What items are in your tool kit?

Discussion on keeping your aircraft airworthy and legal and/or any technical topics.

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What items are in your tool kit?

Post by mwilkeni »

Hello everyone. I'm putting together a tool kit for a cross country flight. What tools or repair items are in your kit?

Are there any specific tools needed on a Maule that may be difficult to find on the road?


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Re: What items are in your tool kit?

Post by andy »

I had an exhaust pipe hanger weld tab break during one of my long cross country flights. I was off-airport and there was no aircraft maintenance facility so I had to improvise. Fortunately, the resort where I landed gave me a couple of stainless steel angle brackets and hose clamps. I clamped the angle brackets back to back on the exhaust pipe with the two hose clamps and bolted the bracket to the hanger strap. It got me to a maintenance shop where they could re-weld the tab. Ever since then I've carried two brackets and two hose clamps with me.

I also carry a large stainless steel hose clamp that fits around the muffler heat shroud since I've had the edge flange crack and come loose. In a pinch you can use safety wire but I prefer the hose clamp as a more durable and adjustable solution.

Rough surface landings in the back country can loosen the tail leaf spring attach bolts so bring sockets and wrenches that fit them. The bolt head is hard to grip because it's in very tight quarters. A longer thin-walled socket is needed.

A flat tire can ruin your day when you're not near a maintenance facility. I have an ABI tundra tire patch kit and Lil' Lifter 3 jack for that. Bring a spare tube for the tailwheel tire, sockets to remove the wheel and something to get the tire off the rim. A bicycle pump will work to re-inflate a tundra tire but it will take a long time and wear you out. An electric inflator is faster but might drain your battery. I have one of those 12-volt car jump packs that has it's own battery with a a built-in inflator and LED light. It's heavy but I can also use it for light when camping and to charge my mobile devices. It can also be used to jump start the aircraft if you wear the battery down.

Other things that are good to have:
- A couple of extra spark plugs and a socket with extension arm to remove the plugs
- Spare position light bulbs and landing light bulb if you don't have an LED
- Safety wire and tool
- Flexible grabber in case you drop something that you can't reach
- Battery minder and extension cord
- Duct tape
- An engine preheater and cowl blanket during cold weather. I use a Northern Companion that runs on AVGAS.
1986 MX7-180

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Andy Young
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Re: What items are in your tool kit?

Post by Andy Young »

Below is my list for long trips. It’s a LOT of stuff. As a mechanic, it’s hard for me to not have everything I think I might need to work on my plane, especially, since I could easily find myself in the tundra or on a gravel bar 100 miles or more from a road, town, etc. With this kit, I can take the whole plane apart and put it together again. Its overkill, but it makes me feel good, and I’ve used everything in it at one point or another over the years. The whole kit weights 12 pounds, which is equal to two gallons of fuel. Note that instead of having full sets of wrenches, sockets, etc. I carry only the ones that fit fasteners on my plane. Also, I use 1/4” drive sockets for everything except spark plugs. So not carrying the weight of 3/8” drive sockets, but I carry a 3/8” drive ratchet for spark plugs, and a 3/8” to 1/4” if I need a bit more leverage than my little 1/4” drive ratchet can impart.

Pliers, Knipex (sometimes called “Wonder Pliers” for good reason)
Diagonal cutters
Allen wrench set
Screwdriver, straight
Screwdriver, Phillips #2
Screwdriver, Phillips #1
Screwdriver, Phillips #0
Mini screwdriver, straight
Mirror, flexible
Magnet, telescoping
Shrader valve tool
Ratchet, 3/8” drive
Ratchet, 1/4” drive
Extension, 1/4” drive, 3” long
Extension, 1/4” drive, 6” long
Adapter, 1/4” to 3/8”
Adapter, 3/8” to 1/4”
Socket set, 1/4”, standard
Socket, 3/8 drive deep, 7/8” (for spark plugs)
Safety wire pliers
Safety wire, .032”
Tire pressure gauges (low and high pressure)
Wrenches: 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16”, 1/2”, 9/16”, 5/8”, 3/4, 7/8”
Wrench, special, 1/2” ground to fit tail spring saddle bolts.
Hardware selection: cotter pins, bolts, nuts, washers, screws in various sizes and lengths, spark plug washers, turnbuckle clips.
Timing box
Spark plug gapping tools

Like Andy, I have also had a broken tailpipe. I have replaced them, but have welded up the old ones, and carry them along as spares on long trips, like between Alaska and the lower 48. Might never need one again, but once when I did, I was down for a few days while I waited for one to ship. They are light, don’t take much space, and are a known failure item, so I carry them.

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Re: What items are in your tool kit?

Post by asa »

For my past two airplanes, they were stored in a different location than my large rolling toolbox, meaning I had to gather tools at my house to go do a project on the plane. This was great for seeing what I actually needed/used. Those tools ended up just staying in my toolbag that travels with me in airplane, which I keep in my truck while not flying. Mine is probably 10lbs at least.

I never decided what I wanted to do in a flat tire situation.

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Re: What items are in your tool kit?

Post by mwilkeni »

Thank you all for the great discussion! This is extremely helpful!


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