Pilots N Paws

Pilots N Paws

Every year in the United States, 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters and more than half won’t make it out alive. An unspayed female cat, her mate and all of their offspring, producing 2 litters per years, with 2.8 surviving kittens per year can total 11,606,077 cats in 9 years. Source: Spay USA. An estimated 6 to 8 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year. Millions more are abandoned, only to suffer from illness or injury before dying. Source: Doris Day Animal League. Thankfully we have people who have become aware of this animal crisis and have taken action.

Pilots N Paws is a non-profit national organization of volunteer pilots that work together and connect shelters, rescues and families with at-risk animals. This organization was founded in February of 2008. The volunteer pilots that take part in Pilots N Paws have a passion for flying and a passion for animals.

There are about 5,000 volunteers across the United States, without which thousands of animals would continue to face hardship and death. Pilots N Paws, with the help of their pilots, is making a statement about animals that need help and assistant. The transport of these animals is made in a very safe and human method. Each pilot is assigned dogs based on the size and types of crates that each aircraft can carry.

Double M Aviation is proud to provide maintenance to two such volunteers! Tom Dillion and Jeff Hibbard each selflessly donate their time, airplanes, and associated expenses to aid in re-homing many abandoned and at risk dogs.

Tom Dillon participates in the Pilots N Paws program as well as completing trips independently using his Cessna 414. With a fuel capacity of 206 usable gallons and a huge cabin-class interior, the Cessna 414 allows for the transport of multiple crates at a time. However, along with the large amount of cabin space this twin engine Cessna brings to the table, comes a large fuel bill. To help offset the cost Dillion incurs while utilizing his Cessna 414 to rescue homeless dogs he has set up a Go Fund Me account with all proceeds going directly toward the fuel bill. You can find his page here.

Jeff Hibbard flies a Piper PA28R-200 Arrow. While the Arrow’s cabin may not be as spacious as the Cessna 414, she is a work horse of her own class. With a typical empty weight of around 1500 lbs and a range of approx. 600 nm, the Arrow can be loaded up with fuel and a pilot and still carry multiple crates. Hibbard has his aircraft set up so that the co-pilot seat and rear seats can be removed to facilitate moving the crates in and out with ease.

Sources: http://www.pilotsnpaws.org/, http://www.thedogrescuers.com/statistics–facts.htmlhttps://www.gofundme.com/cyhf6s-save-a-dog-today

Top 5 Gifts for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is approaching and the hunt for gifts has begun! We want our fathers to feel appreciate for everything that they do. If your pops is a big aviation enthusiast than these are the top 5 gifts for him. All these gifts can be used on the aircraft or anywhere else your dad wishes to go. From creating great memories from video footage to looking fresh with a nice tie and NAV kit bag.

1. GoPro HERO5 Session

GoPro HERO5 Session

 HERO5 Session can capture stunning video handheld, or mounted to your favorite aircraft, vehicle, or gear; edit the material later with GoPro’s Quik app, and create a breathtaking video in only a few minutes. More than 30 mounts and accessories are available to you when you wish to broaden your creative horizons.

2. Flying Fortress Navy Blue Silk Tie

Flying Fortress Navy Blue Silk Tie

Navy Blue silk necktie honoring the B-17 Flying Fortress. While you might not be able to take the controls of the legendary B-17 Flying Fortress, that doesn’t mean you can’t show your stylish admiration for the famed 4-engine heavy bomber. This eye-catching silk necktie pays homage to the iconic USAAC aircraft with a variety of intricate sketches of the plane all along its length. The soft yellow outlines of the B-17 perfectly complement the necktie’s classy Navy Blue color. Measures 57″ x 3¼”.

3. 2060 Altimeter Alarm Clock/Desk Model Pen Set

2060 Altimeter Alarm Clock/Desk Model Pen Set

This item replaces the traditional analog clock face with a strikingly realistic display of an aircraft altimeter. It’s great for the office! The unit boasts ultra-rugged, high-impact styrene construction paired with a cutting-edge, American-made Quartz movement for a level of accuracy that’s second to none. The clock measures 3½” x 3½” and comes mounted on a 2″ x 7¼” base. Requires a single AA alkaline battery for power and includes a 1-year warranty. The ultimate combination of quality, affordability, and style that aviation-inclined office warriors will appreciate.

