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Spill proof

Anti Splat Aero makes hands-on, common-sense tools

An inadvertent oil bath is an unwelcome side effect of just about every oil filter change. We wedge rags underneath the oil filter; wrap the oil filter in a plastic bag and puncture the oil filter hours in advance to let it drain. But pilots still seem to spill more oil than the Exxon Valdez.
Photography by Chris Rose
Zoomed image
Photography by Chris Rose

Anti Splat Aero, a California firm founded by Allan Nimmo, a Van’s Aircraft RV–9A builder and seasoned pilot, has come up with a clever tool to cleanly replace hard-to-reach, horizontally mounted oil filters.

It’s a small, hardened metal cylinder with an air fitting on one end and a sharp bit designed to puncture the oil filter side wall on the other. Bang it into position with a hammer, pressurize it with compressed air, and it blows oil from the filter into the engine case so it can drain from the sump.

“Our products are problem inspired,” said Nimmo, an engineer and machine shop owner who learned to fly as a teen. “We look at areas where people are having a hard time and find ways to get rid of the sticking points.”

Anti Splat Aero began more than a decade ago to address landing gear failures among nosewheel RVs. Dozens of RV nose gears had failed and broken, almost all of them on turf or rough runways. Nimmo designed an after-market nose gear reinforcement kit that appears to have solved that thorny problem.

Since then, Anti Splat has developed many more products for RVs, as well as a few with broader applications in the wider general aviation fleet. In addition to the oil filter drain tool, Anti Splat sells an oil filter wrench, oil preheater, and a highly magnetized oil sump plug designed to catch tiny bits of metal that could cause internal engine damage.

Anti Splat is an offshoot of Nimmo’s other companies, which specialize in turbine engine parts and services and a fabrication shop that performs aerospace defense work. As a veteran GA pilot and serial aircraft owner, however, Nimmo’s heart is clearly in the hands-on, commonsense inventions he makes and sells at Anti Splat.

He appears in folksy company videos that explain each product and how it works, and he’s almost always wearing jeans and an untucked T-shirt.

“I love my RV–9 and I’m always looking for ways to make it even better,” Nimmo said. “We have the capability to make just about anything, and if other people find those things helpful, we’re happy to share the things we’ve learned.”

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Dave Hirschman
Dave Hirschman
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.

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