Bison Blog

The Night Before Christmas... at the Hangar (2020)

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the hangar.
Not a visitor was present,
Due to the COVID danger.
The doors had been locked;
Warning signs had been posted:
Employees Only! Keep Out!
Was the message they boasted.
But inside the shop
Things were busy as ever.
The mechanics were frantic,
As if they had a fever.
For the year-end had come,
And there were projects to finish.
Things which had to be done,
The backlog to diminish.
Then from the main door
There arose a great bellow.
A voice from the cold called,
“Ho ho ho, my good fellows.
Someone open this door,
For I need Bison’s service.
I don’t have much time,
And my request is quite urgent!”
We all knew at once;
It was our old friend St. Nick.
On tonight of all nights,
We must attend to him quick!
We bid him come in
And then gave him a mask.
“How may we help you?”
Was the first question asked.
“I have gifts to deliver,
Around the world, near and far.
But this virus slows me down;
I just as well go by car.
Every country is different.
Regulations abound!
They seem to make new ones
In each village and town.”
“There must be a way
To maintain isolation,
While ensuring the gifts
Get to their destinations.
I came back to Bison
Knowing you’d have the answer.
With your skills and your knowledge
We'll avert this disaster.
For this COVID is awful,
Why, it's worse than the Grinch.
And I know that Bison
Can get me out of this pinch!"
We ran to the door,
And threw off the chains.
And what we saw next,
Was truly quite strange.
A glowing red sleigh,
Piled high with its cargo.
Around it, seven reindeer,
It was quite the fiasco.
Santa counted the reindeer,
Then he said with a scoff.
“I don’t know how this could happen,
Guess I lost one on take-off!”
We brought in the sleigh,
And started to work.
“I have a great plan,”
JD said with a smirk.
“In the days, long ago,
We did this quite often.
All we need is some ducting,
HEPA filters, and suction.”
As he laid out the plan,
The team gathered round.
They listened intently,
As his words did astound.
Deena stepped to the lead,
Coordinating the action.
Each task she assigned,
And planned down to the fraction.
She directed the shop,
As if conducting an opus.
Guiding the whole team together,
Never once losing focus.
Shelby coded new software
To bring up-to-date,
The sleigh and its systems,
She would now automate.
Mike reviewed regulations,
And prepped documentation.
Then powder-coated assemblies
With a shout of elation.
Roel built systems for nav,
And for auto-flight.
Knowing that Santa would have
A very long night.
Jeff drew parts in CAD,
With his laser to cut.
In his precision skills,
We had all placed our trust.
Chad climbed under the panel,
A new harness to install.
His feet in the air,
Head on firewall.
Jerry put to good use,
His new air compressor.
Driving in rivets,
Like a mid-harvest thresher.
Cody built a small cannon,
With which to launch gifts,
Down the chimney to children,
For delivery most swift.
Robin cut from acrylic,
The big pressure dome,
Where once in the sleigh,
Santa would make his home.
More power was needed,
For the sleigh was now heavy.
Seven reindeer won’t do,
They just were not ready.
New engines were fitted,
And though a bit strange.
They would get Santa moving,
And give him plenty of range.
The new sleigh was ready. 
The project complete.
Santa could deliver his presents,
Without leaving his seat.
He could travel in safety,
COVID cares set aside.
All thanks to his new,
Custom Bison-built ride!
Santa thanked us all dearly,
As he sealed the air-lock.
Then he clipped his elf-phone,
Into the panel-mount dock.
As he started his engines,
The ground started to shake.
And he called each one off,
Pver the sleigh’s new PA.
Now Cyclone, Centaurus,
Now Wasp and now Wright.
The big burly radials
Belched fire in the night.
Then the Spey and the Tay,
The Garretts started their whine.
The sleek turbines spooled up,
As their ITTs climbed. 
Then a clanging rang out
From the sleigh’s warning bell,
It began to rise skyward,
It had V-T-O-L!
Advancing the throttles
And taking the sky.
We breathed a sigh of relief
To see it really could fly!
He was gone in an instant,
For the sleigh, it was fast.
As it must be for worldwide
Good will to be cast.
But then, from the radio,
Santa’s voice, clear and bright:
“Merry Christmas to all,
And to all a safe flight!”

Maintenance Fail

u.1.KIMG2627.JPGThe experimental amature-built airworthiness category is a fantastic option; offering a degree of flexibility and access to new technologies which has often left me, as a factory-built aircraft owner, jealous. That being said, I believe that owners of these aircraft still have a duty to maintain them in a manner which takes reasonable safety precautions for their passengers and the population over which they fly.
Let me say this bluntly... THIS - IS - NOT - OKAY!

Maintenance Fail

The experimental amature-built airworthiness category is a fantastic option; offering a degree of flexibility and access to new technologies which has often left me, as a factory-built aircraft owner, jealous. That being said, I believe that owners of these aircraft still have a duty to maintain them in a manner which takes reasonable safety precautions for their passengers and the population over which they fly.
u.1.KIMG2627.JPGLet me say this bluntly... THIS - IS - NOT - OKAY!

