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Quiz: Can You Fix It Yourself?

As a private pilot (or higher), you can perform 'preventive maintenance' on your plane. But what parts of your plane can you fix? It's time to find out...


  1. 1) You start preflighting your airplane, and...your battery is dead. Can you replace it yourself?

    Part 43 Appendix A (c) (24) says you can replace and service the battery yourself.

    Part 43 Appendix A (c) (24) says you can replace and service the battery yourself.

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  2. 2) Your right main tire is low on air. Can you fill it up yourself?

    Part 43 Appendix A (c) (1) allows you to remove, install, and repair landing gear tires under preventive maintenance.

    Part 43 Appendix A (c) (1) allows you to remove, install, and repair landing gear tires under preventive maintenance.

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  3. 3) You've been using a gravel runway, and your aluminum propeller is starting to get some small nicks in it. Assuming you have the equipment to fix the blades, can you smooth them out yourself?

    This is classified as a 'propeller major repair' under Part 43 Appendix A (b) (3). Any repairs to a propeller blade need to be done by a mechanic.

    This is classified as a 'propeller major repair' under Part 43 Appendix A (b) (3). Any repairs to a propeller blade need to be done by a mechanic.

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  4. 4) During run-up, you discover one of your spark plugs is fouled, and you can't burn it off by leaning the mixture. Can you remove the spark plug and replace it yourself?

    Part 43 Appendix A (c) (20) says replacing or cleaning spark plugs and setting of spark plug gap clearance can be done as preventive maintenance.

    Part 43 Appendix A (c) (20) says replacing or cleaning spark plugs and setting of spark plug gap clearance can be done as preventive maintenance.

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  5. 5) You check the oil during preflight and see that it's a half-quart low. Can you add the oil yourself?

    Part 43 Appendix A (c) (6) says lubrication not requiring disassembly other than removal of nonstructural items such as cover plates, cowlings, and fairings is preventive maintenance.

    Part 43 Appendix A (c) (6) says lubrication not requiring disassembly other than removal of nonstructural items such as cover plates, cowlings, and fairings is preventive maintenance.

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  6. 6) You're pushing your plane back into the hangar, and you accidentally bump the right aileron into the hangar wall, putting a small dent in the metal. Can you take the aileron off and straighten it out yourself?

    Repair of a control surface is considered a major repair, and needs to be done by a mechanic.

    Repair of a control surface is considered a major repair, and needs to be done by a mechanic.

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Well, you could use a little work in the preventive maintenance department...

You scored % Better luck next time.

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Not bad, you're just about ready to fix your plane...

You scored % Well done.

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Are you sure you aren't a mechanic? Because you definitely know your preventive maintenance.

You scored % Well done.

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