Maintenance & Technical

  • As an aircraft owner and pilot, you can legally perform some maintenance tasks, but you must adhere to strict guidelines when doing so. Steve Ells walks us through packing wheel bearings, while highlighting what’s important to stay legal.

    As most readers of Cessna Flyer know by now, all aircraft ma

  • A&P Jacqueline Shipe lists dissects the system and offers troubleshooting tips for Cessna’s retractable singles.


    In the late 1940s and through the decade of the 1950s, General Aviation began to really take off as airplane sales increased. The postwar economy was favorable for the production and

  • A&P Jacqueline Shipe describes how to service wheel bearings in this article, the second in a DIY series for pilots who wish to take on preventive maintenance of their aircraft.

    FAR 43 Appendix A lists the preventive maintenance items owners may legally perform on their planes. This list is fairly


    In the third article in a DIY series for pilots, A&P Jacqueline Shipe goes through the steps an owner can take in order to properly service the struts on their aircraft. 

    Among the preventive maintenance items listed in FAR 43 Appendix A that pilots may legally perform on an airplane that they o

  • Various things can cause nosegear shimmy. Here’s what to do.

    There’s nothing worse than completing a near-perfect landing and rollout only to have a sudden shimmy in the nosegear cause the whole front end of the airplane to vibrate. The shaking can be alarming to pilots who have never experienced i

  • Jacqueline Shipe, A&P, explains the technology and preventive maintenance for aviation batteries in her sixth DIY article targeted to owner-pilots.


    The bulk of the items listed in FAR 43 Appendix A, paragraph (c) that an owner may legally perform on his or her owned aircraft are primarily mainte

  • Finding and repairing a broken circuit is the subject of this fourth installment of A&P Jacqueline Shipe’s DIY series.  

    Among the many preventive maintenance items listed in FAR 43 Appendix A that a pilot may legally perform on his or her plane is “troubleshooting and repairing a broken landing li

  • A look inside your aircraft’s vacuum system. 


    An elliptically-shaped aluminum housing with the intake and exhaust ports in it. The rotating carbon vane assembly is housed inside. The air inlet for the vacuum pump. The outer vacuum pump housing has an air inlet port on the front of the pum
  • Many Cessna aircraft depend on a carburetor. Cessna Flyer contributing editor and A&P Jacqueline Shipe explains the operation of this fairly simple— and very reliable—invention.

    One of the most recognized carburetor manufacturers for the GA fleet is Marvel-Schebler. The company has been around a lo

  • Loss of control is a hot topic among the NTSB, FAA and other aviation organizations that promote aviation safety. 


    Last year, the NTSB named the prevention of loss of control in flight in General Aviation as one of its “Most Wanted” transportation safety improvements. The NTSB report issued in 2

  • Fabric-covered planes in good condition are available, but you need to know what to look for.

    Aircraft have been covered in cloth since the Wright Brothers took flight, and the material had to be as light as possible yet strong enough to withstand the demands of flight. 

    The standard material used

  • A brief history of pneumatic boots, their operation and proper care. 

    AS Jimmy Doolittle was demonstrating the technique of blind flying in 1929, work was being done by B.F. Goodrich and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to address airframe icing. 

    William C. Geer, Ph.D., a re

  • Do you know what instruments you can rely on to provide accurate information when the unexpected happens? A&P Mike Berry discloses what you absolutely need to know about your aircraft instruments. 

    Aircraft instruments have been a part of aviation since the first flight of the Wright Flyer, which w


    Starter duty cycle and system troubleshooting tips

    Show of hands if you’ve ever had anyone direct you in how to properly treat your airplane’s starter? Let’s see… one, two, three—you in the blue shirt: really? That’s what I thought.

    The truth is, beyond a cursory glance at the POH, very few pil

  • Direct injection of fuel into cylinders offers better fuel distribution and easy cold starting, without the threat of carburetor icing. Jacqueline Shipe (A&P/IA) walks you through a typical Lycoming fuel injection system and the most common trouble spots to check if your engine starts running rough.
  • Engine oil provides lubrication and cooling for an aircraft’s engine. Ensuring your oil pressure remains “in the green” is one of the most important things you can do for your engine’s health and longevity. 


