M12 Tool bag question

Ok, here goes… some have asked since I am doing a Owner Maintenance seminar at Migration if I could suggest a set of minimum tools. It is hard to design one because one guys basic tool bag is another guys overstuffed and heavy bag. Some of what is needed is from specialty suppliers. Some is just an understanding of what is needed in a pinch.

So, here is the question. If I put together a tool bag option for class attendees (or broader M12), who is interested in buying one? What I was thinking is a 3 or $400 dollar bag that has the basics for what a owner (non A&P mechanic) could legally perform. Tools to pull a cowl, change one or two spark plugs (special socket, torque wrench, service wrench, etc…) assorted hardware/screws, safety wire and pliers, etc…

Certainly nothing you could do major maintenance, but testing the waters and certainly not making it elaborate or marking it up much, this stuff can get expensive buying small quantities at retail. If it is in reasonable demand I will put something together. If not or if you mostly feel you got it covered I won’t waste my time.


What a great gesture and thought. For me, I would rather have a virtual toolbox. In that I mean, that you put it together on our site and have links to the models and tools you recommend and why with pictures. Then let each of us source it as we want. Some of us will have some of it already. That way, we get the benefits of your expertise (And hopefully others). It can be updated as you learn and find other tools or sources. Members can comment on special deals or discounts. Best of all worlds.

I’m in.
A list would be good but I’m likely too lazy to get it all done.

I’m interested too. I’m just not 100% sure yet whether I’d be able to definitively be in Las Vegas the day before M12 starts to attend the maintenance seminar, although I will do everything I can to be there.

Hi Roger,

I would certainly support John’s idea of a virtual toolbox or similar - as I have some bits, but not as complete a collection as I think it could be. I plan to come to your owner maintenance workshop at M12, and look forward to better understanding what’s under the cowl.



Agree with the virtual box,

I have tool boxes filled to the rim. I find that even though I hate Harbor Frieght, it seems to be a great place to buy cheap throw away tools. Use them a couple of times and buy new, give the old ones to the grand kids for their toolbox.

Roger, what a great initiative! Thank you.

I agree with John on a virtual toolbox.

I already have quite a number of tools (that I don’t need to buy again) but a checklist that causes me to think about what I might consider bringing with me on a longer cross country flight would be helpful.

Roger I’m in if you do it. Sounds smart. Potentially also even a step toward a good “AOG kit”-- which I should really have.

When Roger made this offer I sardonically thought to myself, “Yeah, maybe an iPad app” would get more traction. Ritter has not sold too many of his *excellent *Survival Kits because so many pilots want to “roll their own”.

For what it is worth, likely the best tool I have is a genuine Snap On Ratcheting Screwdriver.

I like the bright coloured ones and I burned my name into the plastic handle to reduce the chance of loss.

There are lots of fake Chinese knock-offs on ebay and elsewhere online. This is *one *thing that you really want the Real McCoy. Order directly from Snap On here

Then get yourself a few of the the best Philips bits around. The Vermont American Ice Claw.

The ribbed tip reduces camming out of the screw head. Cheap bits will ruin your screws.

They also make straight blade tip Ice Bits. Load the handle of your Snap ON Screwdriver with #1 & #2 Phillips and #1-2-3 of the straight blade tip.

You will use this in 75% of your owner maintenance work and it will bring you pleasure every time you use them.

(Don’t be tempted to use power drivers to save time on aircraft screws, you need to be careful and need to feel when something is stick or tight enough)


I’m in for the preassembled kit. We have assembled a few tools, but I am sure we are missing many.

If I cannot make M12, I will buy it anyway.


I got the stubby version. Love it.

I have the stubby, the long version and the middle too. Carry a second one in the plane too with different length bits. Those are excellent screwdrivers. Not cheap but excellent.

I’m in, either virtually or to purchase the whole kit. I won’t be at M12 so a shipping option would be great.