Is it legal for an owner to change a Brackett Air Filter Element,and check the overall condition of the filter housing?
Credit to Bob Steward:
After the initial installation of the entire filter assembly, which because it’s an STC’d part requires that a 337 be signed and filed by the mechanic, then it ought to be OK for the owner/pilot with a Private license to change the filter element.
In all cases we are required to follow the manufacturer’s CURRENT maintenance instructions, so that means you need a Beech shop manual AND any CURRENT instructions that Bracket supplies. Instructions should have been included in the STC package, but Brackett will forward you a current new copy if you contact them).
When you take on the responsibility to perform owner-legal maintenance (which should be encouraged for many reasons), you are also accepting the responsibility to make yourself aware of any new requirements related to cautions, product changes, or procedural changes related to the work. For example, if you replace a Brackett filter element (a seemingly very simple task), at a minimum you need to:
1. Examine the air inlet box for any cracks, looseness, or chafing;
2. Examine the filter housing mounting gasket (if any) for any looseness, extrusion, or gaps (missing pieces);
3. Make certain that the element is installed with the correct side out;
4. Make certain that the retaining grille is correctly reinstalled (so it doesn’t chafe on anything). These grilles are often installed backwards.
There are many ways to become and remain aware of current and changing requirements. You can periodically contact the manufacturer about current information. You can subscribe to and read periodicals such as Light Plane Maintenance, Aviation Consumer, and Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT). You can read the applicable sections of the various aviation magazines. You can watch for FAA notifications concerning various aircraft “appliances” and parts. As one small (and benign) example, many of you probably change your oil filter. Do you know the differences between the Champion CH48110 and the CH48110-1, and the Kelly, etc. equivalents of the CH48110? Knowing those differences can make a big difference in the fit of the filter, the ease of the removal and re-installation job, and the ease of safety wire installation. A&P-IAs like Bob Steward make a significant annual personal investment in both time and money to become and remain aware of maintenance aspects like this. When you do your own work, make sure you also carry out your own personal education, to remain safe and secure.