Dean Showalter

Airplane Owner Maintenance - By Dean Showalter

Maintenance awareness, inspiration, and wisdom for airplane owners.
Airplane Owner Maintenance - By Dean Showalter


A podcast devoted to airplane owners and the maintenance of their airplanes.





137 – IA Seminar Borescoping and Exhaust Valve Stories

Mar 15, 2020 42:06


Yesterday, I had an opportunity to present a talk at our local IA renewal seminar about exhaust valve borescoping. I shared some of my favorite pictures – the ones that demonstrate how critically important borescoping is, and that compression testing alone is not sufficient. The following three examples are especially startling, since they showed a […]

136 – Engine Oil Leak: How Much is Too Much?

Feb 22, 2020 26:36


Engine oil leaks are a common problem on small airplanes with piston engines. But how much oil leakage is too much? Here’s an indicator: If there’s oil on the nose tire, and it paints a stripe on the pavement with each revolution, that’s too much oil leakage. This was the case the other day on […]

135 – Carl Valeri: Airline Pilot, Piper Pilot, and Aviation Careers Coach

Feb 9, 2020 1:05:10


After a successful career in computers early in life, Carl Valeri decided years ago it was time to pursue his passion for aviation. Since that time, he’s been an airline pilot, flight instructor, aviation careers coach, mentor, Piper Cherokee pilot, and many other things. Carl is well known as the host of two podcasts, the […]

134 – An Unlikely Cause for a Hot Mag on a Cirrus

Feb 2, 2020 22:26


“There’s no RPM drop when I select left mag, and if I turn the ignition switch off, the engine continues to run.” That’s what the owner of this Cirrus reported when he arrived at our airport the other day. One of our technicians got to work to troubleshoot the problem. Here’s what he found: The […]

133 – The Firetrucks Rolled When a Navajo’s Landing Gear Did Not Extend

Jan 26, 2020 30:19


I was sitting in my car that day, having lunch with my friend Matt, when we noticed the airport fire trucks were rolling out toward the runway. Although they exercise these trucks regularly, this time seemed different. And sure enough, a Piper Navajo made a low pass and it was obvious the landing gear was […]

132 – Real Inflight Magneto Failures & Troubleshooting

Jan 17, 2020 36:12


Note: scroll to the bottom of this post for a special announcement. Have you ever experienced an inflight magneto failure? If not, you might some day… but if you take action on the recommendation in today’s episode, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of that happening. The left mag on this Cessna 172RG failed in […]

131 – Drew Wright’s Cessna 182 Exhaust Valve Lapping Success!

Dec 30, 2019 44:46


During the recent annual inspection on Drew Wright’s Cessna 182, cylinder #1 had a low compression of 42/80. However, with the amazing technology of borescoping, he was able to take a look inside the cylinder. The nice concentric circle of deposits on the face of the exhaust valve indicates a healthy valve. Drew wondered if […]

130 – A Fuel Leak That Didn’t Catch Fire

Dec 14, 2019 27:09


Limited time offer on the “Safety Wire Like A Pro!” video tutorial course: (Offer good until midnight December 24, 2019. Just use code “2019” at checkout.) Click here to save 10% and become an expert! Hey, check out this 10 second video of an absolutely startling fuel leak I found this past week during a […]

129 – Air Filters: Don’t Let Your Airplane Suffocate!

Nov 23, 2019 35:25


Whether your airplane has a “Brackett” brand filter like the first picture, or a “Donaldson” brand filter like the second filter, or another brand like “Challenger” or something else, they all need to be clean and in good condition. The air your airplane breathes is critically important. Your engine, your vacuum instruments, and even other […]

128 – Should I Buy a Twin Cessna or a Beech Baron?

Nov 15, 2019 30:37


In this week’s episode, we are talking about upgrading to a twin, and some thoughts about choosing between a twin Cessna and a Beech Baron. Thank you Simon Cail, for your email, and for permission to read the email in this episode. Simon’s decision was between a Cessna 340 and a Beechcraft Baron 58. The […]

127 – No Oil Pressure in a Cessna 150

Nov 9, 2019 30:23


My friend Matt and I had a plan, and it was going to be an awesome adventure. The crisp, clear morning was as nice as we could hope for on a November day in Virginia. The half hour drive from my house to the small town New Market Airport was absolutely refreshing… exhilarating even. As […]

126 – Magneto Trouble at Higher Altitudes

Nov 4, 2019 21:48


Corrosion in the towers of a magneto can cause high resistance, and the problem will be magnified as you go up in altitude. This green corrosion could likely be cleaned up and it may improve some, but it may also indicate a good time to perform either a 500 hour inspection or an overhaul on […]

125 – Engine Failure – What Would You Do In A Moment’s Notice?

Oct 14, 2019 35:49


Not long ago, there was an unusual engine failure in a Cessna 182 at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. Cindy Ferek was the flight instructor on board that day, and she landed the airplane safely on the runway. Before we get into that story, I’d like to introduce Cindy. Cindy taught high school physical education for […]

124 – Owner Maintenance and Cessna Fuel Strainers

Oct 4, 2019 28:30


Before we get to the fuel strainers, here are some highlights from the past couple weeks: Our local EAA chapter had its annual pig roast / fly-in / picnic at Sheldon Early’s “GMI” Greenmount International – a fun name for a country grass runway. It was a perfect evening with a bunch of great people. […]

123 – Upside Down in an RV7!

