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Balancing Act

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December 2005- One of the more overlooked and certainly misunderstood areas of aircraft maintenance may be prop balancing. While most aircraft owners would never drive their car with the tires out of balance (and the steering wheel shaking in their hands) they don’t think twice about operating their airplane with the prop out of balance.

I flew with a buddy a week or so ago in his nicely restored Cherokee. It flew perfectly with hands off, but at cruise power there was an obvious vibration and it was clearly evident in the compass and in the artificial horizon, which was vibrating at a high frequency.

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