    Oil pressure in an engine is like blood pressure in a human. Both are important indica


    Cessna flap tracks eventually wear out, and when they do, it’s an airworthiness issue. Here’s how STEVE ELLS changed four flap supports, more commonly known as flap tracks, on a Cessna 150.


    In 1995, Cessna issued Single Engine Service Bulletin (SEB) 95-3. This 27-page bulletin, titled “Flap

  • When it comes to what to do when your engine reaches TBO, your choices range from doing “everything” to doing “nothing.”


    The following is an excerpt from Bill Ross’ 144-page book “Engine Management 101.” Published by Superior Air Parts, Inc., “Engine Management 101” is a compilation of what Ross

  • The engine mount represents a crucial link between your engine and airframe, and should be treated as a mission-critical accessory. STEVE ELLS visited Loree Air, an FAA-certified repair station, for insight into the engine mount repair process.


    I've found no evidence that my engine mount—that we

  • Corrosion attacks camshafts and lifters before most other bottom-end engine parts, especially when an aircraft doesn’t fly frequently. Learn how to prevent, identify and treat common camshaft and lifter problems before they cost you!

    Many folks think of engine wear and tear and overall condition as

  • A&P Jacqueline Shipe details the process of changing the oil and filter on an aircraft in this fifth installment in Cessna Flyer’s DIY series.


    Most planes have a drain valve to facilitate oil changes. There are two primary types of valves: the style that pushes straight up to lock in place, an

    Smart owners who monitor key performance indicators can tell if an engine is still good or whether “it’s time.” If your engine is due for an overhaul or replacement, STEVE ELLS has a list of options which can save you time, money and maybe even both.


    The day before the start of what I’m now c

  • Feeling a bit shaky when you’re flying (and tired when you land)? It might not be your nerves; but rather the side effects of excessive vibration. Vibration can originate from an aircraft’s engine, propeller or spinner, and if unchecked, can lead to further mechanical problems. Vibration can also ca
  • Thin metals and fluctuating temperatures can literally “exhaust” your airplane’s exhaust system. Read on to learn how an aircraft exhaust system is constructed and get several practical tips to identify common trouble spots and prevent unnecessary damage.

    Aircraft exhaust systems require detailed i

  • Certain McFarlane universal joints for single-engine Cessna aircraft may fail and should be immediately inspected and/or replaced. The good news is that McFarlane has offered to help defray replacement costs for owners with affected parts.

    On Dec. 11, 2017, McFarlane issued Service Bulletin SB-9, R

  • Wise owners (and mechanics) know that a successful overhaul starts with careful engine removal. The overhaul process isn’t finished until after the engine has been reinstalled and the break-in period completed. A&P Jacqueline Shipe walks you through best practices to ensure start-to-finish success.
  • Hi Steve,

    I’m looking for the proper dimensions of an alternator belt—primarily the [correct] width—and maybe the original manufacturer’s name and part number. 

    In about 180 hours since January of last year, we have replaced three belts on my 1981 Cessna 182 Skylane and are trying to discover the

  • If you own a Cessna 182 Skylane, at some point you’ll need to replace the fuel cells (fuel bladders). It’s not a particularly difficult task, especially when you order an all-inclusive kit from a vendor like Eagle Fuel Cells. 

    N4696K has been a fixture at Modesto City-County Airport (KMOD) for many

  • Steve,

    I own a 1965 Cessna 182 Skylane. I would like to take the plane into Utah and Idaho backcountry strips. I would restrict the 182 to 8.50 tires, not larger. I would appreciate any comments on this. I know 8.50s will work on the mains. What do you recommend on the nosegear? Do you need to rein


    A&P Jacqueline Shipe discusses why and how you can get started working on your own plane.

    Owning an airplane is usually the result of years of hard work and planning. For many, it is a fun and rewarding experience—the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. 

    Although airplane ownership is a big so

  • Hi Steve,

    I am sick and tired of the static noise in my headset. I have been putting up with it only because I had gotten used to it, but the other day I rode in my friend’s Cessna 210—and was I surprised! His radios were clear and loud; no background static. 

