When Mandatory Service Bulletins aren’t Mandatory

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:

Happy Mother’s Day!

Margaret Phelan Taylor

Honoring Our Female Aviators

Today we will be giving 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 for female aviators was called the Women Airforce Service Pilots, 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. Let us celebrate all the amazing mothers that have shaped our lives!

female aviators

Photo credit*

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.

ADS-B Mandate, the FAA, and YOU

ADS-B Mandate

In an industry known for its alphabet soup names and never-ending abbreviations, ADS-B can quickly get lost as just another acronym. Recently, however, with the FAA’s now famous 2020 ADS-B mandate looming closer and closer, it’s becoming the buzzword that reaches from the front pages of Google to every fly-in and convention. So what exactly is ADS-B? Does it affect me, and if so, what exactly am I supposed to do about it?

While we don’t claim to be an ADS-B expert (let’s be real, we did what everyone else is doing and googled this stuff!) we felt the internet wouldn’t be right until we added our two cents to the plethora of information already at your fingertips. As a result, we have attempted to answer some of the most common questions that are being asked by people just like you. By no means will this be a comprehensive list of every question ever thought up. Our goal is to simply give you the information to do a little more than just smile and nod next time someone mentions ADS-B.

What is ADS-B?

Let’s start with the basics. ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast. As far as we can figure, a bunch of engineers didn’t feel like giving this thing a real name, so instead they just listed out everything the system does and called it a day. Once you look at it from that perspective, the name oddly beings to make sense. Let’s start with the “A”
“Automatic” – This system independently gathers information via the GPS that relates to the aircrafts position and then broadcasts that information to ATC. No pilot input is required.
“Dependent” – while no direct pilot input is required, the system does rely on the aircraft’s navigation system to provide it with all the data it uses, therefore making it dependent on the other systems in the aircraft.
“Surveillance” – at the core of its existence, ADS-B is a system designed to collect data, and then use that data to provide surveillance information to both ATC and any other nearby aircraft properly equipped to interpret said surveillance.
“Broadcast” – The unit broadcasts this information so that anyone with the proper equipment, a little know-how, and the desire to snoop on your aircraft’s activities have all the data they need. It’s not like privacy was really a common thing in aviation anyways.

With the basics covered we can move on to the two parts of ADS-B, ADS-B Out and In.

What is the difference between ADS Out and In?

The Out and In functions of the ADS-B unit are exponentially less confusing than ADS-B itself. They essentially do exactly what it sounds like they do. ADS-B Out transmits information OUT of the aircraft to ATC and any other party equipped to receive the information. ADS-B In allows the aircraft to take in what ATC and other ADS-B Out equipped aircraft are transmitting out. The only real reason to highlight the differences in ADS-B In/Out is that the FAA mandate only applies to your aircraft’s ability to spit out information via ADS-B Out. If you want your aircraft to be able to intake any of this information, you’re on your own.

So now we know what ADS-B is, and that ADS-B Out is the only portion that is set to become the FAA’s newest pet peeve. Now for the real question: Who exactly is required to comply with this new mandate?

Who does the 2020 FAA mandate apply to?
The answer is pretty simple. According to the FAA, any aircraft flying in airspace that requires a Mode-C Transponder (typically considered to be any area within and above Class C airspace) will be required to have functional ADS-B Out capabilities. There has been some discussion as to what exactly qualifies as “within and above,” but we’ll leave that subject to the pros on the message boards for now.

How can I comply with the new ADS-B requirements?

One of the most difficult aspects regarding compliance is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution to accomplish compliance with the new regs. Thanks to the ever prevalent avionics updates and after-market mods, no two cockpits are the same, and what works for one system may not work for another. Not to mention the fact that the each individuals idea of “compliance” will run the gamete of doing the bare minimum necessary for compliance to seeing this as a reason to have a complete panel overhaul.

From Garmin to Avidyne, every avionics company out there has their own unique twist on what they can do to help you reach a state of compliance with the mandate. Below are links to some of the most popular solutions for ADS-B. Take some time, educate yourself on what is available, and when all else fails, consult the professionals, also known as your friendly, neighborhood avionics shop.

Avidyne Solutions

Aspen Avionics Solutions

Navworx Solutions

Trig Avionics solutions

Free flight systems

L3 Lynx

Flight star (Lear 40/45)
Also, we found that if you already have some Garmin products installed, their website offers a quiz style planning tool that will guide you in figuring out which of their solutions is right for you.

We promise that no matter when you need service, we will have a technician on call for no extra fees. No call out fee, no extra service fees, just quality service on your schedule at our normal shop rates. Whether it’s an AOG service call or just needing your oil changed outside of business hours, Double M Aviation wants to be your first and last call. Contact us today.

