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In this podcast episode, we’re talking about alternator maintenance! Here’s the alternator I removed from a Beechcraft Bonanza to inspect the drive coupling and the brushes… note the brush assembly in the lower right side of the photo: The brushes had plenty of length left, but they needed a good cleaning due to carbon dust that had collected from …
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When it’s time to overhaul your engine, who do you call? Where do you go? Listen to this episode to hear ideas from other airplane owners who have had good experiences with various engine overhaul shops around the country. I always love meeting podcast listeners, and I was surprised when I met Ken Blow recently at the King Air Gathering in West Vir…
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This ‘ol Piper Apache served me very well to get my MEI training and check ride done. Listen to the audio for this episode to hear how my check ride went… it was a challenging one! This part of the podcast is toward the end. This episode also covers something we did for our son Seth around the time of his birthday… we found someone to take him for …
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Note: Scroll down to see who I unexpectedly met in Florida this past week! Now for the Prebuy… it was some months ago, and I did a prebuy inspection on a nice airplane on behalf of the buyer. I also became good friends with the owner / seller, for which I was grateful, because sometimes these can end up being sticky situations. The owner / seller (…
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This podcast episode includes the following: Update on my CFII check ride from March 8, 2024 A description of several maintenance items on a Piper Cherokee Some emails I received from podcast listeners, some encouraging me about my check ride, and some sharing inspiring stories of what they are doing in their aviation journeys… I love hearing about…
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My CFII checkride is in three days! Yikes! I’m excited, and I have a few butterflies as well… I just hope they are friendly butterflies Today’s podcast episode is about checkrides, and some encouragement for all of us to move forward with whatever that next step is… whether it’s a private pilot certificate, an instrument rating, or something else. …
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Check out this spare parts case my friend Bill created! Although you might not want to carry that much extra stuff in YOUR airplane, it still might be worth thinking about some items to have in case of emergencies. This podcast episode will include the following: Some feedback from others about spare parts. A story about a communication blunder I m…
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The paint was eroding on the King Air 350 prop blades. After a lot of research for paint and new Hartzell decals, I was ready to begin. Here’s where I bought the prop paint and new Hartzell decals: aerotouchups It was important to NOT get paint on anything other than the prop blades… Finally, after finishing the black and gray paint, it was time to…
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I’ll get right to it… I think it was because one of the brushes in the heater combustion fan motor was severely worn, and when the motor / combustion fan did not run, the heater did not light. Here’s a comparison of the old brushes and the new brushes I just installed: (The 2 old brushes are on the left.) This episode also includes the nose gear su…
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Mike Garcia has become a good friend over the past year or so. Recently we completed his annual inspection together, and he really enjoyed working on his airplane while learning more about what’s under the surface! Mike was my guest on the podcast this week, so be sure to listen to the audio for that conversation. Mike’s wife is also learning to fl…
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Be sure to scroll down to see how my Maui Gold Pineapple plant turned out! (It’s been growing in a pot here at our house for a very long time Now for this week’s podcast: I had the opportunity to do an annual inspection on Ben’s Piper Comanche, and he sent me this photo after he flew home when the work was completed… thanks Ben! Ben and his wife, a…
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In this week’s podcast episode, you’ll hear about: King Air flying. Listener feedback from the last episode on “Phantom Cylinder Cracks.” The latest annual inspection I’m involved in. … and a few other things! I’m in the midst of an annual inspection on a Piper Comanche. I might talk more about this one in a future episode, but for now, I mentioned…
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Do you think these really are cracks between the spark plug bosses and the fuel injector bosses? (Cirrus SR22 Continental engine.) The owner of a Cirrus SR22 was told by a service center he had 4 cracked cylinders on his engine. However, after taking a closer look and bringing their most experienced technicians together to thoroughly clean and exam…
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The charging system was not working, but why? There was normal voltage at the alternator field terminal. The field circuit resistance seemed normal as well. But the alternator was not producing the normal 28 volts during operation. Occasionally, it would produce a small amount of output voltage, like 25 or 26 volts, and then drop back down to batte…
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Dan and Jeanne are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, so it’s always a privilege to work on their airplane. It was annual inspection time, and the compression test on cylinder #1 was 25/80. The borescope showed a corresponding reason for the low compression… the exhaust valve had an uneven appearance, indicating it was not sealing well a…
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This Bonanza had a problem in the landing light wiring circuit. All kinds of weird things were happening when the light was turned on in flight. You can listen to the podcast audio for more details on this squawk. I removed the induction filter cover and the landing light assembly and inspected the wiring. It turned out the landing light power and …
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It was a beautiful Tuesday morning at KSHD, and we had the maintenance hangar door open with a good view of the runway. A nice, red and white Piper Lance made a perfect landing on runway 5. As the airplane taxied up to the ramp, I thought, “It would be nice to meet that guy, whoever he is.” Momentarily, he was standing in our shop, asking if we cou…
