Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free trial today! Click here

Aircraft Systems


Aircraft are extremely reliable when properly cared for and can deliver years of safe flight. But not all pilots know as much as they should about the proper care and maintenance of their aircraft’s engine, propeller, and pneumatic system—all critical to the safety of flight. Do you read and understand the POH for your aircraft and keep up with all recommended maintenance for every system on your airplane?

This safety spotlight examines an airplane’s piston engines, propellers, and pneumatic systems, and how to keep them in the best condition possible.

You’ll review:

  • The basics of engine operations
  • Leaning techniques
  • Proper propeller care
  • Engine inspections and overhauls
  • Propeller types and propeller preflight
  • Pneumatic system backups and redundancies
  • How to recognize signs of pneumatic system failure

California Aeronautical University

California Aeronautical University (CAU) is preparing the next generation of aviation professionals. Serving students from all over the country, the University offers career-focused programs in aviation, aviation business, and aircraft maintenance. With on-airport locations throughout California and in Arizona that provide an ideal learning environment, CAU courses are delivered in a year-round, fast-paced schedule that enables students to enter the pipeline for aviation careers in a shorter amount of time. Through the University’s strong partnerships with airlines, influential aviation organizations, and leaders in the aviation community, CAU graduates become a part of a larger aviation network and reap the benefits of these relationships, including direct access to several airline cadet programs. The University offers access federal student financial aid, scholarships, and veteran benefits to those who qualify. For more information, visit