Expression of Gratitude and Discovery

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by MuseChaser, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    Just wanted to let this out...

    A little over a year ago, I met a father and son A&P team that helped me with a few issues... leaking nosegear strut and clogged fuel tank vent tube.. and allowed me to assist. I liked working with them so much that I asked if they'd be willing to do this year's annual as an "owner assist" and oversee the creation and installation of new interior panels, carpeting, recovering of rear seats, and installation of a four place intercom. They were wonderful.. and it turned into a three month education for me. What we ended up doing turned into a MUCH longer laundry list than a typical annual due to a bunch of deferred maintenance caused by previous no-longer-involved partners in my plane. Basically, they trained me to do pretty much everything an annual requires, including what to look for as they did all of the trained inspection items, and we addressed a LOT of things that could have been left for the future but were a great training opportunity while the plane was all opened up. Installed a PowerFlo exhaust, rebuilt brake calipers and master cylinders, built new fuel lines, new windshields and glare shield, sumps, vent lines, ... and that's just scratching the surface. I would rather have been flying, but I wouldn't trade the experience they gave me for the world. For whatever reasons, I'm a better pilot now and have MUCH more confidence in the airplane due to having a much greater understanding of the systems involved.

    I liked it so much, and I guess they had enough faith in what they saw, that they've given me the opportunity to assist, with their constant oversight, on other aircraft, including two other Cherokees, an Aztec, a Zenith 701, a TriPacer, a Cirrus, and even a Pitts 2B. Avionics harness building, pitot-static system work, vacuum system pumps... and they're having me log my hours. I doubt, very much, that I'll ever get to being an A&P, and I don't really want a "job" at this point in my life, but the education, experience, and opportunity to work under two such knowledgeable, kind, giving people is a real blessing.

    IF you ever have a similar opportunity, TAKE IT. You might be a little sore at the end of each day, but it'll be worth it.
     
    denverpilot, ETres, WannFly and 8 others like this.
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’ve had the pleasure of doing owner assisted annuals,the knowledge you gain of your airplane is great and the discount price of the annual isn’t bad either.
     
  3. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Used to do owner assisted in my Cherokee, loved it. No such opportunity with the Mooney. I'd do it were there one. I suck at wrenching, but I'm not a bad assistant.
     
  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The confidence you gain as a pilot of your airplane, by getting to know in detail all the systems, and being involved in putting it back together after inspection/maintenance is well worth it.
     
    MuseChaser likes this.
  5. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    That is essentially how I got sucked into the aviation maintenance black hole and eventually earned my mechanic certificate. I needed an annual on my Cherokee and the next thing I knew I was a fixture at the airport and doing everything. Do as much of it as you can!

    It is much easier to understand and explain aircraft systems when you've actually seen them before and worked on them.
     
    MuseChaser likes this.
  6. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson En-Route

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    You are now ready for a kit plane. How does an RV10 sound?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  7. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    Pretty much perfect and my dream plane...but the time and cost commitments scare me.
     
  8. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson En-Route

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    The time can be extended and the money spent incrementally. If you can satisfy your flying needs in what you are flying and find the time and money to build kit sections, it can be very doable.

    If you are building only to fly, it’s often a mistake. But you’ve already tasted the joys of working on an aircraft with your hands and mind. Flying something that you know intimately and that you can say you built with your own hands is beyond joyful.
     
    MuseChaser likes this.
  9. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    My A&P jokes with me that I should be ready to take my A&P exam after all we've done together on the plane. Doesn't hesitate to sign things off that I do on my own since he's seen what I've done previously.