    What do I need to do to cut out this

  • January 2016

    Hi Steve,

    I’d like some ideas for cooling off the cabin of my airplane because I don’t want to again go through anything like last summer. I live in the Southwestern United States, and as you know, the temperatures can top 100 degrees here during the heat of the summer.

    My airpla

  • by Kristin Winter

    A&P/IA Kristin Winter explains where to look for a competent pre-purchase inspector, why a pre-buy is different than an annual inspection, and how to get peace of mind with a used aircraft purchase. 

    Have you ever seen a forlorn and lonely airplane sitting on the ramp with flat

  • What is, and what isn’t, typical.

    Engine oil has several functions. Its primary purpose is to reduce friction and wear of internal parts by preventing metal-to-metal contact. Oil also helps to coat the bare steel internal surfaces and prevent corrosion inside the engine.

    It performs several other

  • A&P/IA Kristin Winter explains FAR 21.9 and Advisory Circular No. 23-27 for owners who are looking to keep their aircraft maintenance costs in line.

    THE FAA keeps an iron grip on the supply of approved replacement parts for Type Certificated aircraft. Replacement parts generally must come from the

  • December 2015

    Q: Hi Steve,

    I’m the proud second owner of a 1978 Cessna R182. I bought it from the guy in the next hangar. He was very proud of his airplane and had spent many an hour down at the airport washing and polishing it.

    Unfortunately for him—but fortunately for me—he only flew it on days

  • December 2015

    Q: Dear Steve,

    I have owned and flown my 1973 Cessna 172 for over 30 years now. It fits what I want to do. (I also am still driving my 1982 Ford 150 pickup!)

    Not too long ago I talked to a guy that had lived through an engine failure at night because his airplane had a parachute.


  • December 2015

    Q: Hi Steve,

    I own a 1966 Cessna 172G. I want to convert the flap system from electric to manual. Have you ever heard of anyone doing this? How can I do it?

    I also want to install steps on the fuselage and wing strut so I can check the fuel level without having to carry around a lad

  • September 2015

    Three diesel engine experts explain what’s required to keep a diesel engine running well.

    No spark plugs, no plug wires, no magnetos; no wonder diesel engines require less service than an Avgas engine.

    In spite of the fact that these engines have a lot of advantages over an Avgas-f

  • Identifying, removing and replacing the oil temperature gauge in 100 series Cessna aircraft with 24 volt electrical systems can be challenging. Here is a step-by-step survey of the process.

    June 2015-

    The basicsCessna 100 series aircraft with 24 volt electrical systems are equipped with a Rocheste

  • Dear Steve,I fly a 1984 Cessna T210N. I have enjoyed flying this airplane for over 20 years. It has added immeasurably to my enjoyment of life since I love to fly, to snow ski and to hike.

    I own a thriving business that’s situated in the Los Angeles Basin and my 210 permits me to spend my weekends

  • Hi Steve,I am the proud owner of a 1983 Cessna T210N. My 210 has everything: dual alternators, dual vacuum pumps and full de-icing equipment. It has safely transported me all over the west ever since I bought it seven years ago.

    I recently moved my base of operations over 200 miles to a new airport

  • Sealants, Lubricants and Adhesives Authorized by CMI

    Click the link below to download PDF

  • Engine Preservation for Active and Stored Aircraft

    Continental Motors Inc. Service Information Letter SIL99-1

    Click the link below to download PDF

  • Engine Preservation for Active and Stored Aircraft

    Engines in aircraft that are flown only occasionally may not achieve normal service life because of corrosion. This occurs when moisture from the air and products of combustion combine to attack cylinder walls and bearing surfaces during periods wh

  • Hi Steve,I sent you a picture of a part I need for my Cessna 182 (photo, above). This part screws into the intake manifold above the carburetor. The hose for the manifold pressure gauge screws onto the part.

    My mechanic told me I need to change it, but I haven't been able to find the part number in

  • Have a DIY project in mind? Read these eight simple tips before you start.

