Two things you must do to get your engine to full TBO

General Aviation News

To keep myself awake while watching TV in the evenings, I will read other aviation magazines or pull them up on the internet. One of the main purposes for this is to learn what the latest in aviation lubrication thinking is. The other is for a good laugh.

Recently, I was reading an article on aviation lubrication do’s and don’ts. The author had evidently worked in the aviation industry and had a few good points.

However, he made a statement to the effect that the only two ways to get rid of moisture in the oil was to change the oil or add this additive that, I assume, he was advertising or selling.

I read the article over several times, and he never mentioned the best way, which is evaporation. This is like talking about Dec. 25 and not mentioning Christmas (and I hope you all had a merry one).

The article went on and on about things that are nice to know and do, but missed the necessary things to do.

I have written about this many times, but people still do not understand the basics. If you want your engine to go full TBO, the two things you need to do to give you the best chance is make sure the oil temperature is around 180°F and fly your plane regularly.

If you do these two things, it does not really matter which oil or additive you use, how long you warm up your engine, how you hold your mouth when priming your engine, or any other of a long list of things to do.

When you get your oil temperature up to 180°F in level flight, as the oil goes through the engine it typically picks up about 50°F. This means that some of the oil in the engine, usually that coming off the underside of the pistons, is around 230°F. This is hot enough to boil off the water in the oil, since water boils at 212°F.

If you operate at these conditions for a while, all of the water in the oil is magically gone. You do not need to change the oil after every flight or add an expensive additive.

Now there is one other part of this method, and that is you will need to calibrate your oil temperature gauge.

Unfortunately, a lot of gauges only have a green band and others are way off calibration.

I strongly recommend that you take your oil temperature sending unit out and put it in a container of oil or water. Set the container on a hot plate and put a good thermometer in the liquid, along with your oil temp sensor. Now watch the thermometer and when your liquid gets to 180°F, look at what your gauge reads. If your gauge only has a green band, paint a mark at the 180°F point.

Now you will need to make changes to ensure that your engine runs near that 180°F mark in level flight. You may need to fix your baffles and seals or have your oil system bypass adjusted. You do not have to get exactly to 180°F, but you need to be near that range to boil off the moisture.

I do not have any problem with an approved additive or changing your oil more often. However, many people think that they do not have to bother with details like getting their oil temperature right if they use a miracle additive. My experience has shown this to be very poor and, in most cases, very expensive logic.

Top aviation trends in 2015

General Aviation News

Every year about this time, Sporty’s officials spotlight the trends that topped the charts for general aviation this year.

They start the list something near and dear to them: How pilots shop.

Mobile changes how we shop.

Sporty’s sales process has gone from founder Hal Shevers at a sales counter in an FBO to mail order to 800 lines to faxes to the Internet and now to mobile.

People shop anytime they have a spare two minutes, noted Michael Wolf, Sporty’s president.

Training formats are evolving, too.

Like shopping habits, training courses are scattered among different formats. DVDs still sell, but apps and online courses are growing, offering convenience that can’t be beat.

And yes, the smartphone revolution is at work here too. Sporty’s introduced a number of upgrades and innovations to its online and app training products, Wolf noted.

Destination flight training.

Destination flight training is increasingly popular. Once upon a time there was a flight school at every airport. That’s no longer true, so many pilots — especially those starved for time — are traveling to schools, like Sporty’s Academy, for accelerated training.

Bigger is better.

Is it the year technology gets bigger or smaller? This year, technology got bigger: Bigger iPads (iPad Pro) and bigger phones (iPhone 6 Plus) were hot. We’re asking more from our mobile devices and engineers are giving it to us. Older eyes appreciate this in the cockpit.

The exception to “bigger” is smartwatches. Pilots love their watches, but this was one of the most hyped (some would say overhyped) trends of 2015. While smartwatches haven’t changed the world, they do seem to be catching on. A number of aviation app developers released Apple Watch apps this year, and Garmin’s second generation D2 Bravo was a big hit this Christmas.

Wireless headsets are here.

