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Troubleshooting Your Navcom

Try these troubleshooting tips before you visit your favorite avionics shop for service. We all know it takes fuel to fly our aircraft from point A to point B, but we sometimes take for granted that communicating and navigating along the way is just as important to knowing how to manage your engine and fuel reserves. After m... Read more

Popular Piper Comanche Modifications

July 2015 The “modern classic” Comanche is perhaps one of the most modified airframes in GA today! So you are looking for a Comanche. This advertised airplane looks good, but it’s way overpriced when you check the Aircraft Bluebook… or is it? In the world of used aircraft, especially models more than... Read more

Aircraft Spruce Celebrates 50 Years

June 2015- 1965Flo Irwin starts a new business in the basement of family home in Fullerton, Calif. selling just one product: spruce lumber for aircraft builders. She takes orders by mail and phone, and hires one man to cut the spruce. A one-page flyer is the first Aircraft Spruce “catalog.” 1967-1969Aircraft Sp... Read more

Piper’s Twin Comanche

Carl Miller and his wife Donna are lucky people who, when it came to finding their perfect light twin, didn’t have to compromise—they just went shopping for a Piper Twin Comanche. June 2015- One of the things I really enjoy is getting old photographs and drawings of “classic” aircraft bloodlines and s... Read more

In with the New: An Avidyne IFD540 Plug-and-Play Conversion Part 1– Hardware Installation

Today is a good day. The Avidyne IFD540 GPS/NAV/COM that I purchased has arrived—and today my radio shop guru, Eric, started the install. Here’s part one of my story. June 2015- Avidyne avionics—GPS, audio panel and transponder—are plug-and-play devices. That means you can slide out old equipment and ... Read more

It’s Spring! Do you know where your airplane is?

While Milwaukee-area weather personality John Malan is teasing me with weather forecasts that approximate the coming spring, I can testify that spring is truly here. So get on out there and fly—once you locate your aircraft, that is. June 2015- IF you haven’t seen your airplane since last fall, the time to exerci... Read more

Flying to the San Juan Islands

May 2015- Needing a large dose of slow-down last fall, I traveled from California back to the Great Northwest—land of the big trees and water—where I first learned to fly. I had family in the Seattle area and visited frequently, but never felt recharged after those big-city visits. I needed rest. The San Juan Isl... Read more

Leaning Lessons: The Science of Operating your Airplane Engine

“If you’re at 65 percent of power or so, 50 degrees rich of peak probably won’t get you in trouble, and will give you close to maximum power for that manifold pressure and rpm. But the fact is that 50 degrees rich of peak will produce the absolute hottest possible temperatures for all parts of the engine.&rdq... Read more

Flying, Interrupted: Modern Engine Preservation

“Our experience has shown that in regions of high humidity, active corrosion can be found on cylinder walls of new engines inoperative for periods as brief as two days.”—Lycoming Service Letter No. L180B May 2015- From time to time, and for a number of reasons, airplane owners will find they need to stop fl... Read more

The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying and Selling a Plane

In buying or selling, as in flying, you can minimize your risk by following the rules. April 2015- 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 sa... Read more

The Practical Piper Pacer

Don’t discount the PA-22/20; it can serve well as a family aircraft. April 2015- Both my husband, Owen, and I are pilots who fly for fun. We met over Unicom: I was working at an FBO and Owen made a call in for 100LL. One of our first dates was a flight out to a grass strip to visit mutual friends. Early in our marriag... Read more

Saratoga School: What You Need to Know About the PA-32 and Its Systems

Buying and maintaining a Saratoga doesn’t have to be confusing, provided you have all the facts. March 2015- As Jennifer Dellenbusch writes in her model history “Saratoga Tale: PA-32 tangents” featured in the October 2013 issue of this magazine, the Saratoga has a confusing history. It evolved from two othe... Read more

"Best of the Best" Airport Restaurants Part Two

Start flight planning today to point your Piper at these destinations, where an awesome meal awaits. March 2015- In part one of the “Best of the Best” Airport Restaurant series that ran last month in this magazine, I told you about steakhouses, bistros, laid-back cafes and white-tablecloth dining rooms.All of the... Read more

The ABCs of ELTs

A clear understanding of FAR 91.207 is just the beginning for pilots looking at installing a new ELT. March 2015- “ELTs are specialized radio transmitters that sit in the aircraft and are designed to do nothing,” says Joan Goodman, president of Emergency Beacon Corp. based in New Rochelle, N.Y. “And they sh... Read more