Sep 20, 2019 29:13


An outstanding pilot gave me a ride in his RV7 this week, but before we get to that, here are a few things we’re talking about in this episode: A crazy wiring situation in a Cessna 180. Check out the wiring pieces I saved after installing a new wire under the instrument panel… 2. Replacing […]

122 – THAT scared me! (A Wheel Story)

Sep 8, 2019 33:15


I saw something not long ago while changing an aircraft tire, and it startled me for a bit, until one of my co-workers helped me remove the danger. Here’s what I saw: The picture above might look fairly normal, until you notice the bulge up near the brake disc. Take a closer look in the […]

121 – When to Fire an A&P

Aug 24, 2019 40:47


Is there ever a good reason to fire an A&P? I think so… and in today’s episode, we’ll talk about some evidence for one of those times. Scroll down for the appalling pictures I took recently! But before that, I want to share some inspiring information related to the amazing Stinson family of airplanes. And… […]

120 – Airplanes and People From Oshkosh 2019

Aug 4, 2019 48:11


Note: The Exhaust Valve Borescoping and Lapping Presentation at Oshkosh was so much fun, and I met some fantastic people. If you’re buying the borescope I recommended, go to and click the links for the borescope of your choice. Use the code “Dean” for a 10% discount. Now for the trip to Oshkosh: The […]

119 – Sneak Peek of Dean’s Oshkosh Presentation

Jul 20, 2019 33:50


Scroll down to check out Dean’s favorite borescope. I have three kids, and those are my two oldest… from many years ago 🙂 Morgan, my oldest, is on the left, and Seth is on the right. I’m guessing they were around 9 and 7 years old at that time, and they’re now 22 and 20! […]

118 – Airplane Maintenance: Too Much or Too Little?

Jul 4, 2019 27:37


Sometimes small, general aviation airplanes get too much maintenance, and sometimes they get too little. We talk about that in today’s episode along with some real life examples. But first, I want to give a shout out to two people I have absolutely loved learning from recently because they are both excellent teachers. Chris Palmer: […]

117 – Cirrus SR22 Flap Problem Solved

Jun 9, 2019 18:54


Four things for this episode: An announcement about Oshkosh. An Aeronca Champ that landed at SHD recently. My new friend, Brad Flickinger. Brad is a podcast listener from Pennsylvania who stopped in to see me at SHD recently. A flap problem on a Cirrus SR22. 1.Oshkosh Announcement: I’ve never been to the EAA Airventure Oshkosh […]

116 – Rough Engine: Spark Plugs or Magneto?

May 26, 2019 21:15


Here are some recent happenings, straight from the shop at Classic Aviation, LLC: Birds in the cowling! It’s bird nest season, and they are driving airplane owners crazy by building nests on top of engines. Listen to today’s episode to hear about a Bonanza owner with 2 nests on his engine after a short stay […]

115 – Which Borescope Should I Buy?

May 6, 2019 21:11


This is a question many airplane owners, A&P’s, and IA’s ask when getting started with borescoping piston engine cylinders. If you want to look at the exhaust valves (and other things,) in an airplane engine’s cylinders, this borescope is the one I confidently recommend: The Vividia VA-400. Here are my best reasons: It has a […]

114 – Free Resource for Airplane Owners to Confidently Borescope Exhaust Valves

Apr 24, 2019 31:29


Free Training: Here are two of the many pictures of exhaust valves that are in the free training guide I’m offering to you, “Exhaust Valve Borescope Inspections.” Would you know what to do if you saw this? Get the free training guide and read about what’s going on with this exhaust valve from a […]

113 – How Jerry Saves Money on His Annual, and You Can Too.

Apr 6, 2019 30:33


It’s annual inspection time, and your airplane is going in the shop. Are you confident?  Are you prepared?  Will you be involved, and maybe even get your hands dirty? For an airplane owner, annual inspection time can be frustrating and nerve-wracking, or it can be educational, positive, and hopefully, an efficient experience.  A significant part […]

112 – We Had to Remove a Wing to Fix the Fuel Leak

Mar 30, 2019 26:58


A little pesky fuel leak can be aggravating. Especially when you’ve already had it “fixed” in the past, but it’s still leaking.  That was the case recently on an airplane that arrived at Classic Aviation for a fuel leak repair. It turns out the inboard fuel quantity probe in this aircraft is about six feet […]

111 – Cessna 172 Electrical Failure In Flight

Mar 16, 2019 25:01


Have you ever experienced an electrical failure in flight? If not, I’m sure you’ve wondered what it would be like, and at the same time, probably hoped it would never happen to you.  Unfortunately, it does happen.  There are however, some things you can do to help ensure your electrical system is performing reliably.  Listen […]

110 – My Story With Classic Aviation

Mar 2, 2019 31:14


Classic Aviation needs one or two more experienced A&P / IA’s! If you know of any good possibilities, contact our manager, Yev Bondarev: 540-234-0226 or Classic Aviation is a great place to get a well-rounded general aviation maintenance experience. Website: Now for today’s episode: Today is actually March 2, 2019, but I recorded the […]

109 – Exhaust Valve Problems – Could Lapping Be A Good Option?

Feb 8, 2019 46:29


How do you Lap an exhaust valve on an airplane engine?  That’s a good question, and this is the topic in today’s episode. If you’ve owned an airplane for very long, there’s a good chance you’ve had a “low compression” at some point during one of your annual inspections.  What is perhaps not so common, […]

108 – How Long Do Airplane Spark Plugs Last?