LightspeedLightspeed surprised the industry in November with the launch of Tango, the first wireless aviation headset from a major brand. Pilots have been asking for this for years, but it’s a more difficult technological problem to solve than many pilots understand. It has been well-received; will we see more next year?

ADS-B Out gets real.

This has been “coming soon” for a long time, but ADS-B Out has moved from a preview to a main attraction. Cincinnati Avionics, Sporty’s on-site shop, has been busy with ADS-B upgrades this year as pilots commit to this new technology.

Anyone upgrading a panel these days adds ADS-B Out to the project list, and we’re starting to see some older airplanes add ADS-B Out even without a full panel upgrade. New products from Appareo and L-3 point to continued growth in 2016. Prices seem to have hit bottom — will it be enough to meet the deadline?

The drones are coming…No, the drones are here!

Competing with smartwatches for most overhyped trend, drones were nearly unavoidable in 2015. This is sort of the Wild West, and we do believe this will be a bubble in the short term.


Those of you who have been around for a while might see the similarities with the ultralight market. Remember? Ultralights were going to save GA.

Drones will get sorted out, just as ultralights did, and after the initial hype wears off, we predict drones will end up being a transformative industry – and aviation will be affected as much as anyone.

Sporty’s began selling drones in 2015, and worked to encourage an “airmanship mindset” for operators of these small quadcopters. Sporty’s officials said they will participate in this growing industry in a thoughtful way, as manned aviation has a lot to teach unmanned aviation (and vice versa).

Simpler is (sometimes) better.

Pilots responded to two new additions to Sporty’s airport in 2015: The 172LITE and the Legend Cub. While everyone loves a high-end transportation airplane with lots of glass, the fact remains that most flight students at Sporty’s Academy are flying for the fun. For them, low and slow is a lot of fun, and less complex aircraft can make their time and money investment lower.

The Cessna 172LITE

The year for medical reform?

Medical reform may finally be coming next year. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) have worked tirelessly on the Third Class medical reform, and the end may be in sight.

Sporty’s will offer a full library of proficiency training courses for lapsed pilots. Sporty’s Academy will create custom recurrent packages, whether you’ve been away for six months or 16 years, officials added.

The opportunity for youth to pursue a career in aviation is as strong as it has been in decades.

Aviation youth programs, including Young Eagles, Aviation Exploring and Civil Air Patrol, to name a few, will help ensure the industry is equipped with bright, talented individuals to fill projected pilot and mechanic shortages.

Honda Aircraft Company Begins HondaJet Deliveries

Business Wire

Honda Aircraft Company today announced it has begun deliveries of the HondaJet, the world’s most advanced light jet. The company delivered the first aircraft today at its world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. This milestone follows final type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which the HondaJet received on Dec. 8.

“Honda Aircraft has now extended this commitment skyward with the delivery of our first aircraft, and I hope we soon will begin to see many HondaJets at airports around the world.”

“We are very excited to commence deliveries of the HondaJet, fulfilling Honda’s commitment to advancing human mobility through innovation,” said Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “Honda Aircraft has now extended this commitment skyward with the delivery of our first aircraft, and I hope we soon will begin to see many HondaJets at airports around the world.”

Honda Aircraft Company is manufacturing the HondaJet at its world headquarters in Greensboro. The aircraft is offered for sale in North America, South America and Europe through the HondaJet dealer network.

To support HondaJet customers, Honda Aircraft has established a robust worldwide dealer network in 11 territories. HondaJet dealers are ready to support aircraft entry into service, together with a 90,000 square-foot customer service facility in Greensboro to support the dealer network with heavy maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities.

Pilot training is already being conducted for HondaJet customers with a full-motion, Level D flight simulator installed at the Honda Aircraft Training Center in Greensboro.

The HondaJet is the world’s most advanced light jet, with revolutionary technology and design innovations—including the Over-The-Wing Engine Mount design—that help it achieve the highest speed, superior fuel efficiency, and a more spacious cabin over conventional aircraft in its class.

