While doing the research for this month’s Used Aircraft Guide, we noticed a trend we’ve seen before: There are plenty of low-time and late-model Aviat Huskies on the market and there might be an underlying reason.
As capable and well built as the Husky is, we’ve seen plenty of owners (many who were new to tailwheels) unload beautiful, hardly used ones simply because the airplane had, dare we say, too much performance. Yes, groundloops will scare the hell out of you. But in the hands of the well-trained qualified pilot who respects it and their own skills, a Husky does a whole lot pretty darned well. It’s all about the built-in utility.
Backwoods utility airplanes are optimized to use short, unimproved fields without drama or damage, carry lots of stuff, require little maintenance and be field-repairable. A Husky fits that description, but it certainly isn’t alone.
Over the years, types like Piper’s Super Cub, the Maule series and the American Champion Scout have come to exemplify a utility, niche airplane. All three were originally designed decades ago and have changed little since, fully depreciating their design and engineering costs.
Into this niche came the Aviat (formerly Christen) Husky, unapologetically designed with the Super Cub firmly in mind. The result is a Part 23-certificated, well-built and good-performing airplane successfully competing against its forebears. In fact, its success is all the more remarkable since it was designed and certificated in the 1980s, something of a dark age for new general aviation designs.
Utility airplanes, of course, are put to many different uses, including romantic bush flying, plus more mundane pursuits like pipeline patrol, law enforcement, ranching and even training. By all accounts, the Aviat Husky tackles all these challenges with equal aplomb, making it worth consideration by anyone looking into buying a durable utility airplane.
Christen entered the market in the early 1970s, making specialized accessories—inverted oil systems, fuel pumps and restraint systems—for aerobatic airplanes. The company’s products have been of uniformly high quality. Lycoming liked the inverted oil system so much it bought the system and offered it as a factory part.
But building aerobatic airplane components wasn’t enough; Christen branched out into the homebuilt market with the Christen Eagle, a highly capable kit-built aerobatic biplane in the mold of the Pitts Special. The Eagle was significant in many ways, not least for its highly professional, complete and detail-oriented kit packaging, complete with an extensive, step-by-step manual. This approach to building airplanes—packaging them as extensive kits—is now commonplace. At the time, however, homebuilding was generally a matter of buying plans, renting a hangar, ordering materials and figuring it out yourself.
In 1982, Frank Christensen purchased the Pitts type certificates, along with the factory, effectively cornering the contemporary market for aerobatic biplanes. Thanks to better-performing monoplane designs from builders like Extra and Sukhoi, the Pitts/Eagle domination of aerobatic competition’s upper end is no more. But, the Pitts was star of the show for a time; it remains viable and continues in production.Recognizing the market for aerobatic airplanes is small, Christensen nonetheless had a factory, a workforce skilled in building tube-and-fabric airplanes and a family of solid, proven products. But, he needed a new product and saw opportunity in the bush plane market.
At the time, the only competitor being manufactured was the Maule and—despite that company’s seeming immunity to the ills plaguing the rest of the industry from time to time—precious few of them were rolling out the doors. After trying to buy rights to the Super Cub, the Champion line and the Interstate/Arctic Tern, Christensen reportedly considered the asking prices (including the assumption of product liability for previously produced airplanes) unrealistic.
The answer? Build an all-new airplane. Christensen and designer/engineer E. H. “Herb” Andersen Jr. determined they could develop and certify their own design at lower cost and in less time than buying and producing an existing product. So that’s what they did, bringing the initial A-1 Husky from conception to FAA certification in 18 months.
Since the costs of development and certification have stopped many would-be aircraft manufacturers dead in their tracks, this tale says something about the company’s management. Equally revealing is the amazingly short time it took to bring the Husky to market. Even so, the Husky didn’t set the world on fire: Only 68 were produced the first year and an average of 30 to 40 annually since.
The initial 1800-pound A-1 model was replaced by the A-1A and A-1B in 1999. The Husky A-1A featured a 90-pound gross weight boost, to 1890 pounds, while the A-1B’s gross was 2000 pounds. To this point, all three models mounted a carbureted 180-HP Lycoming O-360 engine, turning a Hartzell constant-speed prop. That’s in contrast to an unmodified Super Cub, with its 150 HP and a fixed-pitch prop.
