Top Ten Reasons Why Top Ten Safety Lists Are a Waste of Time

Keltner Aviation Safety Support

My associate Richard Keltner of Keltner Aviation Safety Support recently wrote a blog post about how he feels about top ten lists. Specifically, he discussed aviation safety lists from organizations such as the NTSB and NBAA. He was offered the chance to participate in the development of the NBAA Safety Committee’s top ten lest. Here are his thoughts:

Egotistically I assumed I was assisting in creating a set of priorities that might be used by people like YOU. But I doubt that, if tested, you can replicate even 50% of that list we safety “professionals” worked diligently to build. Perhaps you can guess a few of the items like “Fatigue” (Number 9) or “Impact of Technology” (Number 6) because those challenges are beaten into your head.

He does go on to find a positive impact if the list he helped create:

These leaders who think deeply about YOUR safety can repeat the list and they know why each challenge is included (and which were left off). Through the process of creating the list they renewed the focus on thorny challenges. And these leaders are now working as teams on the processes and tools that might just save a life or two.

To read his entire post, head over to the Keltner Aviation Safety Support blog.

Ways to Winterize Your Plane


November is winterizing month, making it time to prepare your aircraft for the colder days ahead, whether you plan to use it throughout the harsh months, or if you plan to store it. Storing your aircraft in a hangar where it will be protected from the bitter weather is the best, but there are some things you should do whether it will be in a hangar or at in outside tie-down. It is good habit every year to go through a quick check list of the steps you must take to maintain your aircraft’s peak efficiency through the winter.

If you do not plan on flying much during the winter:

  • Change the oil before you put your plane away
  • Add one quart of preservative oil as part of the oil change
  • Before you put the plane away, do a short flight on the oil to ensure that all of the parts of the engine are supplied with new oil.

If you live in a warmer climate or use your plane all winter long:

  • Stay with your normal, every four months oil change schedule
  • During the winter months, consider using a multigrade oil, especially if you do not have any pre-heat equipment and/or plan on flying into colder climates. Multigrade oils don’t eliminate the need for pre-heating; they only give you an extra margin of safety during cold start conditions.


  • When using auto gas, remember that it is good for about six months
  • If your plane sit longer than that, fill up with 100LL before you put it in storage
  • Auto gas that contains ethanol that sits during storage absorbs water and becomes corrosive — if you have fuel that has ethanol, drain the tank completely and refill with a fuel sans ethanol


  • Since all qualified aviation greases have excellent low temperature properties, there is no need to change grease
  • Even though there is no need to change grease, make sure you clean greased areas before storage
  • Try not to use power washers, because it may strip off all of the grease and some parts are designed to be kept in grease and not meant to have an moisture

This list is not a complete list of all things needed to prep your small aircraft for winter. Consult your manual, or for a more comprehensive list, check out AVWeb‘s for more recommendations.

Ways to Winterize Your Boat


With winter on the horizon, for many of us, it’s that time of year when we need to prepare our boats for winter storage. Hibernation sets in, and we begin the long wait for spring, warm weather, and another boating season.

Taking the initiative now to protect your boat will assure that it will be ready to get back on the water in a few months when you are. Winterizing your boat doesn’t have to be difficult. Aircraft Marine and Insurance has put together a checklist to keep your marine craft in good condition during the winter months.


  • Thoroughly wash the motor and boat hull removing all stains, dirt, or debris.
  • Coat the boat and painted motor surfaces with a fresh coating of wax.
  • Cover boat with a high-quality, breathable cover.
  • Remove the propeller and check thoroughly for damage. If you have a damaged propeller, now is the time to replace or service it — not at the start of the next season.
  • Clean the propeller shaft and apply a protective coating of grease.
  • If your boat will be kept in the water, install a de-icing device.
  • Make sure bilges are clean and dry.
  • Remove bilge drain plug and make a note of where you have placed it. Consider attaching the plug to the steering wheel or other conspicuous location with a piece of string so you don’t forget to reinstall it in the spring.
  • Install a dehumidifier in cabins and enclosed areas to help prevent mildew growth.
  • Check and repair all electrical wiring and connections. Make sure nothing was damaged during the season.
  • Remove boat batteries and store in a cool dry place. Place batteries on a smart charger or charge them approximately once a month.