Winter Weather Flying: A Brisk Refresher

From understanding splash lubrication to reduced braking action, winter flying is just… different. February 2015- Ready or not, winter is in full effect across the northern United States. Several important operational considerations will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable winter flying season. It’s important f... Read more

Any Excuse to Fly: Building Time in a Cherokee 235

With four years of flying experience at age 21, the sky is the limit for Mitchell Miller. February 2015- Instrument-rated pilot Mitchell Miller is a native of Riverside, Calif. who attained his private pilot certificate at age 17 (with just 41 hours!) and his instrument rating in 2012. Miller might be a newer pilot, but he&r... Read more

Wings Over the Rockies: Denver’s Air and Space Museum

January 2015- Aviation is big—really big—in Colorado, but only one destination calls itself "Colorado's official air and space museum," and has a bill passed in the state legislature to prove it. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (often called "Wings" by museum staff as well as visitors) in Denver's Lowry neighbo... Read more

Are You Ready for 2020? Current Options for ADS-B Compliance

January 2015- The choices may seem bewildering (and they can be!), but at least prices seem to be settling down. In 2014, EAA AirVenture's exhibit halls were filled with ADS-B vendors who have viable products for the FAA mandate that's coming sooner than we think—January 2020. The infrastructure is already in place, so why n... Read more

Amazin’ Aztec: Mark Matheson’s PA-23-250T

December 2014- Nearly 35 years since it was last produced, Piper's Turbo Aztec continues to prove that it's a true heavyweight among light twins. Once upon a time, piston engine aircraft manufacturers actually tried to one-up each other. When Cessna would come out with a new model, the other two members of GA's Big Three wou... Read more

Leading Edge: Active Noise Reduction Upgrade

December 2014- Active Noise Reduction UpgradeYou can install ANR electronics intoan existing passive headset, and youcan do it by yourself. Several months ago I explained the mechanics of human hearing and the physics of passive and Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headsets ("How it works: Noise Reduction Headsets," Leading Edg... Read more

Restoration on a Budget: Seneca Power Control Panel Upgrade

December 2014- Here we are again! Things surely didn't start out this way. I'd retired in March of this year and was looking for a simple project to consume a week or two in the summer and allow me and my dog to hang out at the airport with a purpose. The result of that simple goal was a restored throttle quadrant, and it lo... Read more

Cabin Combustion Heaters: Maintenance and Troubleshooting

November 2014- If you hit rain or turbulence, you can deviate; if it's hot, you can just keep climbing untilyou find cool air. But when it's cold, it's cold everywhere. Here are some simple steps tokeep your combustion cabin heater providing maximum performance.      For those pilots who operate in colder... Read more

Combustion Cabin Heaters: Are They Safe?

November 2014- Yes, combustion cabin heaters can be very safe to operate when properly maintained. Pilots and owners need to take an active role in making sure these heaters receive the service they require to remain safe and reliable.      What do you know about your airplane's heater? Here is a minimum ... Read more

Airshow Entertainer: Lowell White's Vagabond

November 2014- A Piper Vagabond finds it's way home.      No matter where it landed, a yellow Vagabond with "North Florida Motor Co." and "Lincoln Mercury Dealer" in bold blue lettering on the fuselage attracted quite a bit of attention this past year. Curious, I sought out the owner, Vaughn Lovley, to ge... Read more

Everypilot’s Light Twin: The Piper PA-44 Seminole

October 2014- While other light twins have gone away, the PA-44 is still doing what it does so well—safely teaching pilots how to fly twins.      I've set my Wayback Machine for Feb. 21, 1978. The place: Dallas, Tex. The event: Piper Aircraft's annual meeting of the North American distributors. The backst... Read more

Seneca De-ice Control Panel Upgrade

October 2014- All restoration projects seem to start the same way. There is this one little thing on your plane that doesn't look good, so you restore it... then everything around it looks bad and you start moving from one project to another....      I was admiring my newly restored throttle quadrant last... Read more

From Hand Axes to Five-Axis: A Brief History of Hartzell Propeller

September 2014- At the turn of the 20th century, George Hartzell and his son Robert were making rifle stocks from various hardwoods using a proprietary process they had developed that strengthened the wood and retarded the decay process inherent in hostile environments. Robert Hartzell owned an airplane and dreamed of becomin... Read more

A Tale of Three Cubs: Wheeling around the sky

August 2014- It is most definitely not about speed: the 65 hp J-3 Cub is so slow it can barely get out of its own way. From the pilot's seat you can watch the landscape sliding by—or, if you are flying into wind, you can simply watch the landscape. I'm not kidding. There's a story of one intrepid pilot who wheeled a Cub out du... Read more