Both the A-1A and A-1B were produced until the 2002 model year, when the A-1A was discontinued. In 2007, Aviat obtained FAA certification of the A-1C Husky, which features a 2200-pound gross weight, an increase of 200 pounds over the A-1B. Structural modifications included new landing gear, a five-leaf tail spring, a new wing with extended flaps and spade-less ailerons, plus a new wing-flap control handle.
Additionally, according to the FAA type certificate, the new model’s CG envelope was “reduced forward and expanded aft.” The A-1C comes with a choice of the standard 180-HP O-360 or a fuel-injected IO-360 Lycoming pumping out 200 HP. The A-1B was discontinued as of the 2008 model year, ushering in the current-production A-1C.
Keeping It Simple
When designing their new airplane, Christensen and Andersen kept one eye focused sharply on the Super Cub. The pair’s design objectives included good short- and rough-field performance; ruggedness, accessibility and serviceability to simplify support in primitive conditions; outstanding slow-speed handling coupled with docile stall characteristics; good endurance and reasonable cruise capability.
By all accounts, they succeeded: The Husky is a conventional two-tandem-seat taildragger that, frankly, looks just like a Super Cub. That’s not a bad thing: The Super Cub has remained popular for decades, for good reason.
In terms of materials and structure also, the Husky is straightforward. The fuselage is welded 4130 chrome/moly tubular steel with a full-depth aft fuselage for greater strength. Except for the A-1C-200, the aircraft is powered by either a Lycoming O-360-C1G (early models) or an O-360-A1P (1994 and later models). This Lycoming is widely acknowledged to be almost indestructible. The engine cowling and forward fuselage are skinned with aluminum. The aft fuselage and flying surfaces are covered with polyester; the seams are taped with cotton and fastened to the structure by oversized pop rivets.
One clear advantage new-airplane designers have is the ability to examine similar designs and correct any shortcomings cropping up over time. For example, rather than the problematic wood spars Champion used, the Husky’s wings employ dual aluminum spars and aluminum ribs. They are supported by fore and aft struts, which were designed to eliminate corrosion and other problems encountered over the years in a large number of strut-braced airplanes, including certain Piper and Taylorcraft models, for example.
To facilitate maintenance, a Husky’s nose bowl is split to permit its removal without touching the propeller; the cowl has large doors on either side for easy engine compartment access (good for preflights). Moving aft, the fuselage is metal-clad to the end of the cabin and features several removable panels. The aft fuselage, which includes the battery bay, is accessible through a large panel on the port side. (A baggage door was optional, so not all have one.)
The landing gear is conventional in more ways than one: It uses reliable, proven bungees for shock absorption, and mounts them inside the fuselage to reduce drag. The brakes are good and the track wide, which helps ground handling. Tundra tires are a popular add-on, making soft-field and rough-country operations much simpler.
For other terrain, all A-1s are built with float attach fittings installed. The only additions required for straight or amphibious float operations are lifting rings and a ventral fin. For the same reason, dual-puck brakes—required for the tundra tires—are standard on all aircraft. These brakes are quite good and offer plenty of stopping power. Meanwhile, the Husky is approved for both retractable and wheel-replacement skis, as well as for banner or glider tow hook installation.
Changes made to the line since the first A-1 rolled out the door have been incremental improvements, largely as a result of real-life service experience. To its credit, Aviat has designed all improvements to be field-retrofittable to existing airplanes. Since early models can be updated with the later improvements, there is no better or worse model year. As a result, one of the keys for any prospective buyer is ensuring all desired mods and any mandated changes have been performed, and to be careful of overall condition.
For a while Aviat was running an ad bragging about the Husky’s 200-foot takeoff capability. It’s since pulled the ad—something we applaud in the name of safety. For a report in the February 2016 Aviation Consumer, we flew a newer one and found that unless the airplane is stripped to minimum weight and flown by an expert, the claimed 200-foot takeoff distance is a stretch, especially on unpaved surfaces at higher elevations.
The Husky’s non-tapered wing comes with Fowler-type, slotted flaps hinged to move aft as they are deployed. Even at full—30 degree—deflection, they provide more lift than drag, making for good short-field performance. Elsewhere on the wing, attention has been paid to the ailerons, as well. They are symmetrical in section, and the leading edge has a larger radius than the wing trailing edge it abuts to maintain attached air-flow during low-speed and high angle of attack flight.
Counterbalanced aerodynamic spades hang from the bottom of the aileron leading edge on models through the A-1B; they were eliminated on the A-1C. Borrowed directly from the four-aileron Pitts, the design permits full roll authority well into the stall.
