The Savvy Aviator #6: Trusting Saboteurs »

An alarming number of today's piston GA aircraft are in poor mechanical shape, and their owners are partly to blame. AVweb's Mike Busch describes how owners encourage poor maintenance -- sometimes through misplaced trust and sometimes through inadvertent sabotage -- and explains how you can avoid doing so. More

The Savvy Aviator #5: Owner-Assisted Annuals »

There's no better way for an owner to get savvy about his aircraft than to assist with an annual inspection. In fact, AVweb's Mike Busch strongly urges every aircraft owner to go through the process at least once, preferably early in his ownership tenure. Mike explains what's involved, and offers some alternatives for owners who simply can't spare the time. More

The Savvy Aviator #4: Debunking TBO »

Engine TBO (time between overhauls) seems to be one of the most misunderstood concepts in aviation maintenance. There are lots of TBO-related old wives tales that are widely believed by owners and mechanic alike, and they can cost owners a great deal of money. Mike Busch endeavors to clear up these misconceptions, and explain what TBO really means. More

The Savvy Aviator #3: Whom Can You Trust? »

As aviators, we often find ourselves in the position of having to trust other people with our lives, our safety, and our financial well-being. We trust air traffic controllers to keep us from hitting anything, mechanics to keep our aircraft airworthy, engine manufacturers and overhaul shops to build engines that won't quit, salesmen and brokers to help us find an aircraft to buy, insurance agents to help us protect against contingencies, and so forth. But whom can you really trust? Mike Busch offers some thoughts on that subject. More

The Savvy Aviator #2: In Quest Of The Ideal Mechanic »

There are a dozen crucial attributes that you should look for when choosing an A&P to maintain your aircraft. Realistically, however, you'll never find any one mechanic who possesses them all. AVweb's Mike Busch explains how to size up your mechanic's strengths and weaknesses, and offers a case study of how to take advantage of the strengths and overcome the weaknesses. More

The Savvy Aviator #1: From Appliance Operator to Maintenance-Savvy »

There's a lot more to aircraft ownership than knowing how to fly. In the inaugural edition of his new column, AVweb co-founder Mike Busch recounts his gradual transformation from a classic "appliance operator" to maintenance-involved owner, and finally to A&P mechanic. More

"The Savvy Aviator" Index »

An airplane owner can either be a pure operator -- turning over the keys to the mechanic for every little squawk -- or be well-informed, perceptive and shrewd in maintenance matters ... the pure definition of "savvy." AVweb co-founder Mike Busch presents this series of columns to help aircraft owners become more knowledgeable, confident and empowered to manage the operation and maintenance of their aircraft. More