    March 2015-

    As pilots, we have a responsibility to know our aircraft as well as we can, and one great way to learn about our airplanes is to complete a restoration project.Things like replacing bulbs, installing new seatbel

  • March 2015-

    Hi Steve,I have two top-of-the-line noise-canceling headsets that work great, but I prefer to fly my 1975 Cessna 210L without them.I've tried all the top brands and not one of these headsets is entirely comfortable. I suspect it's because I have an extremely large head. The reason doesn

  • February 2015-

    Dear Steve,My 1964 Cessna 210 during a recent annual was noted not to have the landing gear horn sound, so the wire was replaced.Two flights ago during taxiing when I lifted the nose, the horn started; when I relaxed, it stopped and I had no problem.During taxi on very my last flight

  • The following is a sample aircraft sales agreement form available in PDF or Microsoft Word formats.

    Click the links below to download.

  • The following is a list of title search companies and law firms.

    Click the link below to download PDF.

  • The engine cowling installation and firewall should be inspected and modified as specified in this Service Bulletin.

    Click the link below to download PDF.

  • February, 2015-

    General aviation (GA) pilots enjoy a level of flexibility and freedom unrivaled by their aeronautical contemporaries. Airline, corporate, and military flight operations are all strictly regulated, and each uses a significant degree of internal oversight to ensure compliance. GA has

  • February 2005

    Thirty-two years ago my start in the engine business was as chief pilot test flying, delivering engines, airplanes and customers. Since that was in the sun-drenched wonderland of eastern Long Island at Mattituck, N.Y., I needed a rainy/snowy day job in the shop where I could fill my t

  • April 2005-

    If properly maintained and operated, today's Continental and Lycoming engines are exceedingly reliable. Having one actually stop is a long shot that most of us pilots don't like to talk or even think about. If these engines were the least bit prone to stopping, we'd have boats not airpl

  • April 2005-

    There are a lot of reasons you should consider finding a shop that will let you help with your aircraft's annual inspection. And saving money isn't one of them.Two words strike fear into the heart of every aircraft owner: Annual Inspection – the yearly ritual that's just slightly less d

  • February 2005-

    This portion of the article about the application process for Supplemental Type Certificates was generated by listening to aircraft owners, A&Ps and A&P/IAs across the United States complaining about Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO) no longer approving Field Approvals Form 33


    Steve, This year I took my 1976 Cessna 182P to a new shop for my annual since I heard that it a good idea to switch to a different shop from time to time. The new shop manager called me to say that the airplane was in pretty good shape, but... (hearing "but" from a new mechanic is never welcome

  • December 2014-

    Dear Steve,I am well versed in matters mechanical. I mention that because a friend told me about a 1961 Cessna 210 that I can get for a very good price. I have heard that the early 210s require more maintenance than the later ones but like I said, I'm a good mechanic and I am willing

  • December 2014-

    If there ever was an endeavor to which the phrase caveat emptor applies, it would be purchasing an aircraft. Even as a seller, you are still at great risk. We've all heard horror stories about both sides of an aircraft sale, and I've lived through a few myself.In 35 years of doing th

  • November 2014-

    Yes, combustion cabin heaters can be verysafe to operate when properly maintained.Pilots and owners need to take an active rolein making sure these heaters receive theservice they require to remain safe and reliable.

  • November 2014-

    Almost everything you’ve ever wanted to know about PMA parts: What they are, and what they’re not. Where they come from. And why they’re good for everyone who owns an airplane.

  • November 2014-

    Hi Steve,     I own and fly a 1960 Cessna 310D. Yeah, it's got those big wingtip (tuna) tanks that aren't nearly as streamlined and sexy-looking as the tanks on the later 310s, but it's a good airplane.

  • Hartzell Engine Technologies Cabin Heater FAQ & Troubleshooting PDF.

    Click link below to download.

  • October 2014-

    Q: Hi Steve,     I am the new proud owner of a 2010 Turbo Stationair. I love it, but I've had a few issues at Lake Tahoe (KTVL) and at Big Bear (L35), two high altitude airports more than 6,000 feet MSL.