Of course, any airplane designed for utilitarian purposes should be a straightforward, forgiving airplane to fly. Although we think the Husky demands extra effort to extract all its performance, the Husky meets these objectives by all accounts. Thanks to the good aileron and rudder authority, combined with the Fowler flaps, the pilot really has to provoke the Husky to get it to bite.
Anything resembling proper stall technique results in very mild stalls and near-instant recovery. Spins are virtually impossible to get into with flaps deployed. But, when flaps are retracted, it will reward uncoordinated control input with a snap over the top in power-on stalls. It won’t spin, but the resulting spiral or corkscrew maneuver can be attention getting.
Speed builds very quickly during this exercise, and must be attended to immediately. However, almost any reaction leads to recovery. Also, during cruise in turbulent air, speed control is important at most altitudes, since indicated airspeed is fairly close to the Vno of 103 knots indicated. (Vne is 132 knots.)
After exploring stalls, a new Husky pilot will find slow flight and STOL performance are areas where the Husky really shines. Takeoff distance with full flaps is around 400 feet; landings require only 350 feet. Figure about 500 feet total over an obstacle.
Even at high density altitude, liftoff speed is reached quickly and the effective brakes help make short stops easier. The best technique for ensuring the airplane will stay on the ground is to retract the flaps during the brief landing roll.
Even max-performance takeoffs result in continuous climb. There is no sagging-off even while flaps are retracted. It is a credit to the airplane that, once a pilot is familiar with it, such performance does not require superior technique.
No-flap takeoffs require more ground run, naturally, but taking off in the three-point attitude produces a short run and healthy climbout (1500 FPM at sea level at the best rate of climb speed of 63 knots). We found that for a 2200-pound gross weight A-1B at sea level on a standard day, the ground roll portion of a normal takeoff (no flaps) is 775 feet. A max-performance takeoff with 30 degrees of flaps can result in a 580-foot ground roll on dry, paved surfaces.
Wing loading is light at 9.8 pounds per square foot, so the ride in turbulence can be bumpy. It’s an inevitable tradeoff for STOL performance. On approach, precise control of airspeed and vertical speed are important to achieve this kind of performance. Just as when flying any airplane close to its performance limits, the correct combination of alignment, sink, airspeed and attitude can be elusive at first, but once mastered results in truly impressive STOL performance.
In the hands of a qualified pilot, the Husky can be a good neighbor even at busy airports with a mix of traffic. Recommended approach speeds are very low (52 knots), which would give your typical Westchester County controller fits. But it can be flown at an indicated 100 knots right to the threshold and slowed easily to proper touchdown speed.
The best recovery technique for bounced, poorly aligned or otherwise botched approaches, at least initially, is to add power and go around. The Husky will bounce mightily and can easily get sideways—not a good way to re-contact the ground.
With full power, the airplane leaps back into the air; with just a touch, it still flies.
Otherwise, handling is typical for this class of airplane: It likes lots of rudder input, and it’s not overly twitchy. Transitioning pilots are at risk of groundloops until they have some taildragger experience. Control harmony is fairly good, which is sadly uncommon in this class of airplane. Rudder and aileron forces are linear in relation to airspeed.
Because of the bungee trim system, elevator deflection forces are fairly high, even at low speed. In fact, it trims like a heavy airplane—a little bit at a time and almost always in response to any power or attitude change. Rudder authority is good right down through low-speed flight, and the aileron spades work to maintain control at low speeds.
For a lightly wing-loaded airplane, the Husky is quite well mannered in cruise. Properly trimmed, it does not require a lot of attention to maintain course. This makes it a better instrument platform than many of its peers and some owners fly Huskies in IMC. However, that’s not the Husky’s primary mission.
The big virtue of the Husky is that even during slow flight, properly configured, the attitude of the aircraft is flat; it is flying on the wing rather than hanging on the prop. This is a big safety advantage for spotting, patrol and other low-altitude, low-speed operations, since at these speeds the Husky is not flying on the edge of a stall and the airplane very largely takes care of itself so that the pilot can safely look elsewhere. Power-on stall speed is only 33 MPH with flaps.
Tailwheel steering authority on the Husky is good, which makes ground handling simple except in high winds. A touch of differential brake swings the aircraft around briskly. The brakes are powerful: At slow taxi speeds, their overenthusiastic application will bring the tail off the ground.
Ground handling, by the way, is aided by convenient handles on both the aft fuselage and elevator. These give line personnel little excuse to mishandle the airplane when moving it around on the ramp.
