Many aircraft owners don’t realize that some ELT control panels and audio alerters have their own separate batteries, which must be installed at installation and then checked for date of expiration. I have seen numerous airplanes that will not pass an annual ELT check and have traced it to the missing batteries in these components.

Missing ELT Batteries

Many aircraft owners don’t realize that some ELT control panels and audio alerters have their own separate batteries, which must be installed at installation and then checked for date of expiration. I have seen numerous airplanes that will not pass an annual ELT check and have traced it to the missing batteries in these components.

Edging to the Rescue

Sometimes the aircraft kits we build can use a little extra help when it comes to the final fit and finish. As builders, we can add components that will enhance safety and appearance. One example is the need for dealing with sharp edges of sheet metal panels in various locations around the cockpit. In particular, […]

Chamfers and Tapers

The usual setup for my lathe is to have the compound slide set to 45 degrees and the tool post square to the spindle axis. While this setup is good for about 50 percent of the work I do—OD turning, facing, parting, grooving, boring, and 45-degree chamfering—it also means that for the other 50 percent, […]

Wrong Rudder Cable Nut and Missing Cotter Key

Wherever a bolt is subject to rotation, it is required to have a castellated nut and cotter key. A typical mistake I see on amateur-built aircraft is the use of a heat nut or fiber nut on the rudder control horn. The second picture shows the proper bolt/nut combination; however, the cotter key is missing.

A Tale of Two Antennas

With the recent rush to ADS-B, there has been a significant interest in GPS installations and even more interest in the antenna for those GPS installations. The interest runs the gamut from the eBay $1.99 specials to the gold-plated TSO-STC-PMA antennas, some of which are in the popular aviation catalogs ticking the $1,000 mark. The […]

Starter Trouble

A little over five years ago I wrote a maintenance article dealing with troubleshooting starter problems. The gist of the article was don’t assume poor starter performance means you need to replace your starter. Well, that is still good advice, but sometimes you do need a new starter after all. Here is how the problem unfolded […]

Brake Turn

My local airport, Corona Municipal in Southern California, sits in the Prodo Dam basin and is known to flood on occasion. Last February, heavy rains brought much needed relief to drought-stricken Southern California. True to form, the west end of the airport (which is about 20 feet lower than the east end) flooded on the […]

Do-It-Yourself Push-To-Talk Switch

Talking on the communication radio in your homebuilt aircraft requires a simple push-to-talk (PTT) switch—an electrical push-button switch of the momentary-contact type. This switch is often mounted on the grip of the control stick for convenience so that a press of a finger gets you on the air. Installing this switch can be a simple, […]

We Shall Be Led Into the Light

In 1850, British physicist Joseph Swan began experimenting with paper coated with carbon in a glass tube that was partially evacuated from air. His paper glowed rather dimly, and the poor vacuum pumps of the day let enough oxygen into the glass tube to set the paper on fire when the electrified carbon got hot […]

Tires, Brakes & Wheel Bearings

Maintenance matters.

In Case You Missed it

Homebuilt Accidents-When the Prop Stops

Too many accidents start with a stoppage.

Around the Patch

The FAAs John Hickey and Frank Paskiewicz got an earful at the AirVenture forum assembled to illuminate proposed changes to the 51% rule. Although some of the comments ran far afield, many more homebuilders posed thoughtful and challenging questions in an effort to help them understand where they stand with regard to the new regulations; by Marc Cook.

Landing Light Cutout

Go slow and use the right tools.

How the Pros Do It: Continental Mattituck

Continental Mattituck Services—continuing the tradition.