  • Change crankcase and gearcase oil while engine is warm and run the motor afterwards to distribute fresh oil throughout the power head.
  • Change oil filters.
  • Flush the engine with fresh water and drain.
  • Circulate antifreeze through engine block and manifolds.
  • Drain vapor separator tank of fuel by drain screw.
  • On carbureted outboard motors, drain the carburetor float bowls.
  • Change transmission fluid.
  • Fog the engine by spraying fogging fluid into each of the carburetors or throttle body throats.
  • Remove hoses from raw water pump.
  • Replace spark plugs and spray fogging fluid into spark plug ports.
  • Perform a complete lubrication service on the boat and motor.
  • Apply grease to all external engine fittings.
  • Apply protective anti-corrosion film to engine’s external parts.
  • Check the motor for loose, broken or missing fasteners. Tighten fasteners and make necessary repairs.
Fuel Systems
  • Fill permanently installed fuel tanks with fuel to prevent the formation of condensation.
  • Add appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer to fuel tanks.
  • Remove portable fuel tanks to safe, well-ventilated area. Drain plastic tanks and top-off metal tanks. Drain attached fuel lines.
Boat Trailer
  • Place the trailer on stands or blocks so the wheels are supported off the ground. Raise the bow higher than the stern to promote draining of rainwater or snow.
  • Remove trailer wheels to clean and repack the wheel bearings.

Please note: as with all boat repairs and maintenance, follow the instructions in your boat owner’s manual.

Becoming a Pilot is Life-Changing

Becoming a Pilot Changes Your Life

If you’re a pilot, you already know about the rush you get every time you take off, the in-flight euphoria, and the excitement and thrill of achieving the perfect landing. But has becoming a pilot changed you, in other aspects of your life? Since going through flight school, are you more patient with others or able to focus more at work? In this great essay by Andrew Hartley of, read about the skills and values you may have gotten out of flight training and applied to other aspects of your life – perhaps without even noticing!

Terrafugia Transition Flying Car: First Public Demonstrations

Were you at AirVenture 2013? If so, you may have seen the Terrafugia Transition Flying Car make its first public demonstrations! A video was created using footage from a couple on-board cameras, and some on the ground. Watch as this street-legal car becomes an airplane in a matter of seconds, and then takes flight!

Looking to insure your new plane? Get an aircraft insurance quote today!

Fall Boating: Why You Should Try It

Fall Baoting

As the first official day of fall approaches, depending on where you live, you might be debating about taking your boat out of the water and getting it winterized. We’ve found a couple pretty compelling reasons as to why you should enjoy it for just another couple weeks into the cooler fall season. We’ll give you some reasons to embrace fall boating, but the decision is up to you!

  • Fall foliage. Oftentimes, shorelines are popping with fall color: reds, yellows, and oranges. The water is often the best view you can get of beautiful shoreline foliage. In some northern states, people even pay for trips out onto the water just to see the foliage! Duluth’s Vista Fleet, for instance, offers fall foliage tours on Lake Superior.
  • Less traffic. During the summer, everyone and their brother is out on the water, including tourists and out-of-towners. In the fall, some won’t go out in the cooler temperatures, and tourism to the waterfront is often abated. More space and peace and quiet for you to enjoy!
  • Cooler weather. What? Isn’t that a con to boating in the fall? Not if you embrace it! Cooler weather out on the boat can make the perfect ambiance for things like snuggling up to someone special, sipping coffee or hot chocolate, and bringing a hot lunch. Just make sure to wear appropriate clothing.