As already mentioned, slow flight is the Husky’s strong suit. It was not designed as a cross-country hauler, although owners go places with it. That’s because the airplane also has a reasonable cruise speed, quite competitive with other fixed-gear airplanes of similar power.
Cruising at 55 percent power should yield 113 knots true; at 75 percent, 121 knots. Top speed at sea level is 126 knots. Listed fuel consumption at 55 percent is 7.7 GPH; at 75 percent it is 9.3 GPH. Still-air range at 55 percent is 695 miles. With power set for an airspeed of 96 knots indicated, endurance is an impressive seven hours.
Of course, going slower boosts endurance. Just ask Kris Maynard, an A-1A Husky owner. On March 1, 2008, Maynard took off from Indianapolis, Indiana, and flew his Husky along a triangular course of 753 miles, burning only 190 pounds of fuel (30 gallons) in the process and setting an internationally recognized record in a new efficiency category.
Then, Maynard flew the Husky 15 hours, three minutes and 20 seconds without refueling, covering more than 1200 statute miles. On this flight, he burned only 3.156 GPH—for 25.26 MPG—and landed with 90 minutes of fuel remaining. But after a long flight, you still have to land. With some practice, you can operate a Husky from a football field. The factory number for landing is 250 feet. Plus, it performs well on floats.
Part of this is attributed to attention to the relative angle of incidence between the floats and the wing. Float-equipped cruise at 5000 feet is a quite respectable 106 knots true.
When loading a Husky, center of gravity is rarely an issue, since the bias is toward the front end of the range with just one aboard due to the relatively large engine and constant-speed prop.
Standard useful load is 610 pounds. A full load of fuel—50 gallons usable, or 300 pounds—leaves 310 pounds of payload available. The baggage compartment behind the rear seat—reached by folding the rear seatback forward—is rated at 50 pounds. An access door is a factory option on newer aircraft.
Like many of its peers, getting into a Husky is hard to do elegantly. If you’re not willing to mount up properly, you shouldn’t be flying an airplane like this. Rather than sliding in like in a car, the pilot and passenger more or less hoist themselves aboard.
For a conventional-gear airplane, forward visibility is very good for pilots of average-to-tall height, despite the large, high wing (shorter pilots can adjust the view by using thicker seat cushions). A skylight in the overhead helps spotting traffic in turns.
Long missions in other light utility aircraft can be fatiguing, both because of the constant need to keep the airplane right side up during low-speed operation, and also because control forces—especially roll control—are high and therefore fatiguing. The Husky ranks favorably in this category, especially after pilots learn to adjust pitch forces by anticipating trim input.
One of the biggest shortcomings of the Husky, at least for tall pilots, is the front seat. It is a fixed part of the structure. All adjustments are made by changing cushions. But after an hour or two, discomfort becomes the most noticeable element of flight, overwhelming the good performance, fine visibility and relatively low control effort.
Visibility and comfort is better in the rear seat. The seat is wider, the angle of the back rest is better and there is more legroom fore and aft. One shortcoming is the lack of heat for the back-seater—not an issue in warmer climates—but certainly one to consider in colder ones. With relatively little soundproofing the noise level is high, but not so much so that owners complain about it. Headsets are, of course, a must.
The Airworthiness Directive picture for the Husky is a good one. Only two ADs are specific to the airframe, with the remainder targeting either the engine or the prop.
One, 90-20-5, applies to 1988 to 1990 models and calls for inspection of welds on the seatback and addition of reinforcements if needed. The other AD, 91-23-2, applies only to 1988 models and calls for the replacement of the carburetor air box.
There haven’t been too many squawks on the airplane, but it would be a good idea to check the stainless steel control cables for wear and look for any vibration-related problems in the baffles and cowling that might be related to the relatively rigid engine mounting.
We’re not aware of a formal type club covering the Husky. There is www.flyhusky.com, an information-sharing site and forum useful for finding Husky owner gatherings, maintenance topics, flying tips and the usual general discussions.
For its mission, it’s hard to find fault with the Husky. It does its thing remarkably well, and owners like it.
Husky Mishaps: Loss of Control
Over the years, Aviat has advertised its rugged Husky series airplanes as go-anywhere machines, notably asserting “No Runway. No Problem!” in a 2015 ad that also boasted a 200-foot takeoff distance. Our review of the 100 most recent Husky accidents indicated to us that a fair number of pilots may have taken the hype a little too literally.
