Technical Stuff ...

Most of you would have seen the recent communication from the ATSB (Inspection of exhaust systems and engine firewalls, AO2017118SAN001) & (Are you protected from carbon monoxide poisoning? AO2017118SAN002) as well as CASA (AWB 02064 Issue 1 Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Piston Engine Aircraft) regarding carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. I encourage everyone to read the reports and commend the recommendation to fit an ‘Audible’ CO warning system. I have seen many aircraft where the CO Detector card has turned black or fallen off onto the floor. This indicates that some people pay them scant regard. An audible warning is hard to ignore.The sealing of the Firewalls on our Cherokee Family of aircraft isn’t complicated. Most of the older machines will have the original seals thru the firewall replaced with sealant which does the job well. The other main thing to check is the sealing ‘Boot’ on the Nose Wheel Steering Rods. The Rods connect from the Rudder Pedals thru the Firewall to the steering arm on the top of the Nose Strut. They are a rubber concertina style boot that keeps the CO out. Take a good look at these as I have found many in poor condition.

If you have an Arrow you may not be aware of Piper Service Bulletin SB1156. This recommends that the centre pivot bolt in the Nose Landing Gear Drag Brace is replaced every 500 Hours. The drag brace is the link that folds up when the gear is retracted and connects the rear of the strut to the rear of the engine mount frame. The bolt costs about $10 and is easy to replace as part of your Annual inspection.

Also while we are talking about the Arrow, remember that if you want to fit an engine oil drain valve then it must be the special ‘flush’ style. Use of a normal style valve will cause the loss of the engine oil when the gear is retracted and general unpleasantness.


A few reminders to finish off:

After using the fuel Primer make sure it is in the locked position. Failure to do so will result in rough running etc.

Avoid using pressure washers and ‘Truckwash’ to clean your aircraft. Water under pressure can get into places it shouldn’t and some detergents are caustic and can cause corrosion in a short time, especially on the engine.

Do not attempt to inflate your main landing gear struts with a normal air compressor. The struts require higher pressure air than they can provide and your strut will collapse. A ‘Strut Pump’ or High Pressure Nitrogen is required.

Maintenance Program Goals


The Australian Piper Aircraft Society Maintenance program was established for the benefit of Piper Owners and aims to:

  • Offer service clinics demonstrating tasks which pilots are authorised to do under schedule 8 of the Civil Aviation Regulations Aerofiche
  • Organise service forums with Piper owners to discuss service problems and issues
  • Convene seminars on critical service issues identified by Australia’s leading Piper maintenance organisations
  • Compile a list of maintenance organisations which Piper owners have found to provide special care for Piper aircraft
  • Compile a list of spare parts sourcing
  • Establish contact with Piper aircraft and component manufacturer
  Name Phone E-Mail
Technical Advisor Rod Shearer 0419 717 212
“APAS Tech advice” as your subject matter



About our APAS Technical Advisor..


My name is Rod Shearer.

I’ve been a member of the APAS since its inception way back when but haven’t made much of a contribution to date. Recently the position of Tech Adviser became vacant & I’m pleased to be able to help in this capacity.
My wife & I have owned a Cherokee 140 (RVK) since ’93 & have a Hangar & airstrip at our small farm near Bendigo. Somewhere along the way flying dropped off to such an extent that the old Cherokee has been on static display for some years now.

This is all related to the old time/money situation. All my working life has been as an aircraft mechanic.

After 2 years some positions opened up in Line Maintenance in Melbourne. We moved back to our place in Bendigo & I began 6 years of commuting & nights away from home.
At least there was no nightshift. I left Qantaslink around ’07 & shortly after started my own business operating from home. It has taken a lot of work to build the business up. The hangar was originally only for storage with a gravel floor. This had to have a lot of improvements before it could become a CASA approved workshop.
So for those of you still awake (or more wisely skipped the preceding paragraphs), I look forward to helping
fellow members where I can.
Please e-mail any questions you have to ensure you put “APS Tech Advice” in the subject
line or it will go in the Spam file. I will try my best to give answers within 2 or so days. If you need an answer fast you may phone me on 0419717212. As this is for Tech Advice & not emergency rescue the e-mail should be adequate in most circumstances.
Each aircraft is unique in its own way & whilst I may not be able to answer all questions off the top of my
head, I’m sure I’ll have a good idea where to look.
I plan to put a summary of the more interesting & recurring questions in the newsletter to keep us all informed.
Now, do as I say, not as I do & go fly some hours. After all, they’recalled Aeroplanes not Ground-oplanes!
Rod Shearer.