Pro Tips for Private Pilots: Care for Your Airplane | Aviation

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Pilots who own or operate an aircraft under Part 91 of the FARs are allowed to perform various preventive maintenance tasks.

For the pilot comfortable with basic mechanical tasks and aware of the rules and regulations, this can save time and money. Beyond that, performing basic tasks helps us learn what makes these little birds tick.

In years past, professional pilots spent a significant part of training learning about their airplanes’ inner workings. U.S. Air Force aircraft systems training focused on how each system operated, its location, required pressures, temperatures, and voltages. The training included a field trip to the airplane, usually led by a bright, young maintenance technician who got into the nitty-gritty of how everything worked—and might fail. Each pilot had an opportunity to get their hands greasy, ask questions, and visualize how the jet worked.

The best part of this experience was watching and learning from the amazing airmen and sergeants who maintained these aircraft. Watching how they approached their jobs with skill, patience, and the ever-available technical order as a guide set the example for how quality aircraft maintenance should be performed.

Today, the airframe and powerplant (A&P) field faces a severe staffing shortfall. As a result, your local aviation inspector or mechanic may gladly share with you the proper way to maintain…


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