  • This Service Instruction identifies a new 4 psi flow divider spring Precision P/N 2577011 that is available as a replacement for the 2 psi flow divider spring for improved idle characteristics, especially in hot weather, for Lycoming engine models IO-360-L2A, IO-540-AB1A5, IO-540-AC1A5, and TIO-540-

  • Q: Dear Steve,I have a 1961 172B and during climbout, the oil temp pegs the gauge. I see no difference in oil pressure, and oil on dipstick shows seven quarts. The service manual states that seven quarts is an acceptable level, although eight quarts is full.I heated oil in a deep fryer to 180 degree

  • August 2014- Q: Hi Steve,I want to upgrade to a Cessna 182. My A&P, who I trust, called to tell me that he has found a very well-equipped 182. He's trying to talk me into buying it.The airplane has two Garmin GPS navigators (a 530 and a 430) has a recently rebuilt engine with new cylinders, and the

  • July 2014- Maintenance scheduled to be performed during a recent annual for my R182 Skylane equipped with a Lycoming O-540 mill included the inspection and reaming of the exhaust valve guides under Lycoming Service Instruction No. 1425.First you need to determine the valves are not wobbling as per L

  • July 2014- Q: Hi Steve,I own a 1966 Cessna 182. Yesterday another guy in my hangar row asked if I would like to fly his 2004 Cessna T182T. Of course I said yes.Then I asked if I could borrow his owner's manual so I could compare it to mine and see if the numbers were different, and to see what had c

  • June 2014-

    Q: Hi Steve,During a windy day recently I guess I got flustered because I failed to flare enough while landing my 1966 Cessna 182J. My mechanic tells me I wheelbarrowed the landing—and he says there's some firewall damage that needs to be repaired.

    I don't quite understand how one sligh

  • May 2014- Q: Dear Steve,

    I am the happy owner of a Cessna 152. I bought my 152 to train in at the recommendation of my uncle, a very experienced pilot. He told me that it’s easier to train if I used the same airplane throughout my training.

    I found that advice helpful—for two reasons, really. Fir

  • April 2014-

    Q: Hi Steve,

    I’m bummed. My mechanic called to tell me that the engine case of the left Continental IO-520-M in my 1975 Cessna 310R is cracked. But he also said that he’s going to do some research to find out if it’s okay to fly with the crack.

    How can that be? Isn’t the case one of

  • In 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act were enacted. In 1995 the industry and the FAA started seriously searching for an unleaded 100 octane avgas. In the intervening time 245 fuels were tested by the FAA at its William J. Hughes Technical Center; the testing was overseen by the Coordinating Resear

  • March 2014-

    Short of sitting in the front row of a Metallica concert for a few hours, there are few things that compare with the hearing damage a piston engine-powered airplane can cause.

    In fact, until recently, you could spot a longtime pilot at a social gathering by homing in on the person who

  • December 2005- Many pilots dream about adding an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) to their flight equipment and throwing away 40 pounds of paper. You will see many advertised for $2,500 and up that do a great job.

    On the other hand, can you make do with computers and software you already own and use ev

  • With the increasing use of single-engine aircraft for actual IFR flight, it is important to understand and properly maintain the pneumatic system that operates the gyroscopic instruments.

    Reliable aircraft operations require customary service and system replacement at regular intervals according t

  • October 2005- While it may seem early to write about the coming winter, fall is the season to prepare. Preparing your aircraft will make operating during winter much easier, safer and also save you some money.

    Even if you don’t plan on flying during the winter season it is important to prepare for

  • September 2005- Even though I haven’t compiled any hard statistical data on the subject of oil cooler mortality, I can tell you with great certainty that the most common causes of oil cooler damage, poor performance, and catastrophic failure are preventable.

    Before continuing any further, I should

  • As an airplane owner, you have a substantial investment in the engine of your aircraft. In some instances, the value of the engine (or engines) may exceed the value of the rest of the airframe.

    Little in the way of maintenance on an aircraft engine could be considered inexpensive, especially when

  • December 2013- 

    I knew it as soon as I saw the telltale stripes of blue dye on the metal fairing covering the gap between the bottom of the right wing and the fuselage. A leaking fuel bladder. 

