Benefits of Prop Balancing

Having a properly balanced prop will not only improve engine performance and fuel economy,
but it will also prevent engine and airframe damage over time.

Can you feel a vibration in your aircraft while flying? Maybe it is so very slight, hardly noticeable. In fact, you may have even gotten used to it as just being one of those things. Many times the root cause of the vibration is coming from the propeller being off balance.

Picture a ceiling fan spinning slowly and swaying back and forth. The reason for this sway is due to one blade being heavier than the others. Increase the fan speed and the swaying will turn into vibration.

In your plane this imbalance can cause pre-mature prop shaft bearing wear, crankshaft problems, and places unnecessary stress on the airframe causing cracks and loosening hardware. Let’s not also forget about the fuel cost concerns as well due to this inefficient prop to engine relationship.

A prop balancing service will level the weight of each blade and remove that unnecessary vibration improving engine performance, fuel economy, and extending the life of your machine.

Have more questions about this? Call Sky Manor Air Repair at 908-996-0541 and speak to one of our IAs. We would be happy to help you out.

Prop balancing service is now being scheduled. Make your appointment today!

Sky Manor Air Repair
48 Sky Manor Road
Pittstown NJ 08867

Continental Engines Equipped with Superior Air Parts Cylinders Affected by New AD on 4/25/14

This month’s newsletter covers a new AD issuance that may affect you, if your aircraft is equipped with a Continental 470, 520, or 550 engine. Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-05-29 will go into effect April 25, 2014, advising inspection and replacement details on certain Part Number (p/n) Investment Cast Cylinder assemblies manufactured by Superior Air Parts. We must state that this will ONLY affect certain cylinders that are installed on the engine models noted herein, but it is incumbent upon you, the owner, to do your research before this AD has a chance to bite you. We also state that this AD replaces the earlier AD covering this subject that was issued in 2009. This time, though, there is a lot more potentially at stake.

In essence, the 2014 AD states that certain cylinders made by Superior, that have greater than 750 time-in-service hours on them, must now be checked every 50 flight hours until TBO (no matter if Part 91 or not), and at TBO they must be changed out.

OR, if the cylinders have been installed on the engine for a period of 12 calendar years or longer, the cylinder must be changed out immediately no matter the time in service hours on the engine.

Therefore, let’s say that you are at TBO, but you are a Part 91 operator, and your plane goes into annual. At that time, if you have cylinders that fall into this AD, you have no choice but to replace those that are affected. It will not matter if they have good compression, etc., they must be replaced.

As a different and in some cases more plausible, example; let’s say your aircraft has just 500 hour’s time-in-service on the engine and it is running beautifully. You take it in for annual, compression looks good, and etc.
All’s good, correct? No it is not. If that engine has any of the affected cylinders and those cylinders are over twelve (12) years old, the aircraft is grounded and unairworthy until the cylinders are replaced. Bad one? You bet. We just found a Beech V35B on the field that met this second scenario. A bit of a shock to the owner, for sure!

Additionally, if a calendar date or hour time in service cannot be established on any affected cylinder, then the cylinder(s) MUST be removed from service.

The FAA says that this AD affects potentially over 6,000 engines. How many specifically is not known now, but it would really be worth your while to have your logs checked to be sure the p/n listed is not on your aircraft. If this information cannot be found, then a visual inspection of all cylinders would be necessary to ensure that you do not have the P/N listed. This does involve the removal of each valve cover as the p/n information is found there.

We do not like being the bearer of potentially bad news! However, our job is to make sure you are SAFE and in compliance. Being the messenger is not always pleasant, but it is necessary. Should you have any questions regarding any of this, call Joe at 908-996-0541 and he can assist you with the answers. We are prepared to assist in getting you turned around and flying again should you have an aircraft that is affected.

To read the FAA Airworthiness Directive, Click Here.

For more details, contact the professionals at:
Sky Manor Air Repair
Located at Sky Manor Airport (N40)
48 Sky Manor Road
Pittstown NJ 08867

AEA Partners with NextGen GA Fund to help Aircraft Owners Finance NextGen Installations

So reads a recent news release from the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) dated January 13th, 2014.

The AEA has teamed up with the NextGen GA Fund to accelerate the rollout of NextGen by providing access to quick, affordable financial incentives to aid aircraft owners.

The NextGen Fund will finance NextGen installations, using stipulated equipage families to include WAAS-capable GPS, ADS-B In, ADS-B Out, data communications, SWIM, flat-panel displays, antennas, electronic components, instrument panel modifications, and installation and certification costs.