As Real As It Gets: High-Fidelity Aviation Training

July 2014- Flight simulators have been around in one form or another for the better part of aviation's history. The earliest units were typically built from plywood. They sported vacuum tubes, were mostly pneumatic driven, and had rudimentary gauges and functionality. The cockpits were cramped and the capabilities were limited... Read more

Seneca Throttle Quadrant Upgrade

July 2014- I have heard it said many times by many boat owners that the two greatest moments of boat ownership are when you purchase your boat, and when you sell it. I understand the message completely although I've never felt that way about any of the seven airplanes that I've owned over the decades. I've enjoyed every moment... Read more

Position Report: Helping General Aviation Take Off

June 2014- General Aviation is a homegrown American industry that is responsible for 1.2 million jobs and pumps more than $150 billion into our nation's economy. But it's also an industry that could do much more to create jobs, boost our economy and contribute to our national transportation system. General Aviation is being h... Read more

Abundance at the Runway’s End

June 2014- In our endless quest to find exciting places to point our airplanes, there are two undeniable factors that almost always dictate if any new destination is going to end up at the far end of a flight plan. And you'll be surprised to find out they have nothing to do with hundred-dollar hamburgers. Frankly, the Holy Gr... Read more

Right-sized at the Right Time The Short Wing Pipers

June 2014- Historians will tell us that a recession began at a particular time and ended on another. Economists will give us the reasons behind the recession: inflationary pressures, tight credit, and so on. Those of us who have lived through recessions know that each industry, each company and each individual experiences t... Read more

Ameritech Industries: American Propeller and Eagle Engines

April 2014- Propellers take a beating. During operations that range from the instant takeoff power is cranked on to power-off stalls and descents, blades continually flex due to changes in aerodynamic loading. Props endure years of light damage due to rock, ice and rain impacts. In spite of being within degrees of separation ... Read more

Our Brilliant Friday in the Bahamas

 April 2014- It seems the articles I’m reading in aviation periodicals these days are all harbingers of doom: armed guards when we land; UAVs crowding us out of the skies; rising taxes, fuel costs and user fees; airports closing. Holy cow, where’d the fun go? Here’s a story about why my wife and I fly, a... Read more

Destination: Space (via Kansas)

April 2014- Flying over Kansas can seem like a never-ending view of wheat fields from horizon to horizon. That is a good situation if you are looking for an emergency landing place… but many of you may wonder what is down there. The city of Hutchinson is just 30 miles northwest of Wichita on the northeast side of the Arkansas... Read more

A highly modified PA-18 “Monster Cub”

March 2014- Alaska is called The Last Frontier for good reason. The state has over 500,000 acres of uninhabited land (about 94 percent of its total acreage). It’s home to about 30,000 brown bears (grizzlies included), as many as 100,000 black bears and a far smaller number of (estimates say under 5,000) polar bears. Cari... Read more

Shell Introduces its Unleaded 100 Octane Fuel

February 2014- Shell Oil issued the following press release on Dec. 1, 2013: SHELL REMOVES LEAD FROM LIGHT AIRCRAFT FUEL  Shell today became the first major oil company to develop a lead-free replacement for Aviation Gasoline (Avgas 100 and 100LL), which will now begin a strict regulatory approvals process. Avgas is on... Read more

What To Do When Your Piper Fuel Bladder Fails

I recalled from my days as a tech rep that the most common failure of a light airplane fuel bladder is age-related deterioration of the top surface due to long-term exposure to heat. So my first thought was to dig back into the airplane records to find out if the airplane’s right bladder had ever been changed. Then I remembe... Read more

Way of the Warrior

Since its introduction in 1956, Cessna’s 172 had been dominating the single-engine market, both for personal use and flight training. The folks at Piper thought a version of its popular Cherokee line—with a higher useful load and minimum-four-place design—might give Cessna a run for its money. Using the longer fuselage of the... Read more

Garmin’s Passive ADS-B Solution

Ever since the dawn of the Computer Age, two engineering factions have regularly engaged in trench warfare. One group believes that hardware-centric devices are inherently more stable solutions for an engineering problem, while the other group—the software-centric crowd— believes that its approach offers greater fl... Read more

Prop Talk 101

September 2013 If you’ve never thought that your propeller will need an overhaul, think again. Without a doubt they’re the hardest working, most underappreciated part of your airplane. I’m of course talking about your propeller. Most of us just think of a propeller as a chunk of metal spinning around on the front of our ai... Read more