    I recalled from my days as a tech rep that the most common failure of a light airplane fuel bladder is a

  • August 2013

    Q: Hi Steve,

    I just bought a 1957 Cessna 180. I love the reputation of the 180 as an all-around good airplane.

    I live on a farm and wanted an airplane that I could land and operate off grass and turf. And I wanted to do my part to preserve a piece of aviation history—many people don’

  • July 2013-

    Q: Dear Steve,

    I recently purchased my first airplane; it’s a Cessna 170A and I love it. I have always liked the look of the 170 and have always wanted a taildragger.

    The 170 fits my needs exactly and I’ve had a great time polishing and shining it up. It’s the cleanest airplane on my

  • August 2005-

    Bill has many standby systems with one major missing link. In the recent “Adventures with Bill” STC articles, a standby alternator was high on the list for future installations.

    There are many accessories competing for space and ways to get power to various systems. The Cessna 182 eng

  • June 2005-

    Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went camping, pitching their tent under the stars. During the night, Holmes called out, “Watson, Watson, look up. What do you see?”

    “Stars”, the groggy Watson muttered.

    “And what do you deduce from that?” asked Holmes.

    Watson replied, “If just a few o

  • May 2005-

    Doing some of the maintenance and refurbishing to your own airplane will give you a great deal of satisfaction, give you greater confidence in the reliability of your airplane, allow you to understand some of the little noises and quirks in flight, teach more about systems than you will e

  • June 2013

    Although the terms “overhaul” and “rebuild” are sometimes used interchangeably, there really is a difference—and it’s a codified difference.


    Engine overhauls can legally be done at the factory or by many service facilities in the field. Overhauls can include used parts, as long

  • Insider’s guide to getting the best bang for your engine overhaul buck.

    Life’s funny that way. One day you’re flying your 172 along without a care in the world. The next, your mechanic is breaking the news that your beloved is in dire need of an engine overhaul. Of course you knew this day was comi

  • June 2013

    Sticking valves are a relatively common problem on aircraft piston engines. Lycoming Service Bulletin 388 addresses the need to regularly check clearance and provides a procedure to clean carbon accumulations to prevent problems.

    Valve sticking is almost exclusively limited to the exhaus

  • 02-13

    In part one of my Insight engine monitor pirep (Cessna Flyer, January 2013), I described the G3 engine monitor’s operation and its diagnostic and data logging capabilities.

    This month, I’ll focus on how the G3 engine monitor got installed, along with how the 22 sensor leads were wired in ord

  • 03-13

    The right tools, products and techniques make all the difference when caring for your aircraft’s interior. Follow these guidelines for worthwhile results.

    “I need to mention before we get started that all aircraft interior material, whether cloth, vinyl or leather, is specially treated to b

  • 03-13

    Freshening up your aircraft’s interior can be an important update for many reasons. In addition to looking good, it increases your and your passengers’ comfort. New carpet and seat coverings often add value to your aircraft while reducing cockpit noise and vibration.

    Many pilots dream of th

  • November 2012

     Q: Hi Steve,

    I’m frustrated with the door hold-open devices on my old Cessna 182.

    The left door hold has never been very reliable—sometimes it’s strong enough to hold the door open, but if the wind is blowing at all, it doesn’t work. The right one is okay.

    I’ve done a little resea

  • October 2012

     Q: Hi Steve,

    I would like advice on how to best protect my 1975 Cessna 180 if there ever comes a day when I’m caught out in the bush.

    You see, I’m planning a month-long flying vacation to Alaska and want to be fully prepared when I launch out next spring. I want to fly to out-of-the

  • August 2012

    Q: Dear Steve,

    I have been flying my 1974 Cessna 182 a lot lately as I work toward getting my instrument rating. My other flying buddies have questioned the wisdom of using my airplane for my training—they tell me that I would save money if I rented a less complex airplane like the fli

  • August 2012

    Cessna manufactured approximately 145,000 single engine airplanes between 1946 and 1986. The average age of an aircraft in the Cessna fleet is 42 years; that translates to a 1970 model aircraft. The average airplane has an aluminum airframe that was certified under Civil Air Regulations

  • July 2012

    This month, we’ve compiled some of the most useful tips from Q&As published in Cessna Flyer over the last year. The questions and answers you’ll see here are abridged; refer to the original publication for complete information, including photos, drawings and company resources. —Eds.



