Avionics News December 2020 - 50

OWNER MAINTENANCE
Continued from page 49

individual planning on doing such work should perform
their own self-analysis of their ability to perform the
work satisfactorily and safely. Here's where the resident
shop maintainers can be of help - particularly for a firsttime owner-performed maintainer.
Some basics
Everybody has to start somewhere, but few are born
with the inherent knowledge and skills of a seasoned
maintenance technician. Does the individual have the
basic knowledge to properly use the tools needed? Does
the individual know what specialized tools are needed?
Does that person know why those tools are needed - and
how to properly use them?
And the job's not legal and done until the paperwork
is finished, just as if a licensed A&P performed the
work. If any of the preventive maintenance authorized
by Part 43 is done, the person doing the work must make
an entry in the appropriate logbook or record system to
document the work done. The entry shall contain:
1.	 A description of the work performed (or
references to data that is acceptable to the
administrator).
2.	 Date of completion.
3.	 Signature, certificate number, and kind of
certificate held by the person performing the
work. For most people, that would be a private
pilot certificate, single-engine, land, with the
certificate number.
Then there are the tools, the processes and the
materials. Let's examine a couple of the most-common,
simplest jobs an owner/pilot is likely to face.
Start simple and work up from there
Our first airplane, the one in which I earned my
private certificate, was that Piper 1969 Cherokee 140D
mentioned previously. It was the ideal starter airplane
for us - a sturdy, simple little bird with an O-320
Lycoming making 150 horsepower and turning a fixedpitch McCauley prop.
For years, Piper mounted the landing light in an
ideal location for illuminating runway center lines: in
the lower half of the cowling nosebowl. As perfect as
the location seemed for lighting up the painted line,
however, it was a punishing location for the stock GE
4509 incandescent bulbs.
The coiled filament, oriented horizontally, suffered
from significant flexing when taxiing, taking off and
landing, and on rough ground or pavement. The bulb in
50

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2020

the plane when we bought it failed a few days after my
first solo in the little Cherokee. My A&P had some in his
parts inventory.
When I asked what he'd charge to replace the failed
bulb, he looked at me with a quizzical expression and
asked, " You own a screwdriver? "
Yes.
" Then change it yourself. It's pretty much selfexplanatory, " he added when I started to ask about
instructions. He briefed me on the legal aspects -
logbook entry, date, hours and my signature. And my
student-pilot/ownership status.
An hour later, that Cherokee flew with a new
landing light. And Long wryly suggested that given
my greenhorn status, I might want to consider buying a
couple more GE 4509 bulbs.
I bought three. They came in handy.
When time came to change the engine oil and oil
filter, it was back to Westport Airport for some needed
coaching. The first item on my question list: What
specialized tools should I have?
An oil-filter wrench was already in my toolbox. But
not a pair of safety wire pliers. Or a roll of safety wire.
And which safety wire?
Seemed like a good time to invest in a mechanic's
creeper ... and an oil-receptacle for the waste oil. And
those all-important safety wire pliers.
Long guided my purchase of the pliers and safety wire
and, when they came a couple of days later, he spent part
of a lunch hour teaching me the right way to use them ...
and which way to safety wire the filter after installed -
oriented to prevent the filter from loosening.
Aside from the safety wire, the oil change process
matched what I'd done on my cars and motorcycles over
the years. Each time something new presented itself as a
maintenance need, I dove into Part 43 to see whether the
work needed qualified as owner-performed maintenance.
When it did, I was on the phone to Long to see if he had
time for me to visit for some more coaching.
When preparing to purchase our second plane, Long
was my choice to perform the prepurchase inspection,
logbooks reviews and airworthiness-directive checks.
At that point, Long got all of my work requiring a
certificated A&P.
So what's on that list?
The best resource to point your would-be amateur
A&P toward is the FAA itself and Part 43.3, persons
authorized to perform maintenance, preventive
maintenance, rebuilding, and alterations. You can find
it at http://www.faa-aircraft-certification.com/43-3persons-authorized.html.


http://www.faa-aircraft-certification.com/43-3-persons-authorized.html http://www.faa-aircraft-certification.com/43-3-persons-authorized.html

Avionics News December 2020

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Avionics News December 2020 - Intro
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