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

Avionics Installations

Many planes are operating with radio equipment that could be as old as the aircraft itself. This older equipment, while top of the line when new, may not offer the latest features and benefits that modern technology can provide.

Some equipment may no longer be repairable due to obsolete parts and manufacturer support.

Make your time in the seat a little more comfortable. Upgrading your avionics suite to a new stack with features like stand-by frequencies will bring ease of operation and new life to your cockpit.

Call us today to learn more.

Sky Manor Air Repair
48 Sky Manor Road
Pittstown NJ  08867

More than routine maintenance

By now you are keenly aware that Sky Manor Air Repair and Avionics is your one stop shop for all of your routine maintenance and inspection needs.

Did you also know that our team has the experience and equipment to handle some of the tougher jobs as well?
Keep us in mind or refer a friend for the following services available at Sky Manor Air Repair.

• Sheet Metal Repair
• Complete Restorations
• Non-Destructive Testing
• Mods, Upgrades, and Conversions
• Warbird Maintenance

Have a special issue that needs to be addressed?
Allow our team to help.

Sky Manor Air Repair
48 Sky Manor Road
Pittstown NJ  08867

Meet Our New PEEPS!

When our business began in March 2012, we made a commitment to provide a level of customer support that would exceed that which is currently available at most GA repair facilities.

Our first goal was to create a team atmosphere by bringing in quality personnel that have a reputation among their peers as being among the best in their fields. We brought in Joe Flury, IA and former owner of Flury Air Services in Quakertown, PA, Jay Sarver, IA and Restoration Professional, and Eric Lacko, A&P with 22 years of Avionics experience. Next we invested in new equipment and upgraded the service facility in order to provide this team with the tools they needed to provide unmatched service.

Well, here we are 13 months later.  And, WOW, what a difference a year makes.  The formula that was laid out at the beginning has paid off with increased business, the FAA acceptance of our Certified Repair Station, and the addition of Marcy Mazza in the office to handle all the administrative functions.

We are now very proud to announce that we have added two more employees to the Sky Manor Air Repair roster to help serve you better.











The next time you stop by you might see a couple of new faces added to the team.  We have been so busy that a few extra hands were needed to keep up with the work.

Meet: Mike Belsito, A&P

Mike Belsito, A&P

With his experience in rotary wing aircraft, Mike brings an additional level of expertise to the Sky Manor Air Repair team.  A former Marine, Mike is very proud of his military career that lasted 8 years from 1994 – 2002.  He was a rescue swimmer and then became Crew Chief on a CH46 Sea Knight.

After the military his love of helicopters landed him a job in Zionsville, PA where he routinely worked on the helicopters for 2 prominent Philadelphia TV news stations.  From there Mike spent time as a Line Crew Manager at an aviation repair facility in Doylestown, PA where he was able to learn more about GA aircraft.

An Embry-Riddle graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Project Management, Mike currently resides in Pipersville, PA where he is pursuing his Master’s Degree and continues to work on earning his own Pilot’s License.

Meet: Jamie Marookian

Jamie Marookian

Jaime is a resident here at Sky Manor Airport.  He recently earned his pilot’s license and is now into everything airplanes!  Jamie was working in the construction industry when he heard that we were looking for some extra help and jumped at the chance to learn more about aircraft maintenance.  And yes, he literally jumped. His enthusiasm is contagious and you will surely find him springing into action from one job to the next.

His efforts will help Joe, Jay, Eric, and Mike get work done quickly by making sure that planes are open and ready for the jobs that need to be done.

So next time you’re on the ramp, or fueling up with some of the least expensive 100ll fuel in the area, please take a moment to stop by and welcome our crew.  They would love to meet you!