Jan 25, 2019 19:57


New spark plugs every year? Yep… that’s what happened for five annual inspections in a row, with the A36 Bonanza I’ve been inspecting and working on.  From 2013 to 2017, the spark plugs were replaced every year.  Four of those times, the spark plugs being replaced, had less than 150 hours on them.  That is […]

107 – Avoid Costly Repairs With A Little Lube

Jan 12, 2019 27:08


Happy New Year Friends! This week on the podcast, we’re talking about simple fixes with just a little lubrication.  Sometimes on airplanes, there are parts that might need some lube, that can easily be overlooked.  We have several of these examples in today’s episode.  Here they are: A Beechcraft Debonair with a starter problem. A […]

106 – Querky Things About Your Airplane

Dec 29, 2018 24:51


Sometimes, airplanes have some out-of-the-ordinary maintenance and servicing requirements.  I discovered one of those items yesterday while talking with Kyle Jones, owner of a really nice, fixed gear Cessna Cardinal.  We talk about that in today’s episode.  It’s a very specific procedure for servicing the shimmy dampener on that airplane.  These are items you might […]

105 – The Art of Crawling Around in an Airplane

Dec 8, 2018 24:38


Yes, it is an art, and it takes careful and precise thinking, in order to prevent damage to an airplane. I’m not going to post any pictures with this episode, so here’s what’s included in the audio for this podcast: An update on my family’s Thanksgiving trip to Colorado… what an awesome state with so […]

104 – Torque Plates: Does Your A&P Use Them When Removing a Cylinder?

Nov 18, 2018 28:48


I received a voice message the other day from John, a Mooney owner.  He was asking for some discussion on the podcast about using “torque plates” when removing cylinders from airplane engines.  He mentioned that Mike Busch was a proponent of this practice.  John also mentioned the concept of using torque plates had come up […]

103 – Things I Found On a Cessna 172 Inspection

Nov 10, 2018 41:53


This week, I inspected a Cessna 172.  From a distance it appeared to be a really nice airplane, and it is.  But at closer examination, as is often the case, there were a number of issues that needed to be addressed.  In today’s episode, we’ll cover those issues and talk about what was discovered. When […]

102 – Bonanza and Baron Landing Gear Motor Stories

Oct 14, 2018 37:01


Retractable landing gear is an incredible feature when everything works properly.  On Bonanzas and Barons, the gear motor is like the heart of the system.  And sometimes, a heart repair, or even a “transplant” is necessary.  Sometimes, the heart, (or the gear motor,) shows signs and symptoms of poor health, and sometimes, problems become apparent […]

101 – I Busted My Knuckles on an Airplane Engine

Oct 6, 2018 13:36


Today, I’m sharing with you a story about busting my knuckles trying to remove a locknut from an engine mount bolt.  The nut was bottomed out on the shank of the bolt, making it very hard to hold the bolt still while loosening the locknut. I could have avoided all that if I had put […]

100 – An Airplane With Lots of Water in the Fuel Strainers

Sep 29, 2018 32:57


I had a startling situation this past week at Classic Aviation… water in the fuel strainers on a Piper Twin Comanche… scroll down for some pictures of that one. Also in this episode of the podcast, you can hear about the following: Update on my washing machine… Being an A&P really can prepare you to […]

099 – Is Your Airplane’s Instrument Panel Telling You The Truth?

Sep 15, 2018 21:24


Hello aviation friends! This week, we’re talking about an airplane’s instrument panel that was NOT telling me the truth.  In fact, one of the instruments was lying to me.  Listen to the audio to get the details. Here’s the instrument that was lying to me during the pre-inspection runup… it’s a pretty interesting situation. And […]

098 – Airplane Maintenance Can Be Challenging – Just Like Life

Sep 8, 2018 31:49


It’s been a challenging week of airplane maintenance for me. Here is a sampling of some things I’ve been working on at Classic Aviation: A Beechcraft P-Baron with three issues: Right engine #6 CHT indicates too high in the climb. Right fuel selector valve handle very stiff to turn. Cockpit door warning light comes on […]

097 – How To Leave A Legacy – A Tribute To My Dad

Sep 2, 2018 13:06


Hello Friends.  This episode is different than any other.  It’s very personal. A little over two weeks ago, my dad passed away, and I wanted to take some time in this episode to leave a tribute for my dad.  My two brothers and I agree that we had a really good dad.  Sure, there were […]

096 – The Reason Why Jeremy’s Airplane Engine Was Gasping For Air

Aug 13, 2018 32:05


Scroll down to see a video about scat hose installation. Recently, I got an email from Jeremy Zawodny, and he told me a story about his Glastar airplane, which is powered by a Lycoming O-320 engine.  He experienced a partial power loss soon after takeoff, and when he pulled the carb heat, the power was […]

095 – High Cylinder Head Temps… What Else Can I Do?

Jul 29, 2018 11:54


Recently, when Oscar, (owner of a Mooney,) and his son stopped in at Classic Aviation, he mentioned that he had been having some trouble with high CHT’s on takeoff and climb, (maybe even in the 420-450 degree range at times.)  Everything was fine in cruise. So we talked about the normal things you would think […]

094 – How a Bonanza, a Cessna 310, a Cherokee, and a Mooney All Fit Into My Week

Jul 22, 2018 38:51


Limited, Introductory Opportunity In Person With Dean – Read to the End. Highlights from this week at Classic Aviation: Meeting Oscar (a podcast listener,) and his son. Talking about high CHT’s on Oscar’s Mooney. Annual Inspection on an N35 Bonanza. A charging system issue, and how previous email information from Justin, a podcast listener, was […]

093 – Hold That Prop!

