About us

We believe that by sharing personal experiences we gain insight and become better pilots. So we created this website where students, seasoned pilots, and everyone in-between can share their experiences with aviation in an easy to read, beautiful way. Our hope is that you will follow our site, read these heartfelt articles and continue to become the safest, most proficient pilot possible.

Airplane Ignition System

An Airplane Ignition System Video Series

We hope you enjoy this video series on how the Airplane Ignition System works in a piston engine aircraft.  This video series was made by Jim and Bryan in the hopes that sharing this information would help make pilots safer while they enjoy operating their own aircraft. Our goal is to provide private pilots with information that allows them to make better and more informed decisions, better understand how their airplane works, and be able to know certain warning signs to be aware of.  Feel free to share this post with others, especially if you know of anyone interested in or studying the subject.  Thanks again and enjoy!


Airplane information:

Link to more on the Bonanza HERE

Part 1:

A look at the tachometer and a graphic engine monitor during run up.  This video contains good information on what these gauges are trying to tell you about how your airplane engine is performing.

Part 2:

In this video segment we are gonna get under the cowling and explore the magnetos, leads, spark plugs and more!

Part 3:

In this segment we are gonna pull the spark plugs out of the engine and examine them more closely.  Watch as I drop a hot spark plug right after being told not to…  yeah, I really hate being on video.

Part 4:

Positioning the piston at top dead center.  Jim makes me put my finger in the spark plug socket and my mistrust joins us on camera.

Part 5:

In this segment we employ the use of a timing indicator (aka: a can on a wire).   This segment covers tips on using an indicator and also how to read it and what it means.  Meanwhile I am still apparently upset about Jim trying to smash my finger in the spark plug socket.

Part 6:

In this section Jim hooks the leads up to the magneto, turns the key to the “on” position to check the equipment for how far off the timing is and then adjust the magnetos.


Part 7:

In this segment we take apart the magnetos and get a look inside.

Part 8:

Servicing the magneto.

Part 9:

The impulse coupling.

Part 10:

Jim explains all about the permanent magnet on the rotor.  Well, sort of….

Part 11:

The path of the spark from origin to ignition.

Part 12:

We are back in the airplane testing the work and seeing if the work has paid off and discussing how to know if it didn’t.

Part 13:

What it looks like when we have a broken ignition wire out to the magneto (P-Lead).

Part 14:

In conclusion, Jim remarks on how incredible the engineering is that goes into the airplane ignition system.

We hope you enjoyed this video series and found the information contained here helpful and fun.  If you would like to get articles like these sent to you via email, then please join our Disciples of Flight Newsletter (below) and get them mailed to you once per month.

Thanks again!

I am a pilot, videographer, avid outdoorsman, and aircraft owner. I currently have the honor of owning a variety of aircraft from a J3 Cub to a Cessna 210. I was given the aviation bug by Jim Hoddenbach and we started this blog together to share our experiences in aviation with like-minded pilots.