More information will be available in the coming months detailing how member repair stations, of which Sky Manor Avionics is one, will be able to quickly and seamlessly refer customers to the NextGen GA Fund as a financing alternative to help provide the necessary resources in making important upgrades to your GA aircraft.
So stay tuned for more information.

To read the full news release from the AEA, Click Here.

But what is NextGen and who does it affect?

NextGen is the Next Generation of air traffic control. It is a shift from the traditional ground based system of air traffic control to a Global Positioning System, or satellite, based system. A key component of the NextGen system is a new technology called Automatic Dependant Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), where aircraft equipped with GPS receivers can transmit their location and altitude to other nearby aircraft and to air traffic control.

In essence, NextGen will allow more aircraft to safely fly closer together on more direct routes by eliminating many VORs. An added benefit will be savings in both time and fuel costs. This shift to NextGen does not affect VFR aircraft.

As per an AOPA report, this shift to NextGen will also include the complete overhaul of radar surveillance. Although the FAA does plan to retain primary radar for homeland defense purposes, many of today’s secondary surveillance radars will be shut down in the future.

Information for this report was obtained from:
AOPA Advocacy

For additional information, please contact the Sky Manor Air Repair and Avionics team at:

Securing Mobile Devices in the Cockpit

As many of you already know, today’s smartphones and tablets are now giving the GA pilot advantages that year’s ago were only available to high end aircraft. These devices can be used as your digital flight charts and navigation tools. Plus, they can be used for many other useful applications like in-flight data recording or turning your smartphone into your onboard weather radar.

However, the question becomes, where should they be put for safe and easy access? Resting them on your lap may be convenient at first, but after a little turbulence this option quickly proves inefficient. Keep in mind that it is not very practical to affix these devices in a way that is not safe either.

For instance, it is probably not a good idea to use tape, glue, or bubble gum to attach your device to the dashboard; failure of which during flight could cause a distraction at least or an injury at worst.

Consider mounting them securely using some sort of gimbal style mounting hardware. These devices offer a convenient means of locating your tablet out of the way of other instruments yet remain easily within reach. Some popular options include mechanical suction cups mounted to the windshield, clamps mounted to the yoke, or gimbal bases mounted to anywhere out of the way.






Other choices might include a leg mount attachment for your tablet like the AppStrap, Apple iPad Kneeboard, or other similar devices. These products do not require anything mounted to the dash or windscreen yet provide a good way to secure your tablet without fear of it sliding around during flight.

When determining where to attach your mount of choice, please make sure that there is clearance for adequate control movement at the extreme ranges of motion. All too often we find mounts that interfere with the movement of the controls. Remember, this new technology is fun to use – but you still need to fly the plane. Make sure that all your instruments are visible, switches easily accessible, and controls are fully functional. Then you can enjoy all the fun that tablets and smartphones can provide in the cockpit.

Perhaps you have come up with a special mounting set-up that works for you. Send us a picture and we will share it in next month’s issue.

Email us at

We’re Growing!

It’s been one very short year since we added Avionics to the Sky Manor Air Repair product offering. During that time, business has grown exponentially and we have been busting at the seams for space.

But not any longer! Come check out our new Avionics Repair Hangar!

This new building, positioned right beside our existing maintenance hangar, will give us more room for indoor avionics installations and upgrades. So no matter the weather outside your plane will be safe, sound, and warm inside.

Stop in soon. We would love to show you around.

To make a service appointment or to learn more about our avionics and other services, please contact the Sky Manor Air Repair and Avionics team today.

908-996-0541 or email us at

Cold Weather Flying Tips

Flying this Winter?

The winter of 2013-14 will no doubt be remembered for quite some time as the coldest in recent memory. But the cold does not have to keep you grounded this winter. Here are a few tips to keep your cold weather engine starts a little easier and your feet a little warmer:

Make sure your battery is strong. If the battery is older, consider a replacement to ensure good starting in any temperature. Battery tenders are an excellent way to keep your battery charged up, warm, and ready to go. They can be installed on your plane. Simply run an extension cord from outlet to plane and the battery tender will keep your battery topped off and ready to go.

Don’t let a cold cabin keep you grounded this winter. Newer cabin heaters are more efficient at keeping you and your passengers comfortable. Ask us about installing one on your plane.

Install an engine pre-heater. This option is less expensive than renting a heated hangar. If you have access to an electrical supply, this is an excellent solution. Ask our team which system is right for your aircraft.

Contact the Sky Manor Air Repair Service Team to learn more.
908-996-0541 or email us at

Performance Adding Tip, Part 2

Last month we tackled cleaning and how keeping your aircraft free of dirt and grime will surely increase the speed of your aircraft.

Now that your arms and shoulders have recovered from all of that cleaning and waxing, we will cover another, often overlooked, aspect of flight performance – rigging.