At Aviation’s Threshold: Wright Brothers National Memorial

September 2013 All pilots should visit the place where it all started. I’ve been a pilot almost all of my adult life. I love machines that fly, the people who fly them fascinate me, and I am sort of an armchair historian of aviation. I’ve been to every major airshow on the planet, and visited most every significant aviation ... Read more

Shane 1: An Unforgettable First Flight

July 2013 - April 21, 2013 1340Z: "Columbus Clearance, Shane 1. Through the Warren County RCO requesting VFR Flight Following to South Bend Regional at six thousand, five hundred." "Shane 1, Columbus Approach. Good morning, squawk 6666; maintain VFR and contact Columbus Approach on 118.55 when airborne." "Columbus Approach... Read more

Aircraft Interiors: Tips and suggestions from SCS Interiors

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 the day their airplane’s cock... Read more

Piper PA-25 & PA-36 Pawnee

In the first few decades of the aviation age, airplanes quickly became a part of Americans’ daily lives. In addition to providing invaluable service in World War II, aircraft also served in a war against six-legged pests. The first known use of a heavier-than-air machine occurred in August 1921. A United States Army Air Servi... Read more

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Latest Piper Flyer News

Copperstate Fly-in is Moving

COPPERSTATE Fly-In is Moving! COPPERSTATE Fly-In, Inc., which hosts the third-largest aircraft fly-in in the U.S., has announced that it will hold its next event at the Mesa, AZ Falcon Field (FFZ) Airport on Friday & Saturday, October 28-29, 2016.The event, which is open to the general public, attracts recreational & general aviation enthusiasts from across the southwest United States. In...

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Piper Aircraft and RAYMOND WEIL Announce…

VERO BEACH, Fla., May 28, 2015 - Piper Aircraft is proud to announce a collaboration with the legendary watchmaker RAYMOND WEIL, with the introduction of their first-ever pilot watch, the freelancer Piper. "We are honored to collaborate with another esteemed manufacturer," said Simon Caldecott, President and CEO of Piper Aircraft. "RAYMOND WEIL was founded on principles similar to our own: passion...

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Sporty’s Concludes Successful Fly-in and…

Showers didn’t dampen spirits for hundreds of attendees A few lingering showers didn’t keep pilots from Sporty’s 11th annual fly-in. Hundreds of attendees enjoyed a full static aircraft display, exhibits, seminars and introductory flights. Sporty’s promised a fly-in “rain or shine” and that’s exactly what happened. The fly-in hosted the largest number of exhibitors ever. Seminars from Sporty’s, ForeFlight, and Garmin were...

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FAA Launches New Resource For Understand…

April 2015- Need ADS-B? Get answers..... Starting in 2020, aircraft must be equipped with ADS-B Out to fly in most controlled airspace. Will you need to equip? It depends on where you fly. · How you should you equip your aircraft? · What equipment has been FAA certified? · What are the benefits of ADS-B Out and ADS-B In? Get answers at www.faa.gov/go/equipadsb

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Phillips 66 Aviation FBOs Take Home Top …

Ten Phillips 66-branded FBOs recognized as best in the country HOUSTON April 7, 2015 – Phillips 66® Aviation is pleased that ten of its FBOs were recognized in this year’s Aviation International News (AIN) survey. More than 11,000 respondents completed AIN’s questionnaire that ranks FBOs according to line service, passenger amenities, pilot amenities, facilities and customer service representatives. “On behalf of Phillips...

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Lycoming Engines Announces AERO Friedric…

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Dierks Bentley Highlights EAA AirVenture…

Ford Motor Company presents country superstar and active pilot EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (April 2, 2015) — Dierks Bentley, who has rocketed to the top tier of country music's hitmakers, will get EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 week off to a great start when he headlines the fly-in's popular opening night concert on Monday, July 20. The concert, presented by Ford...

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Tempest Promotes Jessica Cox for Sun-N-F…

TEMPEST® PROMOTES JESSICA COX, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER April 2015- GIBSONVILLE, NC - Tempest Plus Marketing Group (TPMG) is pleased to announce that it will lend its support in 2015 to Jessica Cox, motivational speaker, author, and Guinness World Record Holder as the first armless person in aviation history to earn a pilot certificate. Jessica Cox, born without arms, learned to fly in a 1946...

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2015 Seaplane Splash-In Cancelled for Sa…

Due to record rainfall over the last 6 months, SUN 'n FUN has made a decision to cancel the Seabird Splash-In that has been held annually on Lake Agnes at Fantasy of Flight during the SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo. The Lake Agnes water level is more than 2 feet above normal, which unfortunately creates numerous hazards to...

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