Fortunately for the vast majority of those who did such things as landing in tall grass on a mountaintop and discovering that the grass hid a landing-gear-eating hole or decided to touch down in snow of uncertain depth and flipped over, the airplane is tough enough that usually the most severe injury was to pride.
We’ll come back to pilot-induced prangs after taking a look at the truly good news shown by the accident reports. First, the Husky series demonstrated what we consider to be an outstanding fuel system design. We found only two fuel-related accidents, neither of which was the fault of the machine.
Also in the positive news department: Seven accidents due to engine issues was well below what we expect to see.
No matter how macho pilots claim to be, tailwheel airplanes eat their lunches on landing and takeoff. The Husky is no exception with 30 runway loss of control accidents—nine were on takeoff—as well as five hard landings causing damage, three crashes when going around and 11 incidents when the airplane flipped after the pilot got on the brakes too hard. (We had a lot of sympathy for two of those as animals ran onto the runway.) Forty landing-related accidents out of 100 is in the mid-range for a tailwheel airplane.
Twenty-four accidents involved loss of control while maneuvering at low altitude or a low-altitude stall—often just after takeoff. We recognize that Huskies get flown at low altitude, often by pilots who have not had formal training for that hazardous activity. One pilot who was shooting coyotes from his Husky had his gun jam, so he rolled into a steep turn to reposition for another shot. He hit his own wake turbulence, lost control and flew into the ground.
We are concerned by accidents we reviewed in which a violent or dramatic roll was reported shortly after takeoff, followed by the nose pitching down and a crash, often fatal.
In evaluating the Husky’s performance in the February 2016 issue of Aviation Consumer, we outlined our concern with the factory’s claims of its takeoff performance and handling. The manual calls for keeping the airplane on the ground until reaching 53 MPH (which requires raising the tailwheel to stay on the ground)—and to leave the flaps up on all crosswind takeoffs.
However, the manual calls for full flaps for a maximum performance takeoff—and the airplane will fly off in three-point attitude at 40 MPH, near the power-on stall speed. At that speed roll control is challenging, with lots of adverse aileron yaw. Based on interviews with people we consider to be Husky experts, we are of the opinion there is a risk of uncommanded roll when taking off with full flaps in a crosswind. We recommend following the Husky manual by making all crosswind takeoffs with the flaps up and keeping the airplane on the ground until reaching 53 MPH.
McCreery Aviation has been a factory-authorized Husky dealer since 2002 and during that time I’ve sold well over 100 new Huskies and many more used ones. Our shop knows the aircraft well and I personally have over 5000 hours in type.
The Husky has few vices. Except for the earliest A-1s, the airframes are free of ADs and the non-recurrent ADs on those early airplanes have long been taken care of. The fit and finish is excellent, the airplane has few bad habits in flight (it won’t spin unless torque rolled) and newer models have a tremendous useful load (over 900 pounds) and a very wide CG envelope. It has good endurance—typically five hours, plus another hour of reserve. Later models have two baggage areas, plus the back seat is wide with a comfortable recline angle.
Properly equipped it can be flown IFR, compared to a Super Cub that’s type certificated for VFR only. The Husky is an FAR 23 aircraft and surpasses other utility aircraft of CAR 3 design in terms of safety and systems. The Husky comes standard with an altimeter and an airspeed indicator, but can be upfitted all the way to a Garmin G500/GTN750 combo or six avionics packages in between. There are lots of tire and prop options and many different paint schemes and colors were available through the years.
The airframe is chrome moly (think NASCAR roll cages). It has powerful toe brakes, the trim is reachable by the front and rear pilot and visibility is amazing out the front and the sides. If the pilot is properly seated, S-turns aren’t required while taxiing.
For most of its life the Husky has been on a constant improvement program. The ailerons and flaps were changed in 2005 to what we refer to as the “new wing,” where the ailerons went from a long shallow spaded design like in the earlier Pitts (that Aviat also builds) to a Friese-type aileron that is shorter in span but deeper in chord and 20 percent larger in area. The new wing rolls twice as fast as the old, with half the breakout force and less adverse yaw. The flaps were enlarged in span by 13 inches and it increased the full-flap rate of descent by 50 percent, so less slipping is required to get into a short field with obstacles (the airplane slips very nicely). Other improvements include four GTOW increases from the original 1988 A-1’s 1800 pounds to the current A-1C’s 2250 GTOW; increasing the size of the entry door by 12 inches; and integrating shock absorbers into the MLG, which controls bouncing and airframe shock much better and allowed fitting of bungees with a softer spring rate (that was 2012). The door was redesigned with an outside handle/lock.