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And the winner is… Ben Moroze! Recently, in podcast episode #223, I asked for help in identifying an ATC intersection we flew over on our way into Dulles Airport, (KIAD) awhile back. I remembered it sounded something like “you-dee-ah” or something similar. Maybe something like “UDIYA” except that’s not it. Well, Ben emailed me after listening to ep…
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Recently, I received an email from Jim Janaitus, owner of a Cessna 182. He told me the story of lapping an exhaust valve on his engine because the valve showed signs of burning even though the compression was still in the high 60’s. Take a look at the appearance of the valve before lapping: The area from about 12:00 to about 3:00 is the bad area, i…
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In the beginning of this week’s podcast episode, I want to give a big congratulations to my friend, Chris Wieczorek, who recently got his A&P certificate! Listen to the audio to find out how Chris pursued getting his A&P in the midst of being a full time attorney and engineer with a wife and 4 kids! Chris, you are an inspiration! Well done! This we…
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I inspected another A36 Bonanza recently, and one of the cylinder compressions was too low… lower than the minimum prescribed by Continental using the master orifice tool. I had two options: Option One: Remove the cylinder for repair or replacement. Option Two: Make the exhaust valve seal better and improve the compression result in hopes of saving…
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Maui is simply amazing! Maria and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and here are some highlights. (And for the aviation maintenance portion of the trip, see the last episode, 220.) So many indescribably beautiful beaches to see: Maria and her new friend, Firmiana, at the Upcountry Farmers Market… the most amazing farmer’s market I’ve ever seen! Maria …
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We arrived on Maui the evening of March 27 and were greeted by our friends, John and Leslie Caubble, with a “lei greeting” which is a warm welcome with a beautiful ring of fresh flowers around your neck. We were there to do several things: Connect with our friends, the Caubbles. Work on the flight school airplanes. Enjoy a wonderful vacation. See a…
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It took some significant detective work and deciphering to solve this mystery. The brake caliper at the top of the photo was the wrong part number for the A36 Bonanza I was working on. The one at the bottom of the photo is a serviceable one we found on eBay. It was the correct one, and the 1/8 inch extra depth at the edges of the caliper made all t…
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Not long ago, there was an oil leak on the right engine of a Cessna 414. The leak was significant enough to come out the louvers on the top cowling in flight. There was oil all over the rear inboard area of the engine, so the big question was, “Where is the oil leak coming from,” or “Where is the source?” With so many possibilities, it was difficul…
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I recently removed a magneto from a Piper Cherokee, and my curiosity about why the magneto had failed got the best of me. I took the mag home, sat down at the kitchen table, put my grandson Spencer on my lap, and took the magneto apart! It was great fun having him help me Before long, we had the case apart, and it quickly became obvious why the mag…
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Here’s the short answer: Worn and contaminated brushes inside the alternator. Check it out: My theory is that the excessive amount of carbon dust from brush wear was causing a short circuit situation between the brushes, and not allowing the field circuit in the alternator rotor to be properly energized for normal operation. Here’s a comparison of …
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Clark and his family came to Virginia to visit his mom recently, and on the way up from Florida, the right vacuum pump quit working… as often happens when a vacuum pump quits, the drive shaft had sheared off, saving the engine from catastrophic damage. In times like these, a good question to ask is, “What does this make possible?” In this case, it …
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This is a good looking exhaust valve with a nice concentric appearance. However, the compression was very low at 8/80. I lapped the valve, hoping it would improve the compression test result… it only came up to 10/80, and that was after running the engine again and getting it nice and hot. Although the valve face showed a healthy appearance, the se…
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Where are you RIGHT NOW in your aviation journey? Have you started flight training, but stalled out along the way? Did you finish that instrument rating? How about the commercial certificate, or CFI, or even CFII? Ever dream about getting your A&P? Have you wanted to be an airline pilot for years and years? Did you give up along the way when you ra…
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How long should the battery last in a small, piston-powered airplane? That’s a great question, and we are talking about it in this week’s podcast episode. Tune in to hear the story behind this 24 volt battery in the photo, as well as the story of another battery, a 12 volt one in a Citabria owned by our good friends, Leon and Wynne Johenning. (Find…
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I had an opportunity to fly in an Aerostar the other day… it was going to be a fairly long trip to the destination, with one fuel stop along the way. As we climbed out of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia toward the mountains to the West, we discovered the combustion heater for keeping the cabin warm was not working. After a brief conversation abou…
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Here are the highlights you’ll find in this podcast episode: My latest assignment at Classic Aviation – Installing the freshly overhauled engine in a Cessna 172 that is almost complete after an extensive rebuild process. Some emails I’ve received from listeners with fun feedback of multiple types. Some listener thoughts about home simulator systems…