  • June 2012

     Q: Hi Steve,

    I’m the proud pilot of a 1962 Cessna 182. I’ve been slowly doing little upgrades here and there as time and money permit. I’ve done some paint touch-up and know how to change my oil and clean the screen. I’ve changed tires and polished the windshield.

    Now I’d like to start

  • May 2012

    Q: Dear Steve,

    I own a real nice Cessna 172 G. It’s been well taken care of, flown often enough to keep all the reciprocating parts happy, and is a great plane that suits my needs.

    I have finally retired and am planning to fly my little 172 up to Alaska next summer. What do you recommend

  • September 2012

    Q: Hi Steve,

    I’m looking for an all-around Cessna that I will use both in business and for family outings and vacations. I have flown in a friend’s Cessna 182 and I do like the way Cessna single engine airplanes fly.

    I also like that Cessna built so many single engine airplanes. I’

  • April 2012

     Q: Hi Steve,

    I own a 1975 Cessna 172 M and this cowling is in bad shape. The little fasteners don’t grab very well and as a result, the holes in cowling are getting bigger and bigger. I’ve looked at other 172s on the airport with this same cowling setup and I’ve seen some that have “so

  • March 2012

    Q: Hi Steve,

    I fly a 1965 C-182. I was ready to upgrade from my 172 when I came across this 182. I bought it a couple of years ago (for a good price, I might add) and have been slowing getting it into tip-top condition.

    My mechanic has encouraged me to take on some of the tasks, and I

  • February 2012

    Q: Dear Steve,

    I love my 1980 Cessna 210N. I think it’s the best high performance single ever made. It’s certainly the best airplane I’ve ever owned. Because of this airplane, I’ve been able to share amazing adventures with my wife and kids.

    We all play golf and our 210 lets us load

  • January 2012

     Q: Dear Steve,

    The fuel tank of my 1975 Cessna 172 started leaking fuel a few days ago. My mechanic let me drain and remove the tank. After I removed all the screws in the top cover plate, loosened and folded back the two hold down straps and pulled the tank out, I found the leak. Th

  • 01-13

    Q: Steve,

    I’m the proud owner of a 1959 Cessna 182. I think these older 182s perform much better than the newer, more complex (electric flaps, fancy upholstery, etc.) Skylanes.

    However, there are drawbacks to my airplane—the biggest is the small fuel capacity (65 gallons) of which only 55 g

  • December 2012

     Q: Hi Steve,

    I’m in the fourth quarter of the game, age-wise, and have decided that it’s now or never! I’m planning a once-in-a-lifetime flying trip around the western United States and up into British Columbia next year. All of my flying—I have logged 880 hours over the last eight

  • December 2012

    Glass beads are not good when it comes to cleaning aircraft spark plugs. Let’s understand why and, importantly, what’s right.

    Cement fills the space between the center electrode and the ceramic insulator in massive electrode spark plugs. The cement transfers heat to the insulator, th

  • December 2012

     Spark plug replacement and cleaning is a task that aircraft owners and pilots can easily do to maintain engine efficiency.

    I encourage aircraft owners to get involved in the maintenance of their aircraft, as a pilot aware of the mechanics of his or her aircraft is a safer pilot.


  • Only big airplanes with jet engines have to worry about replacing things on a calendar or time in service basis. None of that applies to my airplane, or does it?

    We all know that transport airplanes have to change landing gear, and starters, and engine components and many other components on a time

  • November 2004

    Without a doubt, they’re the hardest-working, most under-appreciated part of your airplane. Of course, I’m talking about your propeller.

    Most of us just think of a propeller as a chunk of aluminum spinning around on the front of our airplane. How wrong we are. Your propeller is one o

  • August 2004 - Well here comes summer once again. If you are based east of the Mississippi, that means high temperatures and low flight visibilities, thunderstorms and high density altitudes. Here in sunny South Florida flight vis doesn't get too bad, but temperatures on the runway can exceed 140 deg