About HondaJet

The HondaJet is the fastest, highest-flying, quietest, and most fuel-efficient jet in its class. The HondaJet incorporates many technological innovations in aviation design, including the unique Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration that dramatically improves performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. The OTWEM design also reduces cabin sound, minimizes ground-detected noise, and allows for the roomiest cabin in its class, the largest baggage capacity, and a fully serviceable private aft lavatory. The HondaJet is equipped with the most sophisticated glass flight deck available in any light business jet, a Honda-customized Garmin® G3000. The HondaJet is Honda’s first commercial aircraft and lives up to the company’s reputation for superior performance, efficiency, quality and value.

A Great Idea for the Triad – One airplane can make all the difference

General Aviation News

When I was first getting involved in aviation, the cost was a daunting dilemma for me. That’s probably a common memory we share, you and me.

Availability was an issue, too. Most general aviation pilots have probably had a similar experience. We show up at the airport with a dream of learning to fly, only to find a very limited selection of aircraft, at prices that seem a bit steep.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We can change the game if we choose to.

If you’re an aircraft owner, and by that I mean if you are in possession of an aircraft of any kind, in any state of being, located anywhere in the world, I hope this idea will take root with you.

Given what I know now, if just a small fraction of us were to take up the cause, something wonderful would happen. Truly, it would.

The Lakeland Aero Club facilitates the most successful flight training program I’ve seen in quite some time. Founded with the assistance of some notable, forward-thinking aviation enthusiasts, the club exists in order to provide the high school students of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy an opportunity to maintain and fly aircraft. They earn their pilot certificates along the way.

More than 45 teenagers have become private pilots thanks to the overall program. Some have flown all the way from central Florida to Oshkosh and back. Not as passengers, as pilots. A handful have made that trip more than once.

This is an outstanding program that could only be made better if they had an additional airplane or two. They currently operate a T-craft and a Super Cub. Both are in excellent shape and well maintained by the students. Yet the world has changed since those classics were common trainers, and earning a private pilot certificate requires the performance of basic instrument maneuvers using instruments that just aren’t in the panels of those beautiful machines.

The problem came to my attention when the adult leadership at the Lakeland Aero Club, and their counterparts at SUN ‘n FUN began to lament their plight. They weren’t complaining. Rather, they were brainstorming and networking the problem.

Their Christmas wish list included a tricycle gear trainer the club members could use for flight training and time building. Impressive performance isn’t what they value most. Their primary concern was to find a reliable machine that is inexpensive to operate. The question is, where would it come from?

Interestingly enough, I own a 1963 C-150C that spent the bulk of 2015 sitting in a hangar, waiting for someone to come out and fly. She did the same in 2014, and 2013, and for several years prior to that.

An idea began to hatch in my head. I ran it past the folks in Lakeland and before long we had a plan.

On Wednesday, Dec. 16 I pulled the Disco 150 into the sunlight, fired it up, and took a short hop from my home base to the airplane’s new hangar in Lakeland. The flight took no more than 15 minutes.

When I arrived, ground control gave me taxi instructions to SUN ‘n FUN, where I expected to slip the airplane into Hangar A and then catch a ride home. What I didn’t expect was a welcoming committee of students and CFIs who were anxious to meet the new addition to their fleet.

High school students Michael Jenkins, Tyson Trentham, and Airic Perez stood at the ready to move the airplane into its new hangar. Their adult advisors, Al Herum and Mike Zidziunas, prepared to slap Lakeland Aero Club stickers on the airplane, branding it as one of their own before the engine even had a chance to cool.

Tyson Trentham (left), Michael Jenkins (center) and Airic Perez (right) are all smiles as they receive an early Christmas present, the newest addition to the Lakeland Aero Club’s fleet.”

The whole experience left me feeling a little emotional, to be honest. It’s not often we pick up the gauntlet and do something substantive to move an important program along. At long last, I had, and it felt good.

As a CFI I’ve signed off my fair share of new pilot applicants. I’m happy to say that every one of those applicants was successful, too.

Mike Zidziunas (a.k.a. Mike Z.) wastes no time in branding the new acquisition as a club aircraft.