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But first… My friend and podcast listener, Chris Wieczorek, flew into SHD recently and we ate burgers for lunch. It was a win-win. I provided the ground transportation, and he bought lunch! https://oldschoolburgerbus.com/ The conversation was very inspiring to me, and Chris was kind enough to send more feedback later in an email, with some thoughts…
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Happy new year friends! In today’s podcast episode, you’ll hear about the following: The airplane I’m currently working on. My recent King Air trip to JFK, and the interesting approach we got that day. A couple listener emails. Thanks for listening… see you in the next episode!Av Podcast Episodes – Airplane Owner Maintenance
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Recently, Seth and I spent part of a weekend at a remote mountain cabin location, and we decided it would be a great time to record a conversation about the career changes both of us have made. I love this conversation, and I hope you enjoy it as well. I’m so proud of my son and the things he’s doing at 23 years old. How about you? Is it time for a…
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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ve been deer hunting with my daughter McKenzie this week, and so far, she got a button buck, and I got a doe… she’s trying to get a good supply of venison in her freezer for the winter. Last evening was one of the rare times we didn’t see any deer, but the sunset view sure was beautiful… check it out: I’ve been thinki…
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A week and a half ago, I flew a Cessna 150 from KSHD to Hannah Field near Monterey, Virginia in Highland County. It was a Saturday morning coffee-and-donuts fly-in hosted by the owners of the private airstrip, along with our local EAA group. The Shenandoah Valley is full of all kinds of aviation enthusiasts! Thanks to Oren Heatwole and all the grea…
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In this podcast episode, I’m sharing my experience of going through the training course for a Type Rating in the King Air 350. FlyRight in Concord, North Carolina was definitely the best choice for this training! Home Page FlyRight is a very professional training center with a family-type feel about it. They specialize in King Air, Caravan, and Das…
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Listen to the audio for this episode to hear what Dean’s been up to recently, and why there have not been many podcast episodes in recent weeks. I’m transitioning out of the maintenance shop and into a flying job, and I’m very excited about the new season in front of me. Feel free to leave me a voice message by clicking the tab at the right side of…
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Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to visit NAS Pax River, a United States naval air station located in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay. My friend, Trace Bowen, picked me up in his Cessna 310, flew me to St. Marys Airport, and drove me over to the base for a tour. Up until that day, I knew very little about Pax River, so it …
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Have you ever seen one of these? It’s a SureFly Ignition Module, or “SIM” for short: I recently had an opportunity to install one on an E33A Bonanza, so I thought I’d do a podcast episode about it. Hopefully you’ll find this information helpful if you’re considering a SureFly, and for me, I find it helpful to document the process. For this installa…
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You guys know I love out-of-the-ordinary things, and my recent flight review definitely qualifies as one of those! First, my good friend and excellent flight instructor worked me over in the ground portion of the flight review. Here are some things we covered: VFR sectional chart information and interpretation. Briefing an IFR approach plate. Worki…
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I recently inspected a Piper Saratoga, and I found the following condition on the right exhaust collector: Earlier this week, I sent this photo to my email subscribers and asked if they would change this piece of exhaust if it was on their airplane. I received a huge response about this, with a large range of thoughts and opinions. Thanks to everyo…
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Chris Saindon, a podcast listener and owner of a Cessna 172G, contacted me with a different, and important perspective that I had completely overlooked. I recently told of a landing gear light in a Piper Seminole, and how the pilots had done some in-flight troubleshooting when the right gear down light did not illuminate. I’ve often thought in-flig…
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This was what happened recently in a Piper Seneca… and in this episode, we discuss why the alternator quit… it was something I totally was not expecting. After verifying the field connections (power and ground) were good, and the brushes were nearly perfect, I removed the alternator. And here is what I found… watch this video: It was two things, re…
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This fuel injector line must have only been attached finger tight when the fuel injectors were reinstalled after cleaning. The engine ran fine at first, but all of a sudden during one engine run, the #5 EGT took a nose dive, and the #5 CHT immediately started dropping off as well. The above photo was taken AFTER we discovered what the problem was. …
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When an airplane engine is making a small amount of ferrous metal, but the evidence is not totally conclusive, the decision to tear it apart, or not, can be gut-wrenching. Such was the case for the O-540 engine in a turbo Cessna 182RG I’ve been working on at Classic Aviation LLC. But after the owners decided to have it torn apart, and I got to see …
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This episode is a good one! If you’re thinking about buying an airplane, stop right now and listen to this episode, because Adam Sipe can absolutely save you lots of time, money and needless frustration in the process of buying an airplane. He shared so much valuable wisdom in this episode, and I can’t wait to listen to the whole thing again myself…
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That’s a good question, and although I don’t have the full story, we will toss around some possibilities in this episode. Thanks to all of you who responded with some really good guesses about the cause. I received responses from 33 people after I sent out that email recently! The prevailing guess about the cause had to do with improper magneto tim…
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