picture.

  5. Click “Ratings and reviews.”

  6. Select and click your star rating.

  7. Click “write a review.”

  8. Type and submit your review.

Thank you so much, and if you would like me to share your real name and a website, just leave that in the text of your review, and I’ll be happy to do that for you!

Here’s a new podcast I’m recommending, that I found out about through Don Sebastian:

The “Aviation News Talk” podcast with Max Trescott, who was the 2008 National CFI of the Year.”  You can check out the podcast and resources here:

In his latest episode, he had some excellent tips on mag checks, both in flight and on the ground, before shutdown.

Send me any questions and feedback to

Or, leave me a voice message on the website. Thanks!


061 – Paul and Helen New and Tennessee Aircraft Services

It was such a pleasure to meet Paul and Helen New, the owners of Tennessee Aircraft Services, Inc. in Jackson, Tennessee.   In addition to running the maintenance shop, Paul is a writer, speaker, consultant, and technical advisor for the Cessna Pilot’s Association.

Paul soloed the day after his 16th birthday, but he operated the controls of an airplane long before that… listen to today’s episode for some fascinating stories.

Also, be sure to check out Paul’s website,  He has some great articles there, as well as several videos.  Paul is a great resource for general aviation, and as he mentioned in the interview, he can be reached at

Paul pointed out that Helen is an IA also… she’s the “Intelligence Auditor!”

What a necessary position, to make sure the maintenance record entries are legible, and will be preserved for future use.

Paul also gave us some tips about what NOT TO DO, and what TO DO, when it’s time to take your airplane to the maintenance shop.

One of these tips could help you not to lose your maintenance records, which is vitally important, since missing maintenance records could reduce the value of an airplane by about 30 %!

We both gave a shout-out to our English teachers… mine was Miss Beachy, and Paul’s was Faye Hardin.  We might have “endured those English classes years ago, but today, it’s a valuable skill to be able to write maintenance record entries that are concise, accurate, and that make sense.

The Cessna 210 is one of Paul favorite airplanes, and if you have a 210 with a specific maintenance need, you might want to consider flying it to Jackson, TN!

Paul shared a life lesson that he learned from aviation… “It’s not the bounce… it’s the recovery that counts.”  It’s not the things that happen to you in life… it’s what you do and how you react and respond to those things, that really makes the difference.  What a great life lesson!

And finally, on my way out, I stopped in the FBO and looked around… what an incredibly nice pilot’s lounge, complete with a “massage chair!”  This is worth walking inside for, if you ever fly to Jackson, Tennessee!



060 – A Safety Wiring Video, Dual Mag Update, and a Listener Question

Here’s one of the recent videos I put on YouTube:

You can check out my YouTube channel here:

Be looking for more, and improved videos real soon.

In today’s podcast episode, I gave an evaluation of the safety wiring video, and some ideas about things I’d like to do differently next time.

Today’s episode also includes the rest of the dual magneto story from a couple weeks ago.

And finally, I got a listener question that I thought was worth answering on the show, so that’s in there as well.

Thank you Chris McGough, for the excellent question… it made me dig a little, and hopefully others will benefit from the information as well.

Here are some links from today’s episode:

The AvWeb article about safety wiring techniques:


An Airframe and powerplant Q and A:







059 – Don’t Let This Happen to Your Airplane’s Dual Magneto!

Yep, that’s a chunk that broke off this magneto’s mounting flange.  And as we talk about in today’s episode, when that mag fell out of the back of the engine, the airplane immediately became a glider.

So, are these “dual magnetos” a good idea, or a bad idea?  I’m sure there are lots of opinions, and I’ve got one too.  But don’t take my word for it… do your own research, and see what conclusion you arrive at.

Here’s the difference between the old style magneto attaching clamps in the bottom of these pictures, compared to the much better attaching clamps in the tops of the pictures.







In today’s podcast, we discuss 4 different stories related to this issue of “dual magnetos.”

The picture at the top of this post is the dual magneto from this Piper that had to land in a field back in 2008.  Thankfully, there was minimal damage, but a landing gear door was also damaged in addition to needing a magneto.  And since this particular airport had minimal maintenance facilities available, we ended up fixing everything outside… not the most ideal, but we got the job done!






Another story is of a Mooney I worked on and found the wrong gasket installed on the dual magneto, and the mounting nuts undertorqued.

And one more story of another Mooney, and the accident report from the dual magneto failure… thankfully, only minor injuries in that accident.

Finally, my most recent reminder of how critical it is to install dual magnetos correctly, is this Piper Lance.  Listen to the podcast to find out why this airplane would not develop full power, and the EGT’s were ridiculously high for such a low power setting.






