Owner assisted annual

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  • Owner assisted annual

    I participated in my first owner-assisted annual. And the A&P only charged me $100 more than if I didn't help. Great deal if you can get it.

    The biggest thing that I learned? Airplane manufacturers must be in collusion with mechanics so that they can make more money. Does everything on an airplane have to be hard to get to? Does every screw/panel have to be just a little bit different from the one next to it? Now I see why it takes 30 minutes just to remove and replace a fire extinguisher bracket. Nothing fits easily.

    All joking aside, it was a great experience. I learned how to change the oil and spark plugs. Watched how to get compression readings on the cylinders. Replaced the ELT battery and tested it. Mostly I just unscrewed and screwed things back together. Lots and lots of things.

    One last thing? I don't think my plane was manufactured by Cessna. Instead, I think it's an Ikea plane. When I was done putting the screws back, I had extras. <shrug>

  • #2
    "Cheaper to manufacture" and "easy to maintain" are often antagonistic design goals. You can guess who tends to win that fight.

    Best evidence: One-piece nosebowls.

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    • #3
      Good for you, Tina! I can't think of a better way to commune with your machine. You'll feel much more confident when "something just doesn't look right ... or does it?" moments arise during preflights. Keep it up!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tina Gonsalves View Post
        I participated in my first owner-assisted annual.

        All joking aside, it was a great experience. I learned how to change the oil and spark plugs. Watched how to get compression readings on the cylinders. Replaced the ELT battery and tested it. Mostly I just unscrewed and screwed things back together. Lots and lots of things.
        Hi Tina,
        Yup! Nothing like getting to know: when I wiggle this thing-a-ma-jig here in the cockpit … what’s it do’n out there at the other end under the cowling.

        Like many flying for a living I’ve always rolled up my sleeves when a company aircraft is in the shop. As the new caretaker of my 1946 Piper Cub I did get my hands dirty during its annual inspection last summer.

        Regards,
        Tom Charlton
        "The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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        • #5
          Kid asks me if the electric flaps have ever jammed on my plane. I told him that they hadn't. He said, "Not yet they haven't." (I guess in his vast experience the flaps on my airplane *always* jam at some point.)

          He did tell me what I have to do when that happens. Reach under the dash behind the lever and jiggle stuff.

          I'm on my way to being an A&P!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tina Gonsalves View Post
            Kid . . . did tell me what I have to do when that happens. Reach under the dash behind the lever and jiggle stuff.
            Hi Tina,
            Ha, ha . . . kid done broke da code<g>!

            Regards,
            Tom Charlton
            "The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tom Charlton View Post
              kid done broke da code<g>!
              Think about that Tom, mine doesn't have any flaps.

              best, randy

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Randy Sohn View Post
                Think about that Tom, mine doesn't have any flaps.
                best, randy
                Hi Randy,

                Yup . . . I tried to jiggle stuff under the panel of my J-3 and still can’t get the flaps to work. Howsomever . . . Side-Slips are effective, fun’n easy<g>!

                Regards,
                Tom Charlton

                "The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tom Charlton View Post
                  Howsomever . . . Side-Slips are effective,
                  Yup, works "mo-bettah".

                  best, randy

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