But now I’ve had the opportunity to do something even better. I’ve leased out an airplane at a very modest rate to an organization that will be using it to give young men and women a chance to completely change the course of their lives.

The challenge I faced as a prospective pilot will not be derailing the hopes and dreams of these kids. They’ve got an option I never had. An option you probably never had, either. But an option that so many of us could make available if we chose to.

If you own an airplane that you don’t fly much, or that you don’t fly at all, or maybe an airplane that’s not even airworthy, there are organizations that could benefit from it, if you’re willing.

If, like me, you’re not in a position to simply donate the airplane, you can lease it at a rate that keeps you from going to the poorhouse, while allowing those who can’t yet afford an airplane to get into the game, fly at a steeply reduced cost, and begin the process of welcoming the next generation of new aviation enthusiasts into General Aviation.

It’s simply amazing what the power of having access to one airplane can do to a fledgling program, or to expand the potential of a successful one.

This Christmas I gave myself a gift that I’ll cherish for a good long time. Every time I see the Disco 150 fly overhead, or on display at an event, or in a photo with a teenager who just completed a successful check-ride, I’ll get to experience that sense of satisfaction all over again.

Merry Christmas, y’all — all year long.

Concord airport growing up!!

The Charlotte Observer

Concord Regional is NC’s 5th-busiest airport

Allegiant Airlines offers 9 weekly flights to Florida

New passenger terminal, parking deck to open in July

In the Charlotte region, the words airport and Charlotte Douglas International usually go together. It might surprise you to know that North Carolina’s fifth-busiest airport is just about 20 miles away – in Concord.

Before Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012, the city of Concord promoted Concord Regional Airport as the “fastest gateway to Charlotte” for private and charter flights bringing convention attendees to town.

Over the past two years, Concord’s airport has been carving out a new niche in the Charlotte region’s air travel business.

As airports go, Concord Regional is still young, at 21 years old. The city of Concord built it to encourage economic development and to help accommodate the Charlotte region’s general aviation traffic.

In the 1990s, the airport also emerged as a perfect partner for NASCAR teams. As racing expanded coast-to-coast, Concord Regional became known as “NASCAR’s Airport,” a convenient base for team-owned and charter jets taking crews to the weekly races.

But Concord Deputy City Manager Merl Hamilton says it’s not just NASCAR that makes the airport an economic engine for the area. “We have a lot of local businesses that fly out of here,” says Hamilton. He cites Concord-based S&D Coffee and Electrolux, which has its North American headquarters in Charlotte.

This year, Concord Regional is expected to have more than 55,000 takeoffs and landings. That’s roughly one-tenth the number of planes coming and going at Charlotte Douglas International. Still, at Concord’s airport, you might spot recognizable figures, from North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to entertainer Kid Rock, using the airport as a quick way in and out of the Charlotte area.

These days, you might also see a crowd of people wearing flip-flops, walking across the tarmac to an awaiting jet that has a sunshine logo on its tail. In December 2013, Allegiant Airlines began offering two flights per week between Concord and an airport in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando. It was the first scheduled commercial airline service at Concord’s airport. Allegiant now has nine weekly flights, including service to Ft. Lauderdale and the Tampa Bay area.

Concord’s Allegiant flights offer a low-cost alternative for passengers like Stewart Gold, who calls both Charlotte and Ft. Lauderdale home. “It’s dramatically cheaper to fly Allegiant into Concord, as opposed to flying into Charlotte Douglas,” says Gold.

Along with discount fares, many travelers also like the convenience and smaller scale of Concord Regional. “It’s about 10 minutes from our house to get here,” says Jane Edwards of Davidson, who was headed to a conference in Orlando. “We can unload right at the door, and we don’t have to walk so far as we do if we use Charlotte Douglas,” she added.

Concord Regional is definitely not Charlotte Douglas International. Currently, Allegiant passengers check in for their flights inside an old aircraft hangar. The airport converted it into a makeshift terminal when commercial airline service began. Orlando-bound passenger James Kudalis can’t help but make a humorous comparison. “It reminds me of Wings (the 1990s television sitcom),” Kudalis jokes. “But once we figured out we could park on the grass and we got through, it was, like, super easy.”