Jul 8, 2018 29:41


When you check the cylinder compressions on an airplane engine, it’s important to “Hold That Prop!”  And on a twin engine airplane with 6 cylinder Continental engines and 3 bladed props, the prop blades will be positioned in one of two ways, depending on how the prop is installed on the engine. Here’s a Cessna […]

092 – If It Don’t Seem Right, It Probably Ain’t!

Jun 23, 2018 24:08


Today’s episode is about those times when you notice something on an airplane that doesn’t seem quite right, but you’re not sure what’s going on, and it might take some real digging to get to the bottom of the issue. But before we dig into those stories, I want to acknowledge that I’m super grateful […]

091 – An Engine Failure that Lands a Piper Arrow in a Farm Field

Jun 15, 2018 26:38


I’m back!  I know it’s been a while since I’ve produces a new episode for the podcast, and it’s good to be back. Today, we are talking about an engine failure in a Piper Arrow, that caused an off-airport crash landing in a farm field.  Thankfully, in this case, no one was injured. The reason […]

090 – Severe Turbulence and the Baron’s Left Engine Almost Quit!

May 6, 2018 34:35


A couple weeks ago, a Beechcraft Baron owner requested Classic Aviation to take a look at his airplane.   He had flown through some severe turbulence, and then the left engine almost quit.  Finally, he discovered that if he pulled the left mixture control about half way back, the engine would run. A ground run confirmed […]

089 – What Else Should I Do While My Engine is Removed?

Apr 27, 2018 22:06


During the engine change, it’s a great time to take care of some other items that are much easier to access when the engine is not in the way. Before we get to that, I want to thank Brad Schmidt for his recent iTunes review.  Brad is a friend of Bret Chilcott and he, like […]

088 – No RPM Drop When I Select Left Mag

Apr 14, 2018 31:12


Ignition system issues and a couple other strange scenarios… that’s what we’ve got for today. Also, if you have not seen Dean’s safety wiring tutorial course, be sure to check out the details here: Click Here for full details. In today’s episode, we talk about three different airplanes, and the issues each one had with their […]

087 – No Nose Gear Down Light in a Piper Arrow

Mar 31, 2018 32:23


Today, we’re talking about Piper Arrow landing gear.  Specifically, an airplane that landed at SHD recently and the nose gear light did not illuminate.  Listen to this episode to find out why the light did not come on, and some troubleshooting tips to think about. We also cover several other fun things right in the […]

086 – Never Select “Gear Up” on the Ground!

Mar 24, 2018 34:13


Can you safety wire your airplane’s oil filter?  How about the fuel strainer?  If not, here’s a resource that can help you: It’s the new online video course to learn how to perform safety wiring… Click here and read all about it. Retractable landing gear is a truly amazing thing.  But if it’s not rigged […]

085 – V-Tail Bonanza Cable Tensions

Mar 10, 2018 41:09


Cable tensions are a really important part of an airplane’s flight control system.   In today’s podcast, we’ll talk about the situation I faced recently on a V-tail Bonanza. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to those who have purchased the “Safety Wire Like A Pro!” video tutorial course. And for those who are […]

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

Feb 18, 2018 19:38


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 […]

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

Feb 11, 2018 33:34


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 […]

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

Jan 28, 2018 27:04


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 […]

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

Jan 20, 2018 21:29


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. […]

080 – Citabria Annual Inspection Review

Jan 7, 2018


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 […]

079 – YOU Can Check Your Exhaust System for Leaks With This Simple Technique!

Dec 24, 2017


This is the final episode for 2017!  Thank you everyone, for all your emails, messages, ideas, and encouragement.  You all mean so much to me! A recent email I received, included this link for an article that is worth reading, about exhaust system issues, and carbon monoxide.  There are also a couple videos worth watching […]

078 – A Cylinder Blow-Out, a Blue Fuel Stain, and a Leaking Vacuum Pump Seal

Dec 9, 2017


This cylinder definitely has a problem!  And I can’t help but think, could there have been a way to detect what was going on before it got this severe?  I’m not sure, but I do wonder what might have been detected if a borescope inspection had been done at the last annual.  (Perhaps that was […]

077 – Is Your Airplane’s Heater About to Kill You? I Hope Not!

Dec 2, 2017


  Check out this picture… any idea what’s going on here? Now that we are into cold weather seasons, it’s a good time to talk about aircraft heaters.  They can be a necessary source of in-flight comfort, but if something goes wrong, they can also be surprising source of in-flight danger. If your airplane has […]

076 – Thanksgiving Edition: I Want You To Meet Brian Holmes

Nov 23, 2017


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re able to take some time to celebrate today, with people who are important to you. I’m grateful to God for many people… my wife Maria, my kids, and many others. Today, I’d like to introduce to you my good friend, Brian Holmes.  He’s a long-time multi-engine rated, commercial pilot of […]

075 – Your Airplane’s Induction System Might Need Some Attention

Nov 18, 2017


Induction system couplings and clamps.  They are often overlooked… until they become an issue! But why let it go that long?  Why risk having a problem somewhere away from home, where there might be limited tools and any necessary help.  It’s much better to do a little preventive maintenance on your airplane’s induction system, to […]

074 – Help! I Flooded My Airplane Engine

Oct 29, 2017


Before we get started, I want to thank two people for today’s episode. First, my very good friend, Brian Holmes.  Brian absolutely loves aviation and all kinds of airplanes, but he has no interest in turning wrenches.  So I was curious about what kind of topics would be appealing to airplane owners and pilots, like […]

