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Maintenance check list Pitts S1S

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Maintenance check list Pitts S1S

(collected by Hugo Burgerhout <cub at>)


  1. Check external condition of the aircraft, especially extremities and fuselage belly.

  2. Check fuselage in vicinity of undercarriage legs and inspect. Inspect undercarriage mounting and surrounding structure for condition.

  3. Check that all cowlings, panels and spinner are secure and check condition generally.

  4. Remove any control surface locking devices, and check the action of all flying controls for freedom and correct movement. Lubricate all hinges.
    NOTE: Correct any undue slackness or tension in controls as required.

  5. Check security of pitot head and mountings and orifices of obstructions.

  6. Check windshield for condition and security.

  7. Clear all drain and vent holes.


  1. Check cockpit for oil soakage on fabric. Clean out cockpit and aft fuselage if necessary.

  2. Check harnesses to be in good working order.

  3. Check that there are no loose items that can foul the controls.

  4. Check hand fire extinguisher for condition and mounting security.

  5. Weigh and record hand fire extinguisher.

  6. Check ELT for condition and mounting security. Replace batteries if necessary.

  7. Check seat and attachments for security.

  8. Check condition and security of floorboards and lexan.


  1. Check Pitot head for condition and security.

  2. Check static holes.

  3. Check all lines at instrument panel mountings.

  4. Check all flexible lines for condition and security and lack of kinks at bends.

  5. Check instruments for correct action.

  6. Lubricate RPM gauge tach. drive.

  7. Check compass and mountings for security.

  8. Check compass condition i.e., glass and freedom from leaks. Check function.

  9. Check condition of instrument panel.


  1. Check tailplane main attachments for security and condition.

  2. Carry out general inspection especially at junction of tailplane and fuselage. Remove stern fuselage inspection panels to complete this inspection.

  3. Clear vent hols.

  4. Check rudder and elevator hinges.


  1. Check fabric coverings for condition and possible damage from stones, etc.

  2. Check leading edge for condition or damage.

  3. Check wing tips for condition.

  4. Check ribs and trailing edge for damage, security or warping. Inspect for damage in region of walk and cockpit entrance.

  5. Check underwing surfaces.

  6. Inspect rear and main spar carry-through tubes in fuselage.

  7. Check main and rear spar attachments to fuselage for condition and signs of movement or slackness of bolts.

  8. Check rib lacing for condition.

  9. Clear all vent holes.

  10. Clean and check flying and landing wires for nicks and bends.

  11. Check tension of wing rigging wires.


  1. Check all control surfaces for damage or trailing edge warp. Check ribs and structure and security particularly in vicinity of wing walk.

  2. Check fabric condition of all surfaces and clear vent holes. Check rib lacing and condition of surfaces.

  3. Check all control surfaces for play in hinges and freedom of movement.

  4. Check all controls for correct and full travel.

  5. Check rudder cables for correct tension. Renew rudder pedal return springs if cables are slack. Check cable for condition, particularly in the vicinity of fairleads.

  6. Check fairleads for security and wear. Check push-pull rod adjustment locknuts for security and self aligning bearings for full movement.

  7. Check rudder pedals, control column, torque shaft, and push-pull rod bearings for wear and security.

  8. Check action of trim and condition of operating cable, especially in the vicinity of trim control horn. Lubricate.

  9. Carry out full lubrication schedule.


  1. Check all circuit breakers for security and operation.

  2. Check all circuits for functioning.

  3. Check all wiring at terminals for condition and security.

  4. Check battery leads and mounting for security and condition.

  5. Inspect all fuselage structure and fabric for signs of acid contamination. Rectify immediately. Clean elevator push rod and re-protect if necessary with acid resisting paint.
    NOTE: Battery must be removed every 50 hours for inspection of structure.

  6. Check radio and antenna for security.


    1. Remove fuel filter for inspection of contents and cleaning and replace.

    2. Check fuel tanks for water or foreign matter.

    3. Check fuel tank venting.

    4. Check fuel tanks and straps for security and condition

    5. Check fuel lines for security, distortion or damage and lack of leaks.

    6. Check fuel drains for water or foreign matter.

    1. Check fuel valve for correct and free operation and signs of fuel leakage.

    2. Check fuel gauge for damage.


  1. With aircraft at rest on wheels, check that aircraft stands level and bungees are in good condition.

  2. Check action of undercarriage by gently rocking the aircraft laterally. Check attachment bolts for wear.

  3. Check main U/C bolts for wear and lubricate.

  4. Check tire pressure (35 psi) and condition of tires, i.e. free from cuts, fractures, undue wear, tire creep. Brake units free from fluid leaks and check brake pads for wear.

  5. Check wheel bearings and brakes for freedom and correct operation.

  6. Inspect axle tube elbow for cracks at weld.

  7. Check tail wheel assembly and leaf springs for attachment to springs and fuselage.

  8. Check tail wheel assembly for condition and steering action from rudder. Lubricate as required.

  9. Check tail wheel tire, wheel bearings, pivot, actuating levers and coil springs for condition and wear. Lubricate fork pivot.

  10. Jack up aircraft with wheels clear of ground. Remove wheels.

  11. Pack wheel bearings.

  12. Check brake system for leaks and top up reservoir if necessary. Refit wheels.

  13. Check wheel fairings for condition and security.

Engine and propeller

  1. Check condition of propeller.

  2. Carry out 100 hour inspection on engine as laid down in Lycoming hand book.

  3. Check oil level in engine sump for condition and change oil.

  4. Check for obvious signs of leakage of oil, fuel, or exhaust gases.

  5. Check engine controls for condition, action and correct movement.

  6. Check safety straps and attachments for condition and security and lock for action and lightly lubricate.

  7. Check engine firewall for condition.

  8. Check engine mount for condition and security especially at attachments to firewall.

  9. Check attachment of engine mount to engine.

Carry out engine run up and taxi tests.

© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn