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Questions and Answers – Anthology

July 2012

This month, we’ve compiled some of the most useful tips from Q&As published in Piper 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.

SEPTEMBER 2011
Q: Dear Steve,

I just replaced the starter on my PA-28… again! The starter teeth didn’t disengage from the ring gear after the engine started. What’s the solution?

—Tired of Buying Starters


A: Dear Tired,

If all you burned up was the starter, you dodged a bullet. Bendix-type starters stick on Lycoming engines. There’s two reasons.

The first is lack of proper lubrication of the screw-shaft the Bendix assembly rotates on. Either your technician didn’t put a shot of silicone spray on the shaft at the last annual, or rain, dirt and airborne schmutz contaminated the front end of the shaft at the front bushing.

Questions and Answers – Vacuum System Troubleshooting

June 2012

Q: Dear Steve,

I own a Piper PA-28-181 and I have a vacuum system problem. From what I understand, the vacuum system in my Cherokee is similar to a lot of other single engine Pipers, so this is likely a system problem rather than a Cherokee problem, but here goes.

As I climb, the vacuum pressure drops off. On the ground it’s right in the middle of the green but the needle slowly moves toward the left side of the gauge as I climb. Above 7,000 feet the pressure indicates below the green arc.

During my private pilot school I was taught that it’s important to keep the needle in the green but I’ve kept a close eye on both the DG and artificial horizon instruments when the vacuum level drops and they both seem to indicate correctly.

Can you tell me what’s going on? What do I need to do to fix it?

—Sagging Vacuum

Papa, My “Baby” Comanche and Me

Papa, My “Baby” Comanche and Me

I came to own piper(Papa), a 1960 PA-24 in a roundabout way. I had been screening ads in Trade-A-Plane and on the Internet for another airplane. I had studied Mooney, Beech and Cessna options but the airplanes that fit my needs were either quirky in some way or beyond my means.

I had previously owned a 1947 Piper PA 12. (Editor’s Note: For the story of Steve’s PA-12 see “My First Airplane, What Mike Taught Me About Flying”) June 2011, Piper Flyer) It was a very simple airplane and didn't burn much fuel but I wanted more speed. I had also owned a 1966 Cessna 182J. It was very comfortable and capable but burned a lot of fuel, especially since I almost always flew by myself.

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