The Night Before Christmas... at the Hangar (2019)

The Night Before Christmas... at the Hangar (2019)

Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the hangar
not a creature was stirring
for they knew the danger.

Halibut, Mac, and Tuna
were there and on guard
to show any trespassers
they had NOT been declawed.

Meanwhile up in Kansas
John & Lesli were napping
softly dreaming the of presents
they'd soon be unwrapping.

Suddenly came a ring
on the AOG hotline,
with twenty-four-hour service
the call wouldn't be declined.

A frantic voice cried:
"We need Bison's help quick -
an accident's happened,
and it involves St. Nick!"

A good plan was needed
to get Santa flying
and it had to be fast
lest the children be crying.

Without wasting a moment
the team jumped into action.
A recovery was in progress
there could be no distraction.

First on scene was JD,
his report came back dire.
It seemed that some reindeer
in the crash had expired!

Soon Jerry arrived
and he gave out a yell:
"Hey, I brought breakfast tacos,
how hungry are y'all?"

Shelby rushed to the warehouse
where she awaited the call.
Many parts would be needed
and she had organized them all.

Deena logged into Quantum.
and oversaw the work-flow
She was often heard shouting:
"Number One, make it so!"

Robin fabricated assemblies
checking each with precision,
for he knew that today
there's be no time for revision.

Robert cut the sheet metal
and shot rivets with fervor.
He was a true master craftsman
stated the bearded observer.

Matt installed each new piece
fitting one to another.
The new hardware he torqued,
from the nose to the rudder.

Cody calmly inspected
and performed red-ball checks.
Ensuring all work
was according to specs.

Santa came into the shop
his face red with shame.
He had forgotten to tell us:
"There's just one more thing...

For a year I have known
and I'm not being defiant...
but with ADS-B

Roel jumped into action:
"Let's upgrade that panel!
All he has in there now
is an old Narco ten-channel."

Jeff went to work wiring,
pinning up each connector.
He configured the data bus
and the new flight director.

Michael drew up the layout
and ran the big CNC.
A spectacular panel
this was going to be!

Custom brackets were printed
on the 3D machine
and the lasers prepped
for the panel engraving.

The work all now finished
Santa took the left seat.
As he switched on the master
his eyes wonder did greet.

There was a new G3X,
dual IFD navigators,
a three-forty-five
and GFC actuators.

There was an Aspen for backup
and moving map by AirShow.
There was even a FLIR
for seeing through snow.

As he fired up the engines
Santa surveyed his new steed,
knowing for the task laid ahead
he'd have plenty of speed.

He called out the parts
as he recognized each
first starting with his favorite,
those made by Beech.

There was a chute from a Cirrus,
and wings from a Piper.
The tail of a Cessna,
and engines from Viper.

The canopy from
a Bell two-oh-six
I have to admit,
it was quite the odd mix.

Santa thanked us all fondly:
"This was an upgrade, much-needed,
you see my old sleigh
was not even heated!

Bison Aviation
you've done it again!
You've just saved Christmas
from a premature end."

And with that he taxied,
as he checked the ASOS.
His preflight completed,
he began his takeoff.

We stood and we watched
as he took to the sky,
each a little surprised
that contraption could fly!

I suppose Christmas magic
might have played some small part;
but our Bison teamwork
is what gave it its start.

Then the UNICOM crackled
as he flew out of sight
"Merry Christmas to all
and to all a safe flight!"

Bison welcomes two new technicians at Boerne Stage Field!

u.1.Jeff & Michael.JPG

Bison Aviation, LLC is proud to welcome two new technicians to the Avionics Team at Boerne Stage Airfield. 

Jeffrey Rossell (AET, US Army Ret.) has over twenty-one years of experience as an avionics technician and was formerly the Lead Avionics Technician for Mooney International.

Michael Kneese (A&P / IA & PPL, US Air Force Ret.) has over twenty-eight years of general aviation maintenance experience and was formerly the Chief Inspector for Mooney International.

Both Jeff and Michael will be lending their extensive talents and skill sets to the dedicated Avionics Team at our Boerne Stage Airfield location.  

We are excited to have both of these fine technicians on board and look forward to the additional services we will be able to offer our customers with them as part of the Bison Aviation family!

Bison Aviation Now Offering Factory Trained Cirrus Maintenance!

u.1.Cody & Robin.JPG

Bison Aviation, LLC is proud to officially offer Cirrus factory trained maintenance technicians for the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 series aircraft! 

Congratulations to Cody Strack and Robin Rodriguez! These two awesome A&P mechanics just successfully completed the full Cirrus SR20 & SR22 Maintenance Training Course at the Cirrus Aircraft factory in Duluth.

This is an intensive two week course covering everything from aircraft systems to composite repairs and of course the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). Be sure to give these guys a big pat on the back next time you see them around the shop!

Through ongoing training programs like this one, Bison Aviation continues to develop new services and improve our maintenance and avionics capabilities. Our technicians have attended dozens of factory and type specific training courses, including courses for Beechcraft, Cessna, Mooney, Socata, Piper and MANY others, so that we can provide our customers with the knowledge and expertise they deserve!

