In my last several columns, I discussed some suggestions on oil temperature and oil change intervals. I continue to receive questions on which oil to use and the compatibility between oils. [Read more…]
Twelve years ago when Light-Sport Aircraft burst on the aviation scene, pilots were hungry to learn more about these machines. Not only could they be flown without a medical, they were packed with new technologies. Glass cockpits and carbon fiber fuselages are now common, but LSA were among the first to adopt them.
Most of the first LSA came from overseas. Today, we see a greater balance between U.S.- and foreign-produced aircraft. How were Americans to learn about brands they never heard of, such as Tecnam, Flight Design, Pipistrel, Evektor, and more? How about at an airshow? [Read more…]
In my last column, I described two of the most important factors in getting to full TBO with your aircraft engine: Getting the oil temperature up to around 180°F and using your plane frequently.
I recently read an article on oil change intervals in another publication. The author went on and on about what a mistake it was when the engine companies changed the oil change interval from 25 to 50 hours. To the author’s credit, he did mention in passing that there is also a four month oil change limit.
The problem is that the four month time limit is the most important criteria and the 25 hour and 50 hour limit are secondary. Most pilots hear the 50 hour change limit and stop reading, which is OK if you fly more than 150 hours a year. [Read more…]
Last week I attended a Focus on Education Breakfast held in the student center at Polk State College’s main campus in Winter Haven, Florida. On hand were members of the school board, administrators from the county’s school system, teachers, principals, politicians, community activists, and a smattering of students. [Read more…]
In 1928 the advertising slogan “Learn to Fly Where Lindbergh Learned” started appearing in ads for the Lincoln Airplane and Flying School.
After invoking Lindbergh’s name, the ad stated that students would get the same thorough training that enabled Lindbergh to win fame and fortune. [Read more…]
Q: Big picture question here: For a 250 or 260 hp Lycoming O (or IO)-540, is there any significant reason to favor a wide or a narrow deck engine?
In particular, I’m looking at buying a core for a project and there seem to be more narrow deck cores available (presumably because their host aircraft are being parted out at the end of their service lives).
Kyle Boatright, via email
This column is for the optimists — those rare individuals who read the same tea leaves as everyone else, but see an entirely different future. They see potential. They recognize opportunities.
Yet they are the very same folks who squeeze a dollar until it squeals, resist opening their wallets unless it’s absolutely necessary, and keep their credit card frozen in a block of ice in their kitchen freezer.
I am an undeniably optimistic cheapskate. Welcome to my world.
I am also a pilot and an aircraft owner. But remember, I’m a cheapskate. A tightwad. A penny pincher extraordinaire. So cutting the cost of my aeronautical exploits down to size is a big deal. It’s necessary, in fact. [Read more…]
Flying the same aircraft all the time can be boring after a while. It’s an affliction most aircraft owners share, though it’s not one to generate much sympathy from non-owners.
But after months and years flying the same familiar flivver, one begins to seek out new opportunities, different aircraft and even additional ratings. So it was for me recently. [Read more…]
A good new year’s resolution for a frugal pilot is to determine how much his or her flying habit REALLY costs.
No, not the number that you tell your significant-other (or the tax collector), the actual costs of owning or renting and flying an airplane. Calculating those costs annually is a good way to discover whether you’re getting the most for each dollar you spend on flying.
Knowing the numbers doesn’t mean that you’re going to dramatically cut back — in fact, it may mean you spend more on some expenses.
However, it does mean that you are focusing on value. Remember, a frugal pilot isn’t cheap. She or he seeks value, safety, and fun. [Read more…]
Reality TV strikes again — this time with Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Job Interview.
In the first episode, which aired Friday, Jan. 29, we followed Ron Vargas to South Africa. Ron’s goal is to become a bush pilot. He’s in South Africa to train with Milne “CC” Pocock, owner of Bush Air. [Read more…]