4. Leatherman Wave with Nylon Sheath

Leatherman Wave with Nylon Sheath

Calling Leatherman’s Wave a multifunctional tool just doesn’t do the item justice. It’s more like an entire tool chest that happens to fold up and fit neatly in your pocket. Long known as the absolute best multi-tool on the market, Leatherman has refined the highly capable Wave with stronger pliers; longer wire cutters; larger, all-locking blades; and a host of other user-friendly improvements. Among its 17 tools, the Wave brings users spring-action scissors, a medium screwdriver, large & small bit drivers, bottle & can openers, wire cutters, wire strippers, needlenose & regular pliers, and much more.

5. B-17 75th Anniversary Nav Kit Bag

B-17 75th Anniversary Nav Kit Bag

You don’t have to be a veteran or a warbird buff to appreciate the splendor of this magnificent Nav Kit Bag honoring the 75th Anniversary of the venerable B-17 Flying Fortress. As one of Boeing’s most beloved historic aircraft, this tote bag features an elegant sewn-on patch of the well-known Boeing Totem, as well as screen-printed “B-17 Flying Fortress” script on one side. The other side pays homage to the legendary bomber with a bit of tail art commemorating the B-17 Nine-O-Nine. The bag’s 20-oz twill fabric and heavy cotton webbing handle and shoulder strap ensure it’ll hold up for years of reliable use, while its antiqued brass zipper further adds to the tote’s overall grandeur. At 16.5″ x 9″ x 12″, this stylish bag is an ideal accessory for the cockpit or a run-of-the-mill day trip. A fantastic, top-quality product that any aviation enthusiast is sure to love.

Here is the link to the website: https://www.pilotmall.com/

Electroair Electronic Ignition System Install


This week at Double M Aviation we installed one of the newest technological advances for general aviation aircraft! This Piper Arrow is the proud new owner of an electronic ignition system (EIS).

Electroair is a company that focuses on electronic ignitions (EIS) for general aviation aircraft. For our readers that aren’t familiar with how general aviation airplane ignitions work, let me explain:  “Airplanes have two magnetos, left and right, each of which fires one spark plug per cylinder, creating a redundant system that allows the engine to operate at full power independent of the engine-driven alternator. Each magneto features a permanent magnet on a rotor that spins in close proximity to a high-output coil of wire with two windings: a primary winding made of heavy copper wire and a secondary winding of fine wire with an exponentially higher number of turns. The magnetic flux lines that pass through the turns of the primary winding create what are called “magnetic flux linkages.” As the magnet moves, the number of magnetic flux linkages changes, creating voltage.” 1 (www.flyingmag.com)

In layman’s terms, the spark plug’s “spark” is controlled by the magnetos which are run by magnets.

Now that we know how magneto run airplanes work, lets see how an electronic ignition changes things. Electroair developed a EIS-41000 Lycoming 4cyl Electronic Ignition Kit that is a Direct Drive ( non-impulse coupled ) Magneto Replacement.

“This is a fully STC’d kit for most Lycoming 4cyl engines. Replacing one magneto with the EIS-41000 will typically improve fuel economy on average by 10-15% (many operators have reported consistent fuel savings of 1gph or greater). Additionally, there will be an improvement in horsepower, smoother engine operation, and improved high altitude performance. The EIS-41000 adjusts spark timing automatically by way of our MAP Sensor – timing is adjusted with altitude. Most parts on the EIS-41000 are not life limited (the MTH is recommended to be changed at overhaul of the engine; spark plug wires on a regular interval) – this combined with reduced spark plug fouling means lower maintenance costs. This kit can be used on either 12V or 24V systems.” 2 (www.electroair.net)

In our Piper Arrow project, the right magneto has been replaced with Electroair’s EIS. Each cylinder has two spark plugs; one controlled by the left magneto and the other by the EIS. As always in aviation, redundancy is the name of the game.

As a result, in the cockpit the right magneto switch has now been replaced by an “EIS switch”. The installation also replaces the traditional keyed ignition to a push button start.

It was a very exciting opportunity to take part of the new EIS technological advance of one of our customer’s Piper Arrow aircraft. We hope to continue updating more airplanes with the Electroair electronic ignition systems.