More Speed Through Proper Rigging

Speed. We spoke of it last month and learned that something as simple as a cleaning can add very measureable performance to your aircraft. That’s the first step. But there is certainly more that can be done to bring your plane back to new performance – and it does not involve doing anything to the engine.

Have you given any thought to the way your plane flies through the air?

It may be flying in a forward direction, but with the nose angled to the left or right, is it really flying straight? If a plane isn’t flying straight it creates unnecessary drag which slows its speed down. It is quite possible that this is the result of an improperly rigged plane.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

• Do you need to use rudder trim to keep the nose straight or the wings level?
• Is the ball on your turn and bank indicator not centered?
If you answered yes, then it is quite likely that your airplane is in need of a rigging adjustment.

While there are plenty of speed mods available on the market to squeak out that extra knot or two, the first thing that they recommend would be to have the plane properly rigged. The beauty is that this may be the only thing your plane needed in the first place. A properly rigged plane could pick up as much as 5-7 knots by just making it fly straight.

So, between giving your plane a good, thorough cleaning and having it track correctly through the air with proper rigging, can you imagine the performance that could be gained? It would be like having a brand new plane all over again.

As with anything, however, there are limitations. Please be sure to contact our team at Sky Manor Air Repair for more detailed information on the options available for your plane.

Contact us today at 908-996-0541
or email us at

Easy Performance Adding Tip – Part 1

Whether it’s the cars we drive or the planes we fly, there is always that desire to see how much performance we can get out of our machines. And there is always some fuel additive or engine add-on that is designed to do just that…for a price.

But did you know that something as basic as a wash and wax can squeak measurable amounts of speed and performance from your aircraft? And it doesn’t cost much more than a little of your time and some elbow grease.

An article this past week in AOPA highlights this very fact.
Click here to read more.

Then, if you were surprised by the changes after a simple cleaning, and are wondering what else is available to increase performance from your plane, then contact us for recommendations on mechanical performance products specific to your aircraft.

Sky Manor Air Repair and Avionics

How often should engine oil be changed?

This is indeed the age old aviation question. From a maintenance point of view it is easy to say, “Read your engine owner’s manual.” Everything you need to know is in there. However, be sure to read it carefully and fully.

Lycoming and Continental manuals will advise that engine oil should be changed every 50 hours on engines with filters and every 25 hours on engines that do not have filters. But this rule is not hard and fast. Most GA aircraft are flown less than 50 hours a year and can sit for long periods of time between uses. Therefore, it is important to change the oil every 4 months as opposed to the elapsed time on the Hobbs meter.

Every time you run the engine small amounts of carbon and other contaminants enter the oil. This increases the acidity of the oil. When these contaminants are allowed to sit in contact with the metal parts of the crankcase for long periods of time, they can cause corrosion. Additionally, condensation in the crank case due to high humidity, the simple heating and cooling effects of running the engine, or climate changes during periods of outdoor storage can result in rust that develops on the internal engine components. This rust is washed away by the flow of oil through the engine during the next start up. However, these fine rust particles will act like sand paper against the cylinder walls of the engine. The filter by its nature will capture most of this. But, leaving this contaminated oil in the engine will surely cause unnecessary wear and shorten the TBO. The point is, over time the chemical composition of the oil breaks down and is no longer providing the protection that it is designed to do.

So, whether it’s your plane, the sports car that only gets used on “special” days, or any other piece of equipment that requires oil changes, be the prudent owner and take care of your equipment by doing frequent oil changes. The small amount invested now could save you thousands in possible engine work later.

While this report only highlights a few of the reasons for frequent oil changes, more detailed information can be found by reviewing the manufacturer’s recommendations. Please click on the following links for more information.

Continental – Oil and Filter Change Intervals
Lycoming – Oil and Filter Change Intervals

For questions or to learn more, contact the maintenance team at: 
Sky Manor Air Repair and Avionics at 908-996-0541.

Maintenance Tip: Cleans Things Up!

Flying weather is definitely here now. Warm temps and long evenings make this the best time of year to take to the skies.

Show off your pride and joy by cleaning things up and making it shine! This month we offer some ideas on things that you can do yourself to keep your plane looking it’s best.

Whether its polishing the glass, cleaning or waxing the skins, or simply going through and getting rid of excess clutter in the cockpit, keeping our planes clean and tidy is a task that any aircraft owner can do.

For some excellent advice from AOPA on how to ensure that you have an enjoyable flying season ahead, click here!

Should you have questions about this or anything else, please feel free to call us anytime at 908-996-0541.

Sky Manor Air Repair
48 Sky Manor Road
Pittstown NJ  08867