So, if you have a dual magneto (2 mags in one case, driven by one gear,) here are some recommendations to consider, so that you can operate as safely and reliably as possible:

  1. Make sure the correct gasket is installed.  P/N LW-12681, a round gasket.  (Not an oblong gasket with holes, for mags that have flanges.)
  2. Be sure the correct attachment clamps are installed.  Take a look at the pictures for the old style clamps and new style… make sure you have the new style, P/N 66M19385.  They are easily identified by the oblong ends, that cover more surface area where they contact the magneto flange.
  3. Be sure the torque is proper.  Ask your mechanic what torque was used for the magneto attaching nuts.  Last time I checked, it was 204 inch pounds… I’ve found numerous mag attach nuts undertorqued.  By the way, if your mechanic gets offended when you ask this question, it might be time to go somewhere else.  I welcome this kind of question… after all, your safety and the safety of your passengers, depends on it!
  4. Be sure there is torque putty on the attaching nuts, and check it frequently, to look for any movement.  My favorite is Fluorescent yellow.
  5. Do the recommended 500 hour magneto inspections.  Make sure it’s done by a reputable shop… we either send mags out, or get an exchange one.  Don’t take chances with such a critical component.
  6. Consider modifying your engine to 2 single magnetos, especially at overhaul.
  7. For me personally, don’t buy an airplane with a dual magneto… just my opinion.
  8. Print and keep these 2 documents with your maintenance records, and hand them to your mechanic whenever you are having dual magneto maintenance done.

Lycoming Service Instruction 1308C:

Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) NE-08-26R2 :

And, one more article if you want to dig a little deeper and learn a little more about dual magnetos:

Finally, if you are interested in learning more about how CHT’s and EGT’s are related to mag timing, check out some of Mike Busch’s excellent articles at

Let me know what you think about today’s episode… whether you agree with me or not, I’d like to hear from you, so please contact me with your thoughts.


Or, leave a comment on this page, or even better yet, leave me a voice message by clicking the button over to the right.

And if you appreciate the podcast, please leave a rating and review over at iTunes.

Thanks, and have a great weekend!



058 – YouTube Update And Gear Down Lights

I want to update you on my video production journey, but first, I have some people to thank:

Don Sebastian – thanks for the voice message Don!

Victor Popiol – thanks for your comments on a recent episode… I appreciate that!

Ian Robb – Same for you… I appreciate your comments!

Elizabeth Gilbert – Thank you for your willingness to have your airplane featured in my first YouTube video… I’m deeply grateful!

Here’s the video:

Please, send me any feedback on the video… I WANT TO HEAR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY.

And, if you would like a specific question answered in a future video, please send me those ideas as well.  Thanks!

Also, in this episode, we talk about an issue that sometimes happens in retractable gear airplanes, that makes the gear down indicator light, slow to illuminate after the gear is down.  AND, one possible solution for this issue.

In the next episode, I’m going to talk about DUAL MAGNETOS, why I’m not a fan, and some things you can do if you have one.

Have a great week!

057 – Don’t Let Your Airplane Become a Bird Hotel!

It’s that time of the year, when the birds are actively looking for great places to build their nests.  Airplane engine cowlings seem to be one of their favorites.

Thanks, Elizabeth, for providing a great example of cowling plugs!

Cowling plugs, like you see in this Cessna 150, are a very worthwhile investment.  You might also consider options for covering the pitot tube, fuel vents, and other openings that might invite unwelcomed critters to take up residence.

A few simple proactive measures can make a monumental difference… trust me, you don’t want to clean a bird nest out of your engine cylinders  if you can help it.

Listen today, and hear a story about a recent airplane I worked on, that the birds seemed to really love.

Have a great week everyone!

P.S.  Just make sure the items you are using to cover items on your airplane, are marked in some conspicuous way, so you will be sure to remove them before you fly!













056 – An Airplane That Went From Idaho to Florida to Virginia and Back to Florida

First of all today, thanks to Mike Busch with Savvy Aviation, and to Bret Chilcott with AgEagle, for two great interviews on the last two episodes.  I appreciate the opportunity to talk with both of them, and look forward to more guests on the show in the near future.

In today’s show, I’m sharing with you a recent experience I had working with some great guys, (3 generations!) on a Mooney M20 J.

That’s Larry on the left, then his grandson Ben, then his son Clark, and me on the right.  It was great working with these guys!

One thing we did, was change the landing gear shock discs.

The mains are pretty simple, but the nosegear takes a special tool.  The tool we used needed a modification to make it work properly, and Clark’s uncle, Lynn, was the right man for the job, since he’s a machinist.  He made us some bushings so we could space those bars on the outside of the gear legs to make room for the new shock discs.





Also, check out this incredible wedding reception my family attended recently in Florida!  We had no idea it was going to be at an airport!

What a cool place for a wedding reception!  The brother of the bride runs the maintenance shop at X58 at Indiantown, Florida, and he surprised everyone by flying the bride and groom into this grass strip in his Piper Comanche.







If you have an airplane anywhere near Indiantown, I highly recommend you contact Charles Stence.  You can check out his services at

Thanks everyone… see you in the next episode!

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!

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