A Maintenance Flight For Everyone

This is a story that includes two short wing Pipers, a fairly stiff crosswind and geese. But I'll get to all of those things as the post unfolds. My friend, John (owner of 1957 Piper Tri-Pacer) needed to pick up his plane after its annual inspection at the Vinton Veteran's Memorial Airport (KVTI). It's only about 14NM from our home airport (KIIB), so it's a simple mission, but the airplane had been sitting awhile and a mission of any kind was definitely in order.

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Aircraft Annual Report – 2014

Wow - it's been too long since I've updated this blog. Life has been crazy and the flying has been hard to come by, but all is well. Only April 25th, we picked up our airplane from the mechanic after its annual inspection for this year. This year went fairly well with only a few minor squawks to fix up with the plane. Everything seems to be in good condition, including the engine, which makes us very happy. Those can get expensive quickly!

Items We Repaired

If you're interested, here is a list of (larger) items that were serviced or replaced this year on our airplane:
  • Changed the oil, inspected oil screen for debris
  • Replaced oil screen housing ($this one hurt a bit$)
  • Fixed parking brake connection on brake housing - left side
  • Inspected airframe condition
  • Inspected firewall forward (hoses, belts, etc.)
All-in-all, typical annual inspection stuff, but it's always great to see how aviation maintenance works (most of the time). It's a very preventative approach compared to car repair. After all, we can't just pull over and stop if something does go wrong, so these inspections are designed to help catch problems before they become a real situation.

Flying Home

As I was flying the Pacer home from its annual at KVTI (Vinton, IA), I grabbed just a few seconds of video from the flight. It was a great night to fly and after arriving at KIIB (Independence, IA), Amber jumped in and we went for a trip around the local area. Sometimes that's all you need to do - no destination, no purpose. Just flying.

On With the Flying!

Now that the inspection is complete, we can start our 2014 flying season! We have many fly-ins on the schedule and various small trip ideas, not to mention all of the rides we owe people. Looking forward to it and sharing those experience right here on the blog! Stay tuned.

It’s Annual Time for N7371K!

The time for our airplane's yearly annual maintenance inspection has arrived. On Friday, we delivered our Pacer to our mechanic at KVTI (Vinton, Iowa). That's about a 14NM flight from our home base of KIIB, so it wasn't too bad. The wind was gusty when we arrived at the airport, but it quickly dropped off. Amber caught some video of me departing in the Pacer (she had to drive the truck down to pick me up at the Vinton airport). Sorry about the wind noise... This will be our second annual inspection for the airplane since we purchased it in 2012. The first annual inspection is probably the most nerve-wracking because its the first time through the aircraft since purchase and many things may need replaced/adjusted. We came out pretty well in 2013, but had a few items that we cleaned up. The annual this year appears to be pretty simple, but I guess you never do know for sure.

What Does an Annual Include?

Annual inspections are required of each aircraft. These inspections must be completed by a licensed mechanic. During the inspection, the aircraft is gone through with a fine-tooth comb to uncover any possible issues that need fixed prior to them becoming a real issue. This is how aircraft maintenance differs from the maintenance you might do on your car... everything is done as part of a precautionary approach. Out of each annual, we usually have a list of things that would be nice to do. We chip away at those throughout the year (if necessary), but any major items are taken care of during the annual inspection. Needless to say, the aircraft is ready to fly, and fly safely. We'll have a report of how the annual went in about a week or so!

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