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Vic Syracuse

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Vic is a fixed-wing and helicopter commercial pilot, CFII with ASMEL/ASES ratings, an A&P/IA, DAR, and EAA technical advisor and flight counselor. Passionately involved in aviation for over 40 years, he has built 11 aircraft and logged over 10,000 hours in 72 different kinds of aircraft. Vic volunteers as a Young Eagle pilot, has his own sport aviation business called Base Leg Aviation, and has written two books on aircraft prebuy and condition inspections.

The Case of Electrical Dropouts

Electrical gremlins can be tough to track down. This month’s case involved a non-builder owner of a fairly new RV-8, and it took us...

Improperly Installed Intake Gaskets

We noticed the intake gaskets were leaking on cylinders 3 and 4 on the Lycoming IO-320 in an RV-9A. There was a logbook entry...

Disconnected Pitot Line

Ever lose your airspeed in flight? The nylon lines held in the “push-grip” fittings must have some flexibility in them so they aren’t pulled...

Listen To the Engine

This month’s column is the start of a new series based upon feedback from KITPLANES® subscribers who said they missed my contributions. Thankfully, Marc...

Unlabeled Controls

It is a requirement that the engine controls are labeled as to their function and operation. In this case, labeling the blue knob “Prop—Push...

Broken Battery Hold-Down Bracket

This battery hold-down bracket was discovered in an RV-10 during a condition inspection. It is a very serious safety issue that probably needs no...

Oil in Line

Look very closely and you will see liquid in the tubing. This is the manifold pressure line to the electronic ignition system. The fluid in...

Improper and Proper D-Sub Connectors

The connector in the left photo was discovered on the back of an autopilot control head that was intermittent. D-subs require a backshell (right...

Prebuy vs. Condition Inspection

What’s the difference?

Where’s the Throttle?

Engine controls, and all other controls in the cockpit, should be labeled as to function and direction. It is standard practice to use black...

In Case You Missed it

Down to Earth

When it came to choosing a kit aircraft to build, columnist Amy Laboda and her husband opted for a metal design, in part because it would be resistant to destruction by lightning strike and also because fatigue is easier to detect in metal than it is in a composite plane. However, new nanotube technology, if integrated into composite construction material, could not only help identify wear problems, but also potentially heal them.

E-Hawk in Paradise

A small group of students in a well-equipped private school have constructed an electric...

Editor’s Log

The explosion of ADS-B technology, the new Van’s RV-14 and an editor in a ballistic-parachute simulator—AirVenture was full of exciting developments, as always. Plus: a send-off for Editor-at-Large Marc Cook. By Editor-in-Chief Mary Bernard.

Ask the DAR

This month, a new column introduces Designated Airworthiness Representative Mel Asberry, who describes his background in homebuilding and details some of what hes looking for as a DAR. Questions welcome.