Whether you need assistance with your Cirrus SR2x series or any other aircraft maintenance or avionics issues, give the Bison Aviation Aircraft Service Center at Boerne Stage Airfield a call today!

Bison Technicians Complete ABS Maintenance Academy!


Bison Aviation, LLC is proud to announce that Robin Rodriguez (A&P) and JD Phillips (A&P / IA) have successfully completed the American Bonanza Society's Bonanza & Baron Maintenance Academy.  The ABS Maintenance Academy is widely regarded as one of the best training events available for Beech piston aircraft.

We are excited to offer this new level of expertise to our customers flying Bonanza and Baron series aircraft.

Got Oxygen?

Recently the FAA issued a "Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin" (SAIB) notifying owners, operators, and maintainers of an incident in which the crew of an Irish airliner experienced difficulty seeing through the lens of their combination oxygen mask & smoke goggles. Ultimately, the flight landed safely; however, the SAIB made me think about how often we inspect (or in this case) fail to inspect our emergency equipment.

Anyone who has ever donned a pressure-demand O2 mask during their preflight only to receive a blast of oxygen-propelled dust knows exactly what I'm talking about.

All too often, we take this kind of equipment for granted, assuming that it will be there when we are faced with a true emergency. Unfortunately, that kind of thinking can be a recipe for disaster!

As aviators (and maintainers) we owe it to ourselves, our passengers, and our customers to ensure that the equipment which we depend upon to assist us in abnormal or emergency situations is ready to do its job before it is pressed into service.

Discovering faults in emergency equipment in the heat of a real emergency only serves to compound the severity of the situation and adds additional tasks to an already stressful workload. This is especially true for pilots operating high performance aircraft in a single pilot scenario.

When was the last time you really preflighted your emergency equipment? Do you actually don your oxygen masks and verify operation and flow prior to flight? How about your ELT or avionics standby power sources? If you have dual or standby vacuum systems, do you regularly test them independently?

Based upon the number of aircraft which come into Bison Aviation, LLC with empty supplemental oxygen tanks, non-functional ELTs, and standby batteries which won't pass the ground check, it would seem that a lot of us could stand to spend a little more time checking these systems.

When I get to the airport today, I think I'll take a few minutes to preflight some of my own emergency equipment, even though I most likely won't have time to go flying. I encourage all of you to do the same - it won't take much time, and it quite possibly could save your life!

Bison Aviation Earns FAA Diamond Award!

u.1.Bison Aviation - 2018 AMT Diamond Award.jpg

Bison Aviation, LLC is proud to announce the receipt of the FAA Diamond Award of Excellence.  This award is the highest conferred by the FAA to maintenance organizations and recognizes the significant dedication to training and safety Bison Aviation put forth over the course of 2018.


The Night Before Christmas... at the Hangar (2018)

The Night Before Christmas…at the Hangar (2018)

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the shop,
The mechanics were busy,
Thanks to their evil boss.

John had sent them a message,
An annoying group text.
Overtime, mandatory!
Or a job you’ll need next.

So there in the hangar
They toiled in their labor.
For such was the life
Of an airplane maintainer.

When out on the ramp
There arose a great din.
They all rushed to the doors
Afraid the cold would get in.

For Winter had come
With a northerly breeze
and though the hangar was warm
outside was sixty degrees.

Out there on the ramp
What a wonder, saw they
A fat, jolly man
In an eight-engine sleigh!

The cubby man bellowed:
“My oil change is due,
I hate to be a bother
But no one is open, but you”

So quickly JD
Called his team into action.
“If an oil change is needed
We’ll provide satisfaction!”

“Robin, quick, get his info
And load him in Quantum.
For without a work order
Documentation will be wanton.”

“Call David and Tayseer
Those school planes can wait.
We can’t delay Santa
On his appointed date.”

“Have Roel run updates
Then check pitot-static.
There’s also a squawk
On the Pilot, Automatic.”

Then Deena called out
These drains are froze tight
“Get me more PB Blaster,
Or we’ll be here all night!”

Cody cut all the filters
And pulled the SOAP samples.
If metal was to be found,
Their concerns would be ample.

Teresa entered the parts
And printed logs with elation,
While Tuna & Halibut
Munched on Temptations.

Then Santa inquired
“Do I settle-up here?”
“No, Lesli will bill you,
but probably not till next year.”

The oil changes done,
The leak checks completed,
Santa boarded his sleigh
And his pre-flight repeated.

As he fired up his engines
He called them by name.
He growled under his breath
Until to life they came.

Continental and Jacobs
Roared into life.
Then Lycoming and Garret,
And next there came Wright.

Finally, Pratt & Whitney
And the old Merlin too.
Last the mighty round Curtis
Their exhaust fires glowed blue.

Then Santa taxied out
And lined up on one-seven.
For the wind was now South
With gusts to eleven.

He pushed forward the throttles,
Keyed his mic for his call:
“Santa’s taking the active,
Merry Christmas To All,”

“I’m off on my journey
To spread Christmas delight,
And I know thanks to Bison,
This will be a safe flight!”


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