The days of parking on the grass – and Concord Regional’s “sitcom” atmosphere – should soon disappear. Construction is underway on a new passenger terminal and a 600-space parking deck. Both facilities are scheduled to open in July.

Rick Cloutier, aviation director for the city of Concord, says the airport expansion will help put a little distance between Concord Regional’s general aviation traffic and the newer commercial airline service. The new terminal will have two gates instead of the current single gate. “That will allow us to meet our demands now, and possibly have some controlled growth going forward,” says Cloutier.

Concord officials say Allegiant Airlines has expressed interest in adding a few destinations from the city’s airport, which could attract additional travelers in search of cheap fares and sunny destinations.

Allegiant’s low fares may be hard to resist. But passengers who choose the discount carrier should keep a few things in mind, according to airline industry analyst Seth Kaplan, with the publication Airline Weekly. “This is not an airline where, if something goes wrong with your flight, there’s going to be another flight an hour later,” Kaplan explains. “This is not an airline that is going to re-accommodate you on another airline.”

The small number of Allegiant flights at an airport like Concord’s can lead to long delays for passengers, for example if a plane has a mechanical problem. Allegiant isn’t required to report statistics on flight cancellations and delays. The airline has also faced questions about safety.

Rick Cloutier says some other discount carriers have also expressed interest in serving Concord. But city leaders don’t have any grand visions for a huge airport. For one thing, airport managers say, there’s no room to build a second runway.

Keeping Concord Regional accessible seems to be a high priority for airport officials. That philosophy even extends to those whom Cloutier calls the airport’s “Friday night visitors.” They aren’t catching a flight. But they like to come out on warm summer evenings, when a food truck shows up at the airport. “They watch the aircraft come and go, they’ll sit on the grass, get something from the food truck,” says Cloutier. “We’ve kept that in place with our new construction.”

With an attitude like that, maybe the words airport and hassle don’t always go hand-in-hand.

Full Senate Passes Pilots Bill of Rights 2

Elizabeth A Tennyson | Senior Director of Communications, AOPA

The full Senate has passed the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, which will now go to the House for consideration. The Senate passed the bill, which includes third class medical reform, by unanimous consent on Dec. 15, less than a week after it was reported out by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The House must also pass the bill before it can go to the president for a signature.

“This is an enormous step toward getting long-awaited third class medical reforms, and we’re excited that the Senate has moved so decisively to get this done,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Without a doubt this has been a real fight, but the passage of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 shows that members of the Senate recognize the value of supporting the general aviation community. This legislation will help hundreds of thousands of general aviation pilots by saving them time, money, and frustration while giving them tools they need to take charge of their health and fitness to fly.”

The bill must also pass the House, where it has 152 bipartisan cosponsors, before it can go to the president for his signature.

“These reforms are vital to the future of general aviation, and we are grateful for the leadership of Senators Jim Inhofe and Joe Manchin as well as Senators John Thune, Bill Nelson, and the 71 bipartisan cosponsors who have made this possible,” said Baker.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 in the Senate in February as a follow up to the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights measure he championed that became law in 2012. In addition to medical reform, the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 includes a number of protections for pilots facing FAA enforcement actions.

Under the medical reforms of Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, most pilots who have held a valid third class medical, either regular or special issuance, within 10 years of the legislation’s enactment would never need to get another FAA medical exam. The rule would apply to pilots flying VFR or IFR in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds and carrying up to five passengers at altitudes below 18,000 feet and speeds up to 250 knots.

Pilots who develop certain medical conditions, including a small list of specific cardiac, mental health, or neurological conditions, will have to get an FAA special issuance medical one time only, significantly reducing the time and money spent navigating the FAA’s medical bureaucracy.