073 – BFR in a Cessna 310 with an Airline Captain CFI

Oct 21, 2017


When was YOUR last BFR?  Who was it with?  What was it like?  If you’ve been getting the same ‘ol BFR for many years, perhaps it’s time to shake things up a bit! That’s what I did recently, and I’d like to share a few of the take-aways with you today.  After my BFR last […]

072 – Beechcraft Bonanza Inspection Checklist, Part 2

Oct 14, 2017


In the last episode, we covered the engine portion of the inspection checklist. This week, we cover the rest of the checklist, which is the airframe portion of the inspection. One item on the inspection checklist that may be overlooked, is to check and make sure all the required POH placards are present and legible.  […]

071 – A Walk-Through of the Beech Bonanza Inspection Checklist

Sep 23, 2017


Do you know what goes on during your airplane’s annual inspection?  Do you know what should be going on, and what should not?   Perhaps todays episode can help think through some of these questions, regardless of what type of airplane you own. Today’s episode deals specifically with the Beechcraft Bonanzas, and the “ANNUAL LONG FORM […]

070 – Engine Hoses, And The New AD on Piper Oil Cooler Hoses

Sep 16, 2017


AD 2017-14-04 affects a huge list of Piper models, including Cherokees, Arrows, and Saratogas. But before we get into that, I wanted to give an update on the alternator brushes mentioned in episode 069.  Here are some pictures of the new brushes I installed in that alternator:               That […]

069 – Airplane Alternators: Real World Issues, and Online Troubleshooting

Sep 9, 2017


Your airplane’s alternator is something you depend on, and if it’s not working dependably, it quickly becomes a serious situation. In today’s episode, we talk about some actual charging system issues I’ve encountered recently in the shop where I work, at Classic Aviation, as well as some interesting discussion I found in some online forums […]

068 – Overcome the Resistance in Aviation and in Life

Aug 27, 2017


Videos mentioned in today’s episode: Mike Busch’s story about his aviation journey: (Scroll down on the home page, and the video is right there.)   Bret Chilcott and his new LED nav lights for his 1947 Stinson: You can buy these nav lights at Aircraft Spruce: (There is also a cheaper version of […]

067 – The Zero-Throttle Starting Challenge

Aug 13, 2017


How do you start your airplane engine?  Is it perfectly “by the checklist,” or some other method?  We’ve talked about this topic in the past, and it will come up again in today’s episode.  Listen in, take the challenge, and see if it might be worth considering a small modification to your starting procedure. Also, […]

066 – A Sticky Situation With Lycoming Engines

Aug 6, 2017


What kind of “sticky” are we talking about?  Listen to today’s episode, and you’ll find out. But first, we have a couple of other things to cover: Update on the Cessna 182 that was mentioned in a recent episode, where some pitted lifters and a questionable spot on the camshaft, were found. Follow up on […]

065 – Airplane Maintenance Shop Taxiing Etiquette – Especially in the Summer Time

Jul 23, 2017


When you taxi up to the maintenance shop, how do you park?  And when you pick up your airplane after maintenance, how is your situational awareness when it comes to starting and taxiing operations? These are a couple of items we discuss in today’s episode. We also cover some listener feedback.  One is a Piper […]

064 – Is An Airplane Prebuy Inspection Really Necessary?

Jul 9, 2017


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 […]

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

Jul 1, 2017


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 […]

062 – Airplane Maintenance Lessons From a Beech Baron

Jun 18, 2017


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 […]

061 – Paul and Helen New and Tennessee Aircraft Services

Jun 3, 2017


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 […]

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

May 20, 2017


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 […]

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

May 7, 2017


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, […]

058 – YouTube Update And Gear Down Lights

Apr 29, 2017


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 […]

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

Apr 16, 2017


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 […]

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

Apr 7, 2017


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 […]

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

Mar 25, 2017


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 […]

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

Mar 19, 2017


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 […]

053 – Things That Frustrate Airplane Owners About Maintenance

Mar 12, 2017


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, […]

052 – The Post Flight Inspection

Mar 5, 2017


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. AND… Here are a few other items in this episode: Follow up to the recent episode about the Piper […]

051 – Airplanes and Backup Systems – Are You Prepared?

Feb 12, 2017


Your airplane probably has some backup systems. The question is, are you familiar with them, so that you can quickly use them in an emergency? In today’s podcast, we are talking about backup systems, and how important it is to practice with them BEFORE you need them, so that when that out-of-the-ordinary situation arises, you […]

050 – Stuff You Don’t Want To See In Your Airplane’s Oil Filter

Jan 28, 2017


As an airplane owner, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with the task of cutting open the oil filter at an oil change. It’s a routine part of airplane oil change. But what should you look for, and how do you know when to be concerned? In today’s episode, we discuss an issue that […]

049 – Changing An Airplane Tire – Don’t Let It Explode!

Jan 14, 2017


As an airplane owner, you ARE approved by the FAA to change tires. But be careful, because airplane tires can be bombs, if not handled properly. ALWAYS get some one-on-one training before changing tires yourself. And even after you’ve changed many tires, it’s so important to be extra vigilant and aware, and never allow yourself […]

048 – Can You Help Me With an Electrical Charging System Problem?

Jan 7, 2017


Today is a little different . Instead of me just sharing things with you that I hope will be helpful, I’m asking for your help here. But first, in today’s episode, I clarified something that I talked about in a previous episode… the one about the simple alternator inspection. And then, for today, find out […]

047 – Airplane Owners Beware of Nosegear Damage Caused by Towing Equipment!

