I must confess. I have “issues.” In my obsession for perfection, I frequently go too far improving, or even completely reworking, something that would be perfectly fine. I know this because all my life, as soon as I was “almost” finished designing or building something, I would find an urge to improve on it, and my Colt is no exception – except.
Some time I have to remind myself that my plane have flown many hours before I bought it, but getting intimate with it taught me that my obsession for perfection, if moderately applied, is a good thing. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the problem with the trim being too stiff. This “minor annoyance” led to the need for replacement of all empennage components. Proper lubrication schedule would eliminate this problem, so I ask why so many previous owners neglected this simple procedure.
For the most part, I am the kind of a person who reads instruction manuals only “after it smokes”; however, not when it comes to airplanes. Going through all the paperwork, which came with the plane, I did not find a comprehensive maintenance schedule document that would guide the owner in keeping the plane in a good condition. Now, an aircraft mechanic previously owned the plane, so the assumption could be that he knew what he was doing. In all fairness to him, he very likely did his best. As pilots, we employ checklists because regardless of our age, we may forget important procedures in critical phases of flight. Why not then consult an official, factory sanctioned, maintenance checklist during all maintenance work? I think the trim was one of those forgotten tiny little holes that needed some oil to go into during a routine maintenance.
I now have a checklist, and it was not even very hard to get one. A phone call to Univair Aircraft Corporation, and a $2 for an official Piper maintenance inspection document, solved my potential memory-laps problems. Don likes it too, because it guides him through the annual inspection process, and he can be confident that he did not miss a critical maintenance point.