Loose alternate air door.


Here is an alternate air door that was found to be loose and hanging in the open position. These doors, if installed and actuated by cable (as opposed to being held closed by magnets), should be regularly checked, and in fact can be checked on the preflight by using a flashlight and peering into the cowling near the exhaust stack exits. Being open like this causes dirty, unfiltered air to be constantly entering the engine. By the way, this will usually show up on an oil analysis as high silica. Also, it is allowing hot air to enter the intake system, thereby depriving the engine of the ability to make full rated power. It is like flying with the carburetor heat constantly on.

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Vic Syracuse
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.


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