Jan 1, 2017


As an airplane owner, do you have your airplane moved around the airport by ground personnel, using power tug equipment? If so, make sure it’s being done properly, safely, and competently. And after listening to today’s episode, you may find yourself wanting to avoid power tugs on your airplane as much as possible. After all, […]

046 – A Simple Alternator Inspection and a Christmas Greeting!

Dec 24, 2016


              Electrical power… you need it in your airplane, especially for night flying and for IFR. In light of this, you want to avoid surprise electrical problems, if at all possible. So here is one simple inspection that you, as an airplane owner, can do yourself, to help verify […]

045 – An Unlikely Oil Leak on a Cirrus SR-22

Dec 18, 2016


    This is not the actual airplane that had the oil leak, but it was similar to this one.       Oil leaks. They’re aggravating. They’re frustrating. And sometimes, they’re hard to figure out. But as an airplane owner, you will probably deal with an oil leak at some point in your flying […]

044 – The Value of the People Who Are Connected to the Airplanes

Dec 11, 2016 18:17


Thanks! Thanks to all of you who have contacted me in some way recently. Aviation is great, and airplanes are great. But without the PEOPLE, there really wouldn’t be much to it. I am grateful for all the fascinating people I’ve had the privilege of meeting, because of aviation, and podcasting. Here are a few […]

043 – I Selected “Gear Down,” and Nothing Happened.

Dec 3, 2016


I had an opportunity to fly this C-172RG the other day, and something out of the ordinary happened.  I’m sure you’ve guessed it, by the title of today’s episode.  To find out how it all turned out, listen to today’s podcast.   The area that ended up needing attention was a wiring plug behind that […]

042 – If the Reservoir is Empty, There’s Probably a Good Explanation!

Nov 26, 2016


I recently did an annual inspection on a Mooney M20J, and when I checked the brake fluid level, the reservoir was empty.               In this airplane, the brake fluid reservoir is inside a panel on the left side of the airplane, behind the left wing.         […]

041 – What in the World is an Airworthiness Limitation?

Nov 20, 2016


  Any idea what that red switch is?  This airplane is a Diamond DA-40 with a Garmin G-1000 system.  The red switch is for activating the emergency battery power for the attitude indicator to the right of the airspeed indicator.           The battery pack is mounted behind the copilot’s instrument panel, […]

040 – What Un-Noticed Issue Might be Lurking in YOUR Airplane?

Oct 29, 2016


Hey, check out this conference… It’s called the “Live It Forward ADVANCE” conference, with Kent Julian.  (He has one of the most inspiring new podcasts that I’ve found recently. I’m planning to be there (in Duluth, Georgia,) in 2 weeks, November 10, 11, and 12. Why am I telling you this?  Because I would love […]

039 – You Can’t Always Believe an “Idiot-Light”

Oct 22, 2016


Warning and indicator lights on an airplane instrument panel… they give a lot of useful information when they’re interpreted correctly. When everything is working properly, an “Idiot Light” can tell you when a system has failed. According to Google, an “Idiot Light” is, “A warning light that goes on when a fault occurs in a device, […]

038 – What Does My Airplane’s Ignition Switch Look Like Inside, and Why Should I Care?

Oct 15, 2016


As a pilot, this is the part of the ignition switch you’re used to seeing… the part where you put the key in when you start the engine.  It’s also the part you use to do your mag checks.  Beyond that, it’s “Out of sight, out of mind,” when it comes to ignition switches.   […]

037 – Total Electrical System Failure, and One Way to Avoid it in Your Airplane

Oct 1, 2016


When it comes to flying an airplane, total electrical system failure is something you hope to never experience in real life. But it happens, and it happened at our airport the other day.  Thankfully everything turned out well in this case. Your aircraft battery is the heart of your electrical system.         […]

036 – Tell-Tale Colors in an Airplane’s Engine Compartment

Sep 17, 2016


As an airplane owner, you are authorized to remove and reinstall your engine’s cowling, as long as it does not involve “removal of the propeller or disconnection of flight controls.” So, have you ever wondered what to look for in there? Listen to today’s podcast episode to learn about some key colors that can be […]

035 – Airplane Exhaust Systems Tell Stories… Are You Listening?

Sep 4, 2016


It’s getting cooler these days! This ‘ol gravel road is one of my favorite places to take a walk in the morning.               And the last two mornings, it has actually been slightly chilly… today I even wore a jacket. It’s such a contrast to the recent, normal hot […]

034 – An Airplane Fuel System Mystery is Solved When a Guy Named Kevin Saves the Day

Aug 28, 2016


Recently, I’ve been working on a Cessna 414, for the annual inspection and associated repairs. Listen to today’s episode to find out about why we removed both the left and right fuel selector valves for repair, and how it all worked out. Each wing has one of these selector valves           […]

033 – Airplanes I Saw and a Pilot / Medical Examiner I Met at Dare County Regional Airport

Aug 21, 2016


This replica of the original Wright Flyer is displayed in the lobby at Dare County Regional Airport on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.               This Waco is used for air rides at the Outer Banks… it’s a “flying convertible!”             If you’re interested […]

032 – Aviation Reflections from the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Aug 12, 2016


Hello from the Outer Banks of North Carolina! Yesterday, I stood on the end of runway 2 and took a picture at the First Flight Airport on the Outer Banks… if you stick with me today, I’ll share with you some of my personal aviation memories from the Outer Banks. My family is on vacation here […]

031 – Spark Plug Servicing for Airplane Owners, and One Simple Tool You Should Not Be Without!

