Ask the A&Ps

Experts Mike Busch, Paul New, and Colleen Sterling answer your toughest aviation maintenance questions. Submit questions to New episodes are released the first of every month.

How To
"I don't have a baby monitor on the engine"
Mike, Paul, and Colleen discuss hot cylinders, leaning technique, and lots of lightbulbs used in testing.
47 min
Live from Airventure 2022
41 min
"I'm a reformed shock cooling worrier"
46 min
"EGTs are imaginary numbers"
Oil all over the nose, cylinders that are too clean, and bush propeller repairs. Mike, Paul, and Colleen handle it all this month.
42 min
"Use the TLAR system. That looks about right"
50 min
"Your airplane may look like the molting hide o...
48 min
"We don't check the accuracy of your fuel gauges"
Mike, Paul, and Colleen deal with an annual that's gone south, oil loss and temperature issues, and insight into why we use the mixture to stop our engines
53 min
"You'll ruin a set of clothes for sure"
The hosts solve oil and fuel leaks, battery questions, and give advice to a new owner
54 min
"It's not our job to be the safety police"
This month Mike, Paul, and Colleen tackle everything from metal in the oil filter to reporting someone to the FAA.
53 min
"That little cap doesn't hold the wings on"
Ever wonder what you're looking for when you preflight a Cessna with those small oil doors? So did our caller this month. Mike, Paul, and Colleen also field questions about a burned valve, winterizing for cold-weather ops, how to do an in-flight...
43 min
"Only a CFI would ask a question like that"
This month Mike, Paul, and Colleen dive into questions about valve failures, tracking engine times, aging engine accessories, and worrying cylinder head temperatures. Plus, a question that could only come from an instructor. Full notes below: John is...
50 min
"Compression readings are garbage"
This month Mike, Paul, and Colleen tackle everything from radio gremlins to the big questions of aviation, such as an overall maintenance philosophy and the reliability of our aircraft.  Send your questions to for a chance to get on the show....
61 min
"Why can't we do something simple like clone an...
This month Mike, Paul, and Colleen tackle questions big and small. A pilot wonders why aircraft engines are so expensive, a young student knows there must be a better way to clean an airplane, and owners tackle concerns over increasing compressions,...
49 min
"There's no free lunch in aviation"
Broken rocker arms, metal shards in the valve cover, and oil in the cylinder, oh my. This month Mike, Paul, and Colleen focus on listener engine problems, give some guidance on mods for an experimental builder, and bust an oversquare myth. Submit your...
43 min
"An oil filter inspection is non-invasive, unle...
A savvy owner wonders how to trust her airplane with no logbooks, a Cessna pilot is curious if he's getting all the power he paid for, and Mike, Paul, and Colleen tackle an unruly governor. Send your questions to
49 min
"About the half the time, reported cracked cyli...
This episode Mike, Paul, and Colleen debate shock cooling, help an owner set his stall warning tab, debunk unapproved equipment myths, give an owner advice on breaking in new cylinders, and more. Submit your questions to
50 min
"Heavy detonation is normally a self-correcting...
This month owners look to settle arguments with their mechanics over tire wear and avionics glitches, one pilot tries to determine myth from reality on keeping fuel tanks topped off, a pilot learns his oil pressure problem isn't a problem, and Mike,...
42 min
"I don't see anything that makes me want to att...
This month Mike, Paul, and Colleen cover the basics of oil analysis, corrosion proofing, fuel selector play, how to pick an overhaul shop, and prop people. Send questions to
53 min
'If it moves, squirt it with something'
This month Mike, Paul, and Colleen tackle a number of questions about oil. Where it should be, where it shouldn't be, and why it isn't where you last added it. Plus, a jet pilot is grounded by tires. 
46 min
'We just saved your engine'
This month Mike, Paul, and Colleen delve into must versus should. Must you open all those inspection ports, is the prop and governor overhaul mandatory, and should one owner retorque his cylinder after a re-installation mistake? Send your questions to...
49 min
"Did you float the dog?"
This month Mike, Colleen, and Paul revisit sticky valves, diagnose shimmy dampers, give a bit of career advice, and talk about what right looks right on throttle response. Plus, silly pilot tricks with animals! Send your questions to
55 min
'I went to the church of lean of peak'
Mike, Paul, and Colleen talk about why lean of peak is so beneficial. Also, the hosts tackle questions on sticky valves, how to properly break in an engine, oil consumption, and more. 
43 min
'You're not going to fall out of the sky becaus...
Snake oil, cranky turbochargers, oil issues, camshaft rust, and more in this month's episode. Plus, a new owner tries to stump Mike, Paul, and Colleen on propeller rpm checks. 
54 min
"You're never in a situation where the IA can h...
Corroded control cables, the right oil for engine break in, pesky fouled plugs, and just how far can you push back on your annual. Paul, Mike, and Colleen handle all these topics and more in this month's episode. 
56 min
I'm upside down and there's no oil in my engine!
Checking an airplane for aerobatics, engine failures due to oil starvation, mysterious airplane vibrations, and why replacing cylinders could be a bad idea. Mike, Paul, and Colleen handle these topics and more in this month's episode.
34 min
Introducing Ask the A&Ps
New from AOPA, it's a podcast featuring you, the pilot and aircraft owner. Experts Mike Busch, Paul New, and Colleen Sterling answer your aviation maintenance questions. Subscribe today to catch all the episodes.
1 min