For pilots who have not had a valid medical in the past 10 years and those who have never applied for and received a medical certificate, a one-time third class medical certification by an aviation medical examiner will be required. After a pilot has been medically certified once, either through the regular or special-issuance processes, he or she will also be able to fly indefinitely without needing to go through the FAA medical certification process again.

After pilots have met these requirements, they will need to visit their personal physician once every four years for a medical exam. Pilots will need to fill out a form and provide it to the doctor performing the exam. The pilot must make a note of the visit and keep the signed form in his or her logbook.

The form will include a short medical history questionnaire as well as a list of items the doctor must include in the examination. Following the exam, both the physician and the pilot must sign the form verifying that the items were examined and discussed.

During deliberations prior to passage of the bill by the full Senate, language was added requiring the physician to certify that he or she is not aware of any medical condition that, as it is currently being treated, would interfere with the ability to fly safely.

AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association are committed to working with doctors and medical organizations to ensure that physicians understand the intent of the form and are comfortable with the requirements so they can keep their patients well and flying.

The process of bringing the bill this far has been one of compromise and negotiation.

“This is a big milestone, and our members deserve credit,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. “In a climate where only about 3 percent of all bills introduced in Congress actually become law, this is a significant step forward. And while the legislation is not everything we might wish for, it will make a big difference for many, many pilots.”

Unlike today’s third class medical, the new exam and form will not require the doctor to make a “pass/fail” judgment and no information about the exam needs to be provided to the FAA unless it is specifically requested. The FAA can request additional information from a pilot if it receives credible or urgent information, including information from the National Driver Register or the FAA Safety Hotline, that the pilot may not be able to safely operate an aircraft.

In addition to the medical exam by a personal physician once every four years, pilots will be required to take a free online education course on aeromedical factors every two years. The course will be designed to increase awareness and understanding of medical factors that can affect a pilot’s fitness to fly.

Under the bill, the FAA will have a year from the date the legislation becomes law to produce a final rule reflecting the legislation’s provisions. If the final rule is not ready within one year of the bill’s enactment, pilots will be allowed to fly under the guidelines set out in the legislation without facing FAA enforcement action. The legislation also directs the FAA to streamline the special issuance medical process and identify additional medical conditions that AMEs can issue medical certificates for without requiring the pilot to go through the special issuance medical process.

PTI’s Landmark Aviation Paving Project almost complete!


The paving project at the Landmark Aviation T-hangars is just about finished up.  As you can see below from Donald Brookshire .. general manager … the project will be completed this week.

Building C Row 6-10 was seal coated today and will be crack filled first thing in the morning. Barring any drying time issues we anticipate reopening it by 5pm tomorrow.

Building C Row 1-5 was paved today at met or exceeded compaction in all areas. We anticipate opening it for traffictomorrow by the end of the day, but ask that vehicles are not parked on the new pavement for more than a few minutes until Friday.

Paving 2

Building B Row 6-10 was paved today at met or exceeded compaction in all areas. We anticipate opening it for traffictomorrow by the end of the day, but ask that vehicles are not parked on the new pavement for more than a few minutes until Friday.

Building B Row 1-5 One pass was paved until the asphalt ran out a few minutes ago in front of Hangar B5. The crew will be here first thing in the morning to resume and will start in front of B5 and continue across toward Building A.

Building A Row 6-10 has a couple of soft spots that will be getting shored up early tomorrow and retested to ensure compaction meets specs. The paving crew has light towers that have been delivered and anticipate a very long daytomorrow. As of right now it looks promising that the project will be complete with all rows paved by tomorrow night late and reopened on Thursday afternoon.

The Flying Realtor !!

There is a realtor in town but not just any realtor … he is “The Flying Realtor”.


Len Leggette – known in the Triad as “The Flying Realtor”

Len flies as a performer on an airshow team in the RV-8 airplane that he built and completed in 2002.  The plane is based at Landmark Aviation in Greensboro and is used to visit real estate sites all over the state.


“I love working with aviation enthusiasts.  We have a common love of aviation which makes it a very easy transition to work together”.

If you are looking to buy or sell real estate … please support our own … The Flying Realtor.  Call Len at 336-547-6535 or email at