Jul 31, 2016


Spark plug servicing… it’s one of the FAA-approved tasks that airplane owners can perform and sign off on their own airplanes. It’s really not a complicated process, but one that deserves some careful attention to detail to make sure the work is done properly. This is not a training course… it’s just information that hopefully […]

030 – Troubleshooting a Pulselite Landing Light System, and an Amazing Resource from the FAA for a Very Small Fee

Jul 23, 2016


Episode #030… thanks Cliff Ravenscraft for all the excellent instruction in the course Podcasting A to Z!  That’s how I was even able to get this thing off the ground! And, if YOU have a reason to start a podcast, check out Cliff’s course… it is top-notch!  For more information, check out In today’s […]

029 – A Trip Down Memory Lane to the Shortest Paved Runway in Virginia

Jul 9, 2016


Last Friday, I had an opportunity to do some flying with John Trissel at Eagles Nest Airport, in Waynesboro, Virginia.  John is the airport manager at Eagles Nest. Check out this unique little airport here:               AND, if you want to see what it’s like to land at […]

028 – Your First Preflight After Maintenance… Do NOT Miss This Detail!

Jun 26, 2016


What is flight control rigging? Flight control rigging, involves checking and making any necessary adjustments IAW the MM instructions, to make sure all cable tensions, control positions and movements, and travel stops are set within the MM specifications.  When done properly, this ensures that the airplane will perform at it’s optimal capability, fly straight and […]

027 – Signs of a Shady Paint Job… and Some Useful Tips About Control Surface Balancing

Jun 19, 2016


In episode #26, I mentioned briefly the importance of flight control surface balancing. Then, the other day, I got an email requesting more information about flight control balancing and rigging. Thank you, Ashley Blythe, for sending that in! In this episode, we discuss paint jobs, how to tell the good ones from the not-so-good ones, […]

026 – Cracked Flight Control Surfaces… Are They Airworthy or Not?

Jun 10, 2016


That depends! Today, I share a story about a pair of ailerons that were damaged when a Piper Cherokee was backed into the T-hangar a little too far.  We talk about the repair options for a scenario like this.             Are any cracks or repairs allowed on Piper flight control […]

025 – Oil Filters, Oil Leaks, and a Cracked Crankshaft

Jun 4, 2016


Do you own an airplane?  If so, have you ever changed the oil on your  engine? The engine oil change is one of the FAA approved maintenance tasks that owners can perform on their own airplanes.  Just make sure you are familiar with the process, and have the proper tools and equipment. Listen to today’s […]

024 – A Bonanza Fuel System Story… Why Won’t My Engine Idle Properly?

May 28, 2016


Yesterday, I traveled to another airport to take a look at a Bonanza that had not flown in over a year due to an engine problem.  Specifically, it would not idle. Continental fuel injected engines must be set up properly per SID 97-3G, in order to achieve optimal performance. You can find this information here […]

023 – My Aviation Maintenance Pet Peeves

May 21, 2016


Thanks to my wife, Maria, for joining us on the last episode! Now, today she is back to ask me some questions about some of my pet peeves related to airplane maintenance. Here is my pet peeve list that we talk about in this episode: When maintenance shops will not allow owner-assisted annual inspections. When […]

022 – Meet My Wife, Maria!

May 7, 2016


This week I’d like to introduce my wife, Maria. It’s a great time to have her on the podcast, since we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on May 18, 2016.               After we were married in 1991, we moved to Tennessee, where Maria worked as a home health […]

021 – Where on My Engine is That Oil Leak Coming From?

Apr 30, 2016


Engine Oil Leaks In airplane maintenance, engine oil leaks are a common thing to deal with. Today,  we talk about how to discover where the oil leaks are coming from,  and what may need to be done to fix them. In today’s episode,  I mentioned some good friends, Bill and Colleen Whiteford.   To read […]

020 – Basic Landing Light and Nav Light Troubleshooting

Apr 15, 2016


April 15, 2016 As an airplane owner, have you ever tried to troubleshoot and fix a landing light or nav light yourself? If not, why not give it a shot?  In most cases, the process is fairly simple. Today, we talk about some simple steps to take when you have a landing light or nav […]

019 – Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Airplane Engines! …but Please, Take it Easy on Them!

Apr 3, 2016


April 1, 2016 When it comes to starting airplane engines, there are lots of opinions.  It might be worth taking a new look at your technique. Whatever your procedure is, your engine should be treated with as much care as possible. How about asking these 4 questions:  Why not try starting your airplane engine with […]

018 -I Had NEVER Seen This Before, Until Yesterday… Don’t Let the Monster of Complacency Grab Ahold of You!

Mar 26, 2016


March 25, 2016 The Monster of Complacency can:  Terrify us with surprise when something happens unexpectedly.   Cause us to overlook a potentially dangerous situation.   Sometimes, it can be deadly. Do you know what a “Rumble Strip” is?  If not, listen to today’s episode to find out. Whether you are a pilot, mechanic, or […]

017 – Why Every Beechcraft Owner Should Urge His or Her Mechanic to Attend the ABS Maintenance Academy

Mar 20, 2016


March 18, 2016 What an experience!  The ABS Maintenance Academy in Houston, Texas last weekend far exceeded my expectations! It was certainly among the very top airplane training experiences I’ve ever been a part of. Although I’ve worked on Bonanzas and Barons for many years, and have had various opportunities for specific training, I found […]

016 – Should I Run My Engine Past TBO?