The Overlooked Key to a Safe Aircraft

A couple years ago I had a King Air in maintenance at a brand facility. My experience with larger, chain maintenance facilities was limited to having a few friends that worked at some of these facilities as mechanics. I had heard them lament the excessive amounts of paperwork and procedures that inevitably seem to plague any shop of a larger size, but I didn’t really understand the problem until I experienced it myself.

The aircraft was dropped off at the shop for maintenance early in the week, and being used to working with a smaller shops and not wanting to be considered a nag, I waited patiently for a phone call with the results of a preliminary inspection so I’d know what we would be expecting for this maintenance event. I waited, and waited, and then waited a bit more, becoming slight concerned and then agitated as the first week, then the second week rolled past. Finally, worried that perhaps they did not have my phone number, I tried to call and get an update. After being handed off several times to various people who could not answer my general questions, I was informed that the person I needed to talk to was on vacation, but would be back at the end of the week. I agreed to leave a voice mail and wait.

Over the next week I tried multiple times to get someone on the phone that could give me an actual update on the aircraft. Every time it seemed someone was out sick, out to lunch, or just out of the office for the moment, and I was assured I’d be called back. Never happened.

Finally, I decided the only way to ensure my airplane was actually undergoing some kind of maintenance inspection, was to show up, unannounced at the maintenance facility. Donning my fatigues and black face paint in preparation for my guerrilla warfare style sneak attack, I made my way to the shop early in the morning, hoping to catch someone unawares between their morning coffee break and early afternoon lunch. By this time my mental picture of the work going on in this shop tended more towards donut breaks and long drawn out board meetings, than any actual wrench turning. So when I arrived and found 20 plus mechanics dutifully working on airplanes, I honestly was a bit surprised.

After a brief wait for the front desk to bring someone to guide me through the expansive shop, we found my aircraft, with no one working on it at the moment. It was obvious that some work had been done, but none of the mechanics were present for me to be able to talk to or question about the progress. The lead for the project was busy elsewhere as well, so I had to satisfy myself with the evidence that at least portions of the aircraft had been taken apart and were, hopefully, in the middle of inspection.

Over the next couple of months, it was a constant dance with the shop, sometimes getting a phone call back days after I left a voicemail, and occasionally getting to talk to someone that at one point had put a wrench on the airplane, but the majority of the time was spent in frustrated silence wondering about the progress on my airplane. Eventually the inspection was finished and the aircraft put back into service. The maintenance was quality work, albeit much more lengthy than I felt it should have been, and of course more expensive than I was used to, but it was finished.

I spent the next couple months wondering why this maintenance event had left such a bad taste in my mouth. Was it expensive? Yes, but I knew that going in to it. Had it seemed to take an exorbitant amount of time to complete the inspection? Also yes, but once again, not the main cause of my frustration and disappointment. After a conversation with a friend lamenting our experiences at these brand name shops, I felt I was finally able to put my finger on the issue.

No one there cared about me. That may seem a bit self-absorbed, but it was the truth. I got into aviation, not just because I love airplanes, but also because aviation (especially general aviation) is a close knit little family where everyone shares a similar passion. I love spending time out at the airport talking shop or arguing over a favorite airplane’s pros and cons. You create a rapport with the people at your airport and at your maintenance shop. At this shop however, there was no desire to create a relationship with me or my aircraft.
As we started Double M Aviation, we discussed what things were important to us, and due to our various experiences we all felt that one of the things we wanted to do was create a relationship with the owners and their airplanes. Airplanes are great, we all love them or we wouldn’t be doing the jobs we do now, but people are more important. Hearing what they have to say and really listening, both to the pilot and the airplane. Creating an atmosphere where learning is encouraged, questions can be asked and answered, and people feel welcome is a crucial step in providing quality maintenance. Creating trust between a pilot and mechanic is invaluable, but the only way to truly develop that trust is through creating a genuine relationship over time.

We want every pilot or owner to have the ability to show up at the shop anytime and talk to the mechanic who is working on his aircraft. To be able to see the steps in the process and have them explained to him. We encourage every owner to be as involved or as uninvolved in the maintenance process as they see fit.
As a smaller shop, we have the luxury of getting to know our customers on a personal basis. Mike Naab, the owner of Double M Aviation, inspects every aircraft before personally taking it on a post maintenance test flight. He is creating a relationship, not just with the owner, but with the aircraft. Learning its quirks so that the next time it is in for maintenance we not only know the aircraft better, but can use that knowledge to more quickly and efficiently determine the issue, and get the airplane back in the air.

For us, relationship isn’t just a cool idea, it’s a critical part of providing safe, quality maintenance for the aircraft and its owner.

Contact us for the service of your aircraft…