1: http://www.flyingmag.com/how-it-works-magneto

2: http://www.electroair.net/stc_ignition_kit.html

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today we will be give a shout-out to Margaret Phelan Taylor, she is a mother, wife, teacher, and pilot. During WWII following the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a great shortage for pilots in 1942. The military began developing a resolution for this issue by training women as pilots. This program was called the Women Air force Service Pilot, or WASP. Mrs. Taylor was one of more than 1,100 young women, all civilian volunteers, who flew almost every type of military aircraft. Although the WASP did not actively participate in warfare they still played a crucial role in the U.S Military. They didn’t receive official military status until 65 years after the program ended. On March 10, 2010 the WASP were finally granted Congressional Gold Medals in a special ceremony on Capitol Hill. This was a historic moment that was long overdue. These brave women are now in their 80’s and 90’s and only about 250 of the WASP were in attendance. Lets celebrate all the amazing mothers that have shaped our lives!

Photo credit* http://whistmm.blogspot.com/2015/04/focus-margaret-phelan-taylor-and-wasp.html

Top 5 Gifts For Your Pilot

Pilots are unique, and your pilot is even more special! This list of the Top 5 Gifts For Your Pilot includes the things they need, and the things that will make any pilot smile. These gifts will allow them to enjoy the sensation of being a pilot both in the air, and on the ground.


  1. Garmin D2 Pilot Watch-

This watch was specifically designed for Pilots! Featuring Garmin’s signature direct-to and nearest navigation functions, as well as a built-in altimeter with adjustable baro setting, altitude alerting capabilities, display of both local and Zulu/UTC time, and the ability to seamlessly integrate with the Garmin Pilot app, VIRB action camera, and more. This is the perfect gift for your pilot, with a stylish look!

2. Remove Before Flight T-Shirt

These T-Shirts are a fun way for your Pilot to show their enthusiasm for flying, even when they’re not at the airport. Enjoy a good laugh with your Pilot over this awesome shirt! Also available in tanktops, boxers, sweatpants, ect.

3. Bose A20 Aviation Headset-

The A20 headset gives your Pilot 30% greater noise reduction than conventional aviation headsets, so they’ll enjoy a peaceful flight from short stops to long hauls. It weighs just 12 ounces, with sheepskin cushions and minimal clamping force, so it’s one of the lightest and most comfortable aviation headsets you’ll find. All designed to let your pilot focus on what matters, flying.

4. Cockpit Coasters-

This aviation coaster set is made to simulate, as closely as possible, a primary flight instrument. Each coaster features the actual shape of an aircraft instrument, and a dial that closely represents that of the standard flight instrument. This is a fun gift that every pilot will enjoy!

5. Pilots Lighted Kneeboard-

This deluxe kneeboard features a unique lighting system that incorporates a rheostat for adjusting brightness, and is perfect for both late night flights and the flights during the brightest hours of the day. Kneeboards were first adopted by the Air Force and Navy because of their proven reliability, high quality, and lightweight construction. They make flights smoother and more organized, meaning safer flying! This is a pilot must have!


Valentines Day, and every day, is the day to remind your pilot how much they mean to you, and that you are thinking of them. Find all of the items above and much more by clicking on the websites below:





Bonanza And Baron Pilot Recurrency Training

We are excited to partner for a second year with the Bonanza & Baron Pilot Training program! This clinic gives pilots an opportunity to work side by side with experienced CFIs to increase their knowledge and skill level, using their own aircraft. We specifically LOVE the Non Pilot Companion Clinic that offers some basic flight skills and knowledge for spouses or family members, making them safer and more informed passengers.

The BPT weekend clinics also give participants a chance to swap stories and learn from fellow Beechcraft pilots in a fun, relaxed setting. It’s a perfect blend of continuing education and weekend getaway fun!

To find out more information regarding the BPT follow the link to their website provided below.

Bonanza & Baron Pilot Training (BPT)

The Bonanza & Baron Pilot Training (BPT) offers weekend clinics of model and type specific training. The clinic offers Recurrent training, Biannual flight reviews(BFR), and Instrument Proficiency Checks(IPC) all done with their CFIs, using your own aircraft. You can choose from one of the following clinics:

The Type Specific Clinic discusses emergency procedures, aircraft systems, and the latest technologies and devices used today.

The Recurrent Clinic takes a look at fresh material and reviews the practical application of forced landings, icing, and engine management.

The Non Pilot Companion Clinic is designed specifically for non-pilot companions, including spouses, other family members or friends. It provides a greater understanding of the details encountered on every flight helping to increase the comfort level and increase the enjoyment of the flight.

According to their website, “When you participate in a weekend clinic, you’ll come away with much more than exceptional flight training. For 2 ½ days, you are with fellow aviators who share their experiences, their perspectives and their insights. The camaraderie of learning and socializing with other Beechcraft owners during the weekend is invaluable. In addition, attending a weekend clinic each year can have a positive impact on your insurance rates.”