Mar 5, 2016


March 4, 2016 What is the highest recommended TBO number of operating hours for Continental or Lycoming engines… and which model is it? TBO times… are they a requirement or not?  Listen to today’s episode to find out. When discussing “Hot Topics” like this, just remember, have a lively discussion, but also be kind to […]

015 – Tell Me What You Want to Hear / ABS Maintenance Academy

Feb 27, 2016


February 26, 2016 This is going to be an abnormal podcast episode this week… thanks for bearing with me. Since I am not able to produce a full length show this week, I thought I would do two brief things. First, I tell about the American Bonanza Society, Maintenance Academy that I am planning to […]

014 – Do You Have a Bad Mag? How to Know For Sure.

Feb 21, 2016 37:59


  February 19, 2016 For an airplane owner, magneto checks are one of the most important items to be done during the preflight runup. But what is the best way to interpret a rough mag?  Are you maximizing the information that is being presented to you on your instrument panel? In today’s episode, I will […]

013 – Avoid the Gotcha’s! …by Fixing Known Squawks

Feb 13, 2016 30:30


So… what is a “Gotcha?” In the context of today’s podcast, it is a significant issue, an important issue, or a potentially dangerous issue, that you may not find out about, unless you take action to repair, or resolve, a lesser, or more routine, issue. Where did I get this term “Gotcha?”  From my previous […]

012 – Servicing Landing Gear Shock Struts

Feb 6, 2016 30:47


February 5, 2016 Servicing landing gear shock struts… can you do it as an airplane owner? Absolutely!  Just take a look at the list of items in Part 43, Appendix A. However, MAKE SURE you are familiar with the procedure before you launch into on your own. Why?  Because servicing landing gear shock struts can be […]

011 – Oil Changing Basics For Airplane Owners

Jan 31, 2016 38:16


January 30, 2016 Ever thought about changing the oil and filter on your airplane?  If not, this might be a good time to think about it. As an owner, you can do an oil change on your airplane, and sign off the work in your maintenance records… just take a look at the Federal Aviation […]

010 – Aircraft Electrical Charging Systems

Jan 23, 2016 41:37


January 22, 2016 The condition of your charging system is a very important part of your airplane. Today, we cover charging system components, possible issues and problems, as well as what you, as an airplane owner, can do to keep things functioning properly. In this episode, I share some actual stories about airplanes that had […]

009 – Clean Up Your Maintenance Records!

Jan 15, 2016 19:44


January 15, 2016 Aircraft Maintenance Records… Today, I talk about 7 tips for organizing your airplane’s paperwork and maintenance records.  Generate a concise, but complete, AD compliance record. Compute all applicable times for aircraft, engine(s), and prop(s). Organize maintenance records (logbooks) and separate the current ones from the old ones. Locate and organize all 337 […]

008 – Is That Landing Gear Down? … and other crazy things I’ve seen on Beeches

Jan 8, 2016 25:43


The teeth on the small gear in this landing gear motor were stripped off, requiring a very careful manual gear extension.  Listen to the podcast and see how it all turned out! The gear motor attaches to the gearbox / drive assembly, which is an amazingly simple, but critical part of the landing gear system […]

007 – A Must-Do Item Before You Buy a Piper Cherokee

Jan 2, 2016 16:16


Podcast Episode 007 January 1, 2016 Do you own a Piper Cherokee, or some other Piper model?  Are you considering buying one?  If your answer is yes, then you might want to listen to this episode! One item that tends to be overlooked on Piper airplanes, is Service Bulletin 1006.  It is an inspection to […]

006 – Magneto Timing for Airplane Owners

Dec 26, 2015 42:15


December 25, 2015 Merry Christmas everyone! Today we talk about how to CHECK the magneto timing on your airplane engine. This is NOT about how to adjust the timing, but simply how to CHECK it.   In order to check magneto to engine timing, you will need: A timing indicator.  (A popular one is called a […]

005 – Valuable and Specific Maintenance Training

Dec 18, 2015 24:07


Airplane Owner Maintenance Podcast Episode 005 Valuable and Specific Maintenance Training Specific aviation maintenance training is often extremely focused and highly beneficial. Some specific training I’ve had the opportunity to participate in: 1997:  Pratt & Whitney PT-6 engine school in Montreal, Québec, Canada 2003:  American Bonanza Society (ABS) service clinic in Poughkeepsie, New York 2004:  King […]

004 – The Day I Got Hit by a Prop

Dec 10, 2015


10 Tips for a Safe and Successful Compression Test  Run the engine. Check the mag switch for proper grounding. Be sure your compression testing equipment is calibrated. Use a helper! The person holding the prop is in charge. Special Announcement:  Learn how to produce a podcast!  Take Cliff Ravenscraft’s course, Podcasting A to Z, and get a […]

003 – How to Choose an Inspector or Shop

Dec 2, 2015 28:11


Podcast Episode 003 – How to Choose an Inspector or Shop (10 Key Questions to Make the Choice Clear) Read all the way to the bottom for a bonus question that is not in the podcast! Introduction I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Two more people I’m thankful for: My wife, Maria.  (She worked […]

002 – Thankful Aviators

Nov 25, 2015 33:03


Podcast Episode 002 – Thankful Aviators Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It occurred to me the other day that since it’s Thanksgiving week, it would be a great time for me to tell you about some of the people who have helped me in my aviation career. Join me this week, along with a very special guest, […]

001 – Airplane Owner Maintenance Introduction

Nov 18, 2015 11:07


  Welcome to Airplane Owner Maintenance! This is a place where you can learn about maintaining your own airplane. My name is Dean Showalter.  I got my initial aviation training in Northeast Tennessee, and have been maintaining and flying general aviation aircraft in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for the past 21 years. I love […]