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What to Expect With Inspections

In the last few months, I’ve had several inquiries from King Air owners regarding high-cost maintenance invoices. Most of these guys are new to King Air ownership and their pilots (if they have one) are newbies too. Some sent me their shop invoices for review and I regret to say that I found examples of…

Engine Won’t Start?

When you hit the Start/Ignition switch and the engine spools up but fails to light off, what do you do? Is it a fuel problem, an ignition problem or both? Obviously if your engine gauges indicate fuel is flowing, then you’ve got a problem somewhere in the ignition system. I’d have a tidy sum in…

Looking Back

Looking Back

It’s a new decade. Such milestones tend to prompt us to stop and take a look back. For me, I’m continually impressed by the resilience of the Beechcraft King Air – all of them. Every model has its virtues, and they have stood the test of time like no other aircraft in general aviation. I…

Winter Readiness

I was asked to write an article about preparing a King Air for winter weather. Initially, I brushed the idea aside because everything I would suggest is covered by the Phase Inspections in the Maintenance Manual. But when I had my shop, the majority of my customers flew less than 200 hours a year and…

NOSE GEAR STEERING: The Bungee and the Clip

In 2017, the owner of a King Air 200 was landing at his home base; when the nose touched down, the aircraft lurched violently to the right. Luckily, he managed to keep the aircraft going straight down the runway with the nose tire sliding sideways! This was a nose-steering failure. Once he was safely off…

Hot Section Inspections Revisited

Recently I was consulted about a PT6 undergoing a Hot Section Inspection (HSI). It began benignly enough; the hot section itself was in decent shape. But things took a left turn when a broken diffuser tube was found. This meant the rest of the engine (the “cold” section, if you will) had to be removed…

Inspections – Task Overlap – Double Dipping

Inspections – Task Overlap – Double Dipping

Years ago, a friend of mine got a $120,000 bill for maintenance – double of what he was expecting – and he faxed it to me. First off, I saw eight items that required the aircraft to be on jacks for proper compliance. The shop had charged him labor to jack and unjack the aircraft…

Heated Argument – More on Prop Heat

It’s good to know that people are reading my articles. My last one, about prop heat in the February 2019 issue of King Air, generated some discussion in the King Air section of an online forum. Ice Slams A King Air pilot in Alaska shared his experience. Obviously, he gets into icing conditions all the…

Prop Heat

Prop Heat

I got a call from a King Air pilot I know well. He used to fly a model 90 and brought it in to my shop for many years. Now he flies a 200 with four-blade Hartzell props. We got reacquainted last year during the pre-buy on this 200. The aircraft is working out well,…

Looking at Pressurization

Looking at Pressurization

True story: I traveled to Texas to check out a King Air at the tail end of its pre-buy inspection. Phases I-IV had been done and the squawks had been addressed. My job was to put my eyeballs on the airplane, do the final ground runs and go on the acceptance flight. When I asked…