To learn more about the program or to sign up for an upcoming clinic, visit their website at:

Bonanza & Baron Pilot Training Program

Another option Beechcraft owners have for recurrent training or just elective continuing education is the Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program (BPPP). Not to be confused with the BPT weekend program, the BPPP is primarily based online with an option to fly after course completion with an ABS designated flight instructor.

This online course is offered free of charge to all American Bonanza Society members. In addition to increasing your skills and knowledge, completing the course may also earn you a significant insurance discount.

Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program (BPPP)

The BPPP offers two course options, The Beechcraft Systems, Procedures and Techniques Course (“BPPP Initial”), and the The Beechcraft Pilot Skills Enhancement Course (“BPPP Recurrent”). Both courses are designed to help you better understand your aircraft by studying the systems, learning emergency procedure techniques and discussing critical decision.

The Beechcraft Systems, Procedures and Techniques Course (“BPPP Initial”) goes through your aircraft’s system, discusses how to better use them in normal, abnormal, and emergency situations.

The Beechcraft Pilot Skills Enhancement Course (“BPPP Recurrent”) teaches advanced techniques for emergency procedures, stalls and angel of attack, and reviews special use airspace.

According to the website, “BPPP instruction consists of online learning done at your own pace, followed by approximately four hours of flight instruction in your Beechcraft conducted by an expert, BPPP-standardized flight instructor, you schedule at your convenience near your home or desired training location.”

More information about the BPPP programs can be found on their website at:

Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program


A36 Bonanza D’Shannon Exhaust Install

If you’ve been around Beechcraft airplanes for any length of times you’ve probably heard of D’Shannon Aviation. Double M Aviation recently had the opportunity to install one of their Genesis Free Flow Exhaust systems on a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. There was a rather long lead time on the exhaust since the owner had ordered them before production had even started, but once we received the call that parts were on their way, they arrived within the week.

Next step…bring the airplane in for an upgrade!

The install went smoothly. Instructions were clear and direct, and install was clean and straight forward. Surprisingly, even the paperwork portion of the install was relatively effortless. In my experience there’s no such thing as an easy field approval, but D’Shannon pulled it off. They took care of the providing me with all the documentation, including the signed 8110-3 we needed to approve the install.

With exhaust installed and the airplane paperwork legal, it was time for the true test of the exhaust system. D’Shannon lists the features of their exhaust system as:

  • Equal length primary header tubes and proprietary merge collectors.
  • Smooth radius bends.
  • Elimination of welding and weld points to allow more efficient evacuation flow of exhaust gases, yielding more horsepower.
  • Largest diameter tubes feasible.
  • Collectors and tailpipes designed to scavenge exhaust pressure.
  • Material chosen for maximum durability and ease of installation.
  • Exterior ceramic coating to protect engine and compartment from additional heat transfer, causing the heat to accelerate through the pipes.

It was time to see if their fancy new design actually made any difference. The result? The owner loved it! He felt the time and money were certainly worth the investment into his aircraft.

Interested in upgrading your Bonanza or Baron? Or just looking to do routine maintenance and inspections? Double M Aviation always welcomes to opportunity to provide an estimate and discuss how we can provide quality aircraft maintenance with as little down time as possible. With the added bonus of being an ABS Repair Station, you can be confident that your aircraft will be serviced to the highest standards of care and maintenance.

Piper Cheyenne Service and Repair

Piper aircraft maintenance central florida 001

Piper Cheyenne Service Center in Central Florida – Just like their owners, airplanes are as varied and unique as one could imagine. Piper Cheyenne 95DR is a perfect example.

While many Piper Cheyenne’s in use today can be found transporting business executives from one location to another, 95DR has a unique job. This plane is flown as a Medical Air Transport. However, just like all other aircraft, this Cheyenne has required inspections which are just as important as the critical cargo it  holds.

During it’s most recent Event 1 & 2 inspection (the Cheyenne equivalent of an annual inspection) at Double M Aviation, Aviation Interiors, Inc. installed a non-skid, easy to clean, (but of course, still FAR Part 135 approved) flooring. This new flooring replaces the standard carpet you would find in most jets, allowing for a more sanitary environment for crew and passengers.

piper aircraft maintenance central florida 006

Of course, just because this Cheyenne is a work horse, doesn’t mean she can’t work in style. The upgraded avionics system and clean and shiny exterior are all part of the package, allowing this aircraft to be utilized to it’s full capabilities.

piper aircraft maintenance central florida

Looking for a Piper Cheyenne Service Center in Central Florida? Learn more about Double M Aviation’s extensive list of capabilities on the Services page of our website.

