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Coolest tool for working on your airplane


PT20J
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Christmas is coming.
What's the coolest tool you have in your toolbox?

Coolest or most useful?

Coolest is the wire tracer that allows you to follow the path of a wire through its meandering path in our planes.

The most useful is a gyroscopic screwdriver for the 9,124 screws they used on my plane.


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6 hours ago, Marauder said:


Coolest is the wire tracer that allows you to follow the path of a wire through its meandering path in our planes.

Biggest "Wow" factor tool for those non-mechanic types that might be hanging around the hangar seems to be a borescope. 

What wire tracer do you have?

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Maybe competing for both coolest and most useful is a safety cable set.   i.e., use safety cables instead of safety wires.   Way faster, cleaner, and less hazardous than safety wire, but more expensive.

I don't actually have one but a friend does and I've used it on his airplane a bunch.   It's the only way to secure propeller fasteners on non-fixed-pitch props.  ;)

Safe-T-Cable

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

Maybe competing for both coolest and most useful is a safety cable set.   i.e., use safety cables instead of safety wires.   Way faster, cleaner, and less hazardous than safety wire, but more expensive.

I don't actually have one but a friend does and I've used it on his airplane a bunch.   It's the only way to secure propeller fasteners on non-fixed-pitch props.  ;)

Safe-T-Cable

And deny one's self the fun of twisting safety wire? ;)

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4 hours ago, EricJ said:

Maybe competing for both coolest and most useful is a safety cable set.   i.e., use safety cables instead of safety wires.   Way faster, cleaner, and less hazardous than safety wire, but more expensive.

I don't actually have one but a friend does and I've used it on his airplane a bunch.   It's the only way to secure propeller fasteners on non-fixed-pitch props.  ;)

Safe-T-Cable

A couple of my airline mechanic friends say they are the BOMB! But they are expensive! And so are the cables.

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11 hours ago, EricJ said:

Maybe competing for both coolest and most useful is a safety cable set.   i.e., use safety cables instead of safety wires.   Way faster, cleaner, and less hazardous than safety wire, but more expensive.

I don't actually have one but a friend does and I've used it on his airplane a bunch.   It's the only way to secure propeller fasteners on non-fixed-pitch props.  ;)

Safe-T-Cable

Man! I'll have my wife get me a set! She'll really appreciate the 66 seconds I'll shave off of my usual 4-5 hrs of hangar time ...

But...

... Jokes aside, it might be a life saver when safetying the oil screen...

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27 minutes ago, Joshua Blackh4t said:

The safety cables look good. BUT what happens when you're halfway through an oil change and there is no lockwire left and the nearest is an hour away by plane and you have the only plane and it needs to be lockwired...... 

I like the idea, but not so good for where I often find myself

You go to the nearest Walmart, get some steel hanging wire, get the job done and once you reach the place where things can be procured, you redo it per ac43.13...

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20 hours ago, EricJ said:

Maybe competing for both coolest and most useful is a safety cable set.   i.e., use safety cables instead of safety wires.   Way faster, cleaner, and less hazardous than safety wire, but more expensive.

I don't actually have one but a friend does and I've used it on his airplane a bunch.   It's the only way to secure propeller fasteners on non-fixed-pitch props.  ;)

Safe-T-Cable

 

Army used those on the 30MM chain gun, most of safety wiring is gone or going away, for instance there isn’t one piece of it on the GE T-700 series engines and that design is at least 40 years old by now. I’ve always wondered about how useful safety wire really is, for instance have you ever heard of an auto oil filter coming loose?

Look at all the things we don’t safety like spark plugs, plug wires and magneto caps, cylinder base nuts to name a few

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21 hours ago, EricJ said:

Maybe competing for both coolest and most useful is a safety cable set.   i.e., use safety cables instead of safety wires.   Way faster, cleaner, and less hazardous than safety wire, but more expensive.

I don't actually have one but a friend does and I've used it on his airplane a bunch.   It's the only way to secure propeller fasteners on non-fixed-pitch props.  ;)

Safe-T-Cable

That’s pretty slick, but holy smokes those cables are expensive!

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1 hour ago, A64Pilot said:

 

Army used those on the 30MM chain gun, most of safety wiring is gone or going away, for instance there isn’t one piece of it on the GE T-700 series engines and that design is at least 40 years old by now. I’ve always wondered about how useful safety wire really is, for instance have you ever heard of an auto oil filter coming loose?

Look at all the things we don’t safety like spark plugs, plug wires and magneto caps, cylinder base nuts to name a few

It's interesting to ponder why one almost never encounters a loose fastener held in place by safety wire.  I know I have never seen it in decades of being around aircraft and aircraft maintenance.  I think it's more likely that safety wire simply makes it much less likely that a fastener will be left improperly torqued/tightened.  I am a proponent of torque seal when performing critical maintenance.  It started out of necessity because owner assisted mx means two people are involved in the process. I now use it in many non aviation maintenance projects. The likelihood of missed fastener increases when a project spans a few days (say hanging an engine). Safety wire gives a good visual verification that things are as they should be. Torque seal does the same with less effort. It's clear that auto manufactures share that thinking. There is no safety wire on either of my autos, but almost all critical fasteners were marked with torque seal during assembly.

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7 minutes ago, Shadrach said:

It's interesting to ponder why one almost never encounters a loose fastener held in place by safety wire.  I know I have never seen it in decades of being around aircraft and aircraft maintenance.  I think it's more likely that safety wire simply makes it much less likely that a fastener will be left improperly torqued/tightened.  I am a proponent of torque seal when performing critical maintenance.  It started out of necessity because owner assisted mx means two people are involved in the process. I now use it in many non aviation maintenance projects. The likelihood of missed fastener increases when a project spans a few days (say hanging an engine). Safety wire gives a good visual verification that things are as they should be. Torque seal does the same with less effort. It's clear that auto manufactures share that thinking. There is no safety wire on either of my autos, but almost all critical fasteners were marked with torque seal during assembly.

Good observation.  You are probably right to a large extent.  In 30 years on fixed wing (helicopters are a little different) I may have seen one or two situations where torque with safety wire was questionable, that’s not much.  That said, I have seen a few situations where hardware was loose when cotter pinned.  I think this might be because the nut needs to be clocked to the hole and might not yield optimal torque….likely from the installer not following specific requirements.  The most interesting example is the fact that most engine cylinder hold downs are not safetied, but torque stripe is even more helpful here.

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2 minutes ago, takair said:

Good observation.  You are probably right to a large extent.  In 30 years on fixed wing (helicopters are a little different) I may have seen one or two situations where torque with safety wire was questionable, that’s not much.  That said, I have seen a few situations where hardware was loose when cotter pinned.  I think this might be because the nut needs to be clocked to the hole and might not yield optimal torque….likely from the installer not following specific requirements.  The most interesting example is the fact that most engine cylinder hold downs are not safetied, but torque stripe is even more helpful here.

Cylinder hold downs are a good example. The AN bolts that hold the engine mount to the firewall are another.  I dislike installations that don't have a single point of reference as a spec. A castellated nut with a cotter is almost always a compromise.  Torqueing fuel injectors is another, you have an acceptable torque range and an acceptable range for clocking the injector ("A" between ~4:00 and 8:00).  Sometimes getting to both specs means being on the very edge of one the other or both.  It's acceptable from a practical standpoint but not very satisfying.

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