There was an option for a 200-HP fuel-injected Lycoming IO-360 on 2005 and newer Huskies. Other improvements are retrofittable by an STC including the Power Flow tuned exhaust system, which dramatically increases heater output into the cabin. There are multiple prop choices that now include the Hartzell Trailblazer and MT Ultra, both of which have measurable and significant weight savings and performance increases.
With the thousands of demo flights over the years I’ve never put one on its nose and I have no idea how anyone with a reasonable level of training in the aircraft can possibly do that. Prop strikes and wing whacks happen for three reasons: lack of training, lack of respect and lack of proficiency. For someone with no tailwheel time, 15 hours for a tailwheel signoff and another 10 hours of pattern work in varied wind conditions will get you about 85 percent proficient.
If you break one, factory repairs are excellent as damaged items go into the same jigs that were used to build them originally and use the same processes to come out as finished products. Danny at the factory does great work and I have zero issues with factory-repaired damage history, other than it hurting the value just because people would rather it had none than some. Most buyers want a virgin airplane.
I have landed with up to 45 knots of wind gust and made the taxiway without a moving windbreak, plus I’ve landed in 25-knot direct crosswinds. The powerful ailerons and tons of rudder make it possible, but you’ve got to know how and when to use them (and the brakes) and how the aircraft is going to react once the tail comes down and the rudder becomes partially blanked.
In summary, the Husky can do a lot of things really well. It can be a stress-reducer, it can live at your house and fly off your pasture and you can fly with the window up and the door down. It is a fun, safe airplane that cruises at a real 120 MPH. Plus, it gets better gas mileage at that speed than my Chevy Tahoe does at 70 MPH. It can be put on straight floats, amphibious floats, skis and tundra tires up to 35 inches (up to 31-inch tires don’t require an STC).
The Husky is about as inexpensive to maintain as any certified airplane and is comfortable even for this 6-foot 4-inch, 250-pound guy.
Our special thanks to Jim Taylor for helping with some of the photos for this review and for providing the following list of the top common issues his shop sees when used Huskies come in:
*Old, dark/hard/brittle fuel sight tubes or incorrectly installed replacements that are leaking. This is addressed with Aviat SB 10.
*Old, stretched and inelastic landing gear bungees. To install new bungees, you’ll need the bungees, bungee replacement tool and installation instructions for the order as they are not all the same strength.
*Misrouted engine wiring and/or hoses, often exposing them to high temperatures.
*Fuel leaks at the tanks, sight tubes, fuel lines, fuel valve, fuel transducer or hose connections.
*Incorrect length screws attaching belly pans, scraping paint off longerons setting up corrosion opportunities (covered in Aviat SB 31).
*Uncut wing inspection holes that don’t allow inspection or lubrication of the flap mechanism.
*Flight-control systems never or seldom thoroughly lubricated. This includes the Zerk fitting at the base of each control stick.
*The 500-hour mag overhaul/replacement not accomplished.
*Aged, crushed and ineffective engine mounts resulting in pilot fatigue from low-frequency vibration, airframe damage and sheet metal cracks at the cowling smile and/or firewall.
*The alternator shroud still in place, resulting in high alternator temps and shortened life (this is SB 23).
*Inspection of the 180-HP engine airbox for excess play not accomplished (this is SB 25).
*Excess play in elevator bushings.
*The weight and balance/equipment list not updated, particularly with tire changes from original.
*Missing plastic washers under exterior hardware that prevent dissimilar metal corrosion.
*Gear leg/brake puck interference resulting in irregular brake pad wear, excessive brake pad replacements, loss of braking effectiveness and efficiency and irregular brake disk wear.
*Incorrectly tensioned or routed tailwheel hardware (especially the chains), broken springs inside the tailwheel mechanism and/or lack of lubrication resulting in a loss of maneuverability, control and wear.
*Incorrect rigging of the wings, with a roll component attempted to be offset by an adjustment to the rudder trim tab. This results in the airplane flying in a skid, reduced cruise airspeed and increased pilot fatigue. Adjust roll with a wing washout adjustment, not with the rudder.
*Oil screen signed off as removed and cleaned during oil changes but found with original factory sealant.
*A missing compass correction card. Worth mentioning is it’s the first thing an FAA inspector looks for during a ramp check.
*Burned-out muffler baffles that expose the remaining muffler can to excessive heat that it was not designed for.