Tips & Tricks to a Low-Cost Annual Inspection

An annual inspection does not have to be a high cost, high frustration event. By including preventative maintenance, communication, and continuity into your maintenance practice, your inspection cost could be reduced. Below are six tips and tricks we recommend to keep your cost low.


1. Practice Preventative Maintenance

-If you do proper maintenance throughout the year, you won’t end up with a TON of extra, little items that have to be completed at the annual inspection. For example if you have an oil leak or a small avionics issue on your Bonanza, bring it in and get the squawks fixed.

2. Have a Times Sheet

-Know when costly items are due. This will give you a realistic expectation of what to expect at your next annual. For example, the 72 month landing gear inspection on a Beechcraft King Air is a high dollar inspection. However, it is scheduled maintenance and can be prepared for by looking ahead on your times sheet.

3. Space out costly items

-When dealing with timed items on your aircraft, it may not always pay to wait until the 11th hour to have them complied with. If you have a 10 year prop overhaul due on your Beechcraft Baron, the same time as the 500 hr mag inspection, and the 10 year fuel & oil hoses are due, make a plan to space them out over the course of several inspections to spread out the cost. Inversely, you may choose to do them all during one annual inspection, and consolidate your expenses. You’ll have one expensive event, but the others will be much lower in cost. Planning ahead and figuring out the right option for you is key.

4. Talk to your mechanic

-Discuss what your objectives for the annual are. Do you need this to be a slim annual year, or do you want everything fixed to perfection.  Airworthiness items have to be complied with regardless; However, non safety concerns such as cosmetic items can be pushed back. Make a game plan so you are both on the same page.

5. Go Fly!

-This is by far the most enjoyable tip on the list, but it doesn’t make it any less important. It is well documented that the more you fly an airplane, the better condition the engine is going to stay in. So get out there and punch some holes in the clouds.

6. Have continuity in your maintenance

-By using the same mechanic shop a relationship is built, you get to know and trust your mechanic. Often the argument to this is the benefit gained by having a “fresh set of eyes.” While this is of some value, it could be argued that the benefit of developing trust with your mechanic and allowing them to build a relationship with both you and the aircraft far outweighs the alternative.

Of course, we know time is money. Some owner’s opt to keep their airplane flying as much as possible during the year, and come to terms with the idea of one big maintenance event every 12 months. The bottom line is, figure out what works for you and your budget, then communicate with your mechanic so you’re both on the same page.


Restoration of a Cessna 414A Chancellor

Check out this Cessna 414A Chancellor’s before and after photos! Restored right here at our local airports, Lakeland and Bartow. Owned by Christophe Jouany.

Recently the Flying Magazine published an article about Christophe Jouany, and his purchase and restoration of a Twin Cessna 414A Chancellor. The whole process took  six months to complete.  The Cessna 414A was restored right here at our local airports, Lakeland and Bartow, where it was completely gutted and restored to include both modern avionics and classic interior and paint design.

Christopher Jouany a resident of Tampa, Florida first brought his aircraft to Custom Avionics at the Bartow airport. The team transformed the cockpit into a state-of-the-art glass cockpit. Which includes an impressive combination of synthetic vision, traffic awareness, weather, radar, instrument lighting, and auto pilot features all housed in a custom panel designed by Jouany.

Next, Jouany brought the Cessna 414A to Duncan Interiors, located at our home base, the Lakeland airport, where they renovated the gutted interior into a classic professional interior. With amenities including suede seats, cabinetry and carpeting, and details such as the Cessna Chancellor logo stamped into the leather seats and yokes.

The final stop for the aircraft was at Foster’s Aircraft Refinishing, also located at the Lakeland airport. Jouany decided on the paint scheme, white with blue and silver accents, and the team at Foster’s went to work creating a unique modern design.

The restoration of the Chancellor was completed in Septemeber 2014. Since then Jouany has taken many flights to Key West and to the islands he grew up in. Double M Aviation has had the privilege of working with Jouany since the restoration to ensure the aircraft continues to be maintained to his high standards. Jouany summed up his experience of going through the long process of restoration, to the Flying Magazine by saying, “I think that I now have the best Cessna 414 in the world.”

Check out the Flying Magazine’s Article on the Cessna 414A Chancellor Restoration and to see the complete photo gallery of the before and afters.

Flying Magazine Article and Photo Gallery