Corey has relocated his 1966 Cessna 172H to a new hangar and is preparing for his annual inspection. Using the AC 43.13 as a guide, Corey meticulously inspects his aircraft for cracks, corrosion, and other potential issues. He de-panels the aircraft, checks for damaged hardware, and uses a flashlight and inspection mirror to reach difficult areas. He checks the flight controls, cables, and pulleys for smooth operation and proper tension. Moving on to the powerplant, Corey conducts a compression check on each cylinder and inspects the spark plugs. He looks for oil leaks, chafing, and checks bolt connections. Corey performs an oil change and checks for metal flakes in the oil. He also inspects the exhaust baffle using a borescope. After completing various inspections and maintenance tasks, Corey addresses any discrepancies in the squawk sheet. He replaces a frayed ground wire, uses a shim kit for the nose strut, and performs necessary repairs on the wing strut fairings. Finally, Corey reassembles the aircraft, gives it a bath, signs off everything in the logbook, and takes a test flight.
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When we last left Corey, he had just relocated his 1966 Cessna 172H to a T-hangar at Newnan-Coweta Airport in Georgia. Now, he’s getting ready for his annual inspection. Corey begins by referring to the AC 43.13 for guidance and starts meticulously inspecting his aircraft. He looks for cracks, carbon trails, oil leaks, and loose parts. Corey emphasizes the importance of checking hardware, as misplaced hardware can cause Foreign Object Damage (FOD). It’s important to document findings and take photos or videos as evidence.
To inspect hard-to-reach areas, Corey suggests using a high-power flashlight and an inspection mirror. He carefully inspects the flight controls for cracks, corrosion, and metal fatigue. The flight control cables should be smooth and free from fraying, and the pulleys should move without any wobbling. Corey advises lubing the pulleys and checking cable tensions with a tensiometer. Moving on to the powerplant, he performs a compression check on each cylinder and records the results. He also cleans and inspects the spark plugs, referring to the Tempest 1710A Spark Plug Guide for maintenance tips. If any spark plugs are faulty, Corey removes and replaces them.
Next, Corey checks for oil leaks and examines bolt connections. He recommends using torque seal to mark tightened bolts. He changes the oil and checks the screen or filter for metal flakes, which could indicate serious engine issues. To prevent internal corrosion, Corey uses AVBLEND and performs regular oil analysis with Jet-Care International. He inspects the baffling, oil lines, and exhaust baffle for cracks and leaks. Then, Corey moves on to inspect the brakes, tire pressure, tread, and wheel bearings. He finishes up by performing a thorough walkaround and applying Corrosion X to protect the wings and belly.
After completing the inspection, Corey addresses any discrepancies on the squawk sheet. He fixed an inoperative nav radio by replacing a frayed ground wire, resolved a nose-gear shimmy by using a shim kit for the nose strut, and replaced wing strut fairings. Corey also took care of some cosmetic updates, such as working on the glareshield leather and the center pedestal panel.
Now, it’s time to return the aircraft to service. Corey, being an IA (Inspection Authorization), reassembles everything, gives the plane a bath, and signs off all the work in the logbook. To celebrate, he takes a test flight and witnesses a friend’s solo flight at Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field.
And there you have it – a job well done by Corey, who takes pride in maintaining his aircraft throughout the year, rather than waiting for the annual inspection to address concerns.
Fun Fact: The Cessna 172 is one of the most popular aircraft in the world and has been in production continuously since 1956. Over 44,000 Cessna 172s have been built, making it the most produced aircraft of any kind.
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