Well, there it is! Did we convince you? If you do decide to try some fall boating, just remember to watch the weather. Fall storms can come on quickly, and have a tendency to include stronger winds. Also, read this article on fall boating safety from

If you’re looking to insure your boat so that you can take part in fall boating, request a boat insurance quote today!

The 9/11 Band of Boats

Have you seen this story of how boat captains and crew members came to the rescue of so many people on the island of Manhattan on September 11, 2001? On this twelfth anniversary of the attack, watch the harrowing story of how boats played a roll in the rescue of many. To read the story, visit

Top Boat Maintenance Resources

When you’re a boat owner, you know it’s important to protect your investment by maintaining your boat. Comprehensive boat maintenance means much more that just cleaning it, however. Especially if you’re a first-time boat owner and you’re looking around the web at boat maintenance tips and articles, it can get overwhelming. There are a lot of articles and tips out there! So, we’ve found 3 of the best resources out there for boat owners concerning taking care of their investments.

Boat Maintenance & Cleaning Tips

Discover Boating: Boat Maintenance Tips & Safety Rules

From a general maintenance overview to a semi-annual checklist and a winterizing section, Discover Boating has a pretty comprehensive section about boat upkeep and maintenance. A part we liked:

You should also remove the propeller several times during the season to make sure discarded fishing line hasn’t become wrapped around the propeller shaft. If it has, have your dealer inspect the gear case, because fishing line can cause gear case leaks and gear case service is NOT a do-it-yourself job.

Bass Pro Shops: Cleaning Your Boat from Top to Bottom

While this article is specifically geared toward simple fishing boats, it can be applied to many larger boats as well. The list is very comprehensive, and tells you how to clean everything from livewells to consoles to the hull and your trailer. Of course, since it’s from Bass Pro Shops, it recommends various Bass Pro Shop cleaning products.  A part we liked:

For graphs or electronic gauges, a water-vinegar solution used in conjunction with a soft cloth will keep them fresh and clean. Wiping in a circular motion on electronic screens can leave grit marks or fine scratches, so pay close attention to work the cloth in one side-to-side direction only.

Boating Magazine: Top Boat Maintenance Tips

We really like this one for the pictures. For instance, it shoes you a pictures\ of rusted fasteners instead of just telling you to replace rusted fasteners. It shows you pictures of various problems, so that you can decide if you should be replacing parts without just guessing. A part we liked:

Batteries must withstand a force of 90 pounds, or twice their weight, without moving more than one inch in any direction, according to the American Boat and Yacht Council. Eschew strap hold-downs in favor of those using threaded rods and locknuts.

National MU-2 Fly-In in Green Bay a Success

On Friday and Saturday, July 26th and 27th, Jet Air Group in Green Bay hosted an MU-2 Fly-In. It was a two-day event where Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft from all over the US and beyond were on Jet Air Group’s ramp, ready to be touched and toured by visitors. Attendees included owners, operators, and their guests, and the event featured seminars and social events.

Aircraft Marine Insurance President Kevin Gruys was able to attend the event, and get up close and personal with the aircraft. Check out these pictures of him and the MU-2’s!

MU-2 Fly-In  MU-2 Fly-In

MU-2 Fly-In

Boatgating: A New Alternative to Tailgating


As the fall season approaches a little bit quicker than some of us would like. it’s time to start thinking about the best part of fall: football season. If you’re a football fan, you’re familiar with pre-game excitement and get-togethers. Are you a tailgater? Do you have access to a boat? If so, you might just have to try the new craze that’s sweeping the nation: boatgating.

According to Discover Boating, more and more Americans are taking to the water: “Of the 232.3 million adults in the US in 2012, 37.8%, or 88 million, went boating—the largest number on record by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.” So, maybe it’s time for us to all try boatgating!

Discover Boating has created a list of the best stadiums for boatgating in the U.S. Find it here: