Dashboard Mice, Master Orifice Plug, and the Continuing Lessons of Aircraft Mechanics.

Nate's T-6 radial engine

Spring is always a juggling match between getting the farm ready for the growing season and getting the  airplane ready for summer flying. Every year, all aircraft must go through an annual inspection, so recently I flew my C-170 from Catamount Airfield down to Rutland to perform  this in-depth procedure.

I knew I was in for extra work right from the start.

Before the ripping and tearing begins...

Throughout the fall and winter, while recovering from shoulder surgery, I have not been doing much flying, so the mice decided to start hanging out in the airplane. Although I tried to dissuade them with electronic noise makers, Bounce dryer sheets, ground black pepper, traps and even DeCon…lets face it, they like airplanes as much as I do!

The first thing I noticed was a hole in the headliner next to the fuel gauge.

I then noticed little chewed up bits of insulation by the rudder peddles…OK, time to get to work!

The insulation pulled out

First I pulled out what was left of the fiberglass insulation from the firewall, (which is the bulkhead between the cockpit and engine), then I pulled down the headliner.

As a result, the airplane’s interior looks more like a utility truck instead of a luxury auto – but I am a farmer, so I  feel right at home.

The headliner, half torn down

free loading dead rodent...thats what he gets for not asking first!

My aircraft engine, with the compression tester setting on top

Besides cleaning out the interior of my plane, I also ran various tests, including pressure tests on my engine. There is a tool used to find if the lower measured pressure is within acceptable limits called a Master Orifice Tool. What a name!

master orifice plug

I also ran a compression test on a radial engine this week, (that’s the one at the top and bottom of this post, Nate’s T-6). Great fun for me, those radial engines.

Now that spring is here, flying season is fast approaching. Before long, the Cessna will be ready for 1/2 hour and 1 hour scenic flights above beautiful Vermont. We even have a newly designed gift certificate which is perfect for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, anniversaries and birthdays. Email me at wameden@gmail.com or call 802-563-2351 to book a flight!

Nate, Scott, and Will

lucky 1944 penny

"Put your faith in God and Pratt & Whitney"

Will and Scott performing a compression test on Nate's T-6

Nate's hanger

nice tail.....


2 responses to “Dashboard Mice, Master Orifice Plug, and the Continuing Lessons of Aircraft Mechanics.

  1. Poor mouse, but I would not want to fly in a plane with a free-loading mouse either.. I think you need a hanger cat… you could call him felis concolor cattus ( genus name for Catamount and latin for cat)

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