Mike Busch is arguably the best-known A&P/IA in General Aviation. He has been a well-respected aviation writer, teacher, journalist, and crusading iconoclast for more than four decades. For the past 20 years, the primary focus of his writing and teaching has been aircraft maintenance. He is founder and CEO of Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management, Inc., the world's largest company providing professional maintenance management services for owner-flown aircraft, and of SavvyAnalysis.com providing engine monitor data analysis for piston aircraft. He writes the monthly "Savvy Maintenance" column in AOPA Pilot magazine, and hosts free maintenance webinars for aircraft owners on the first Wednesday of each month sponsored by EAA. Mike co-founded AVweb, the Internet's premier aviation manazine and news service, in 1995, and served as its editor-in-chief for eight years. In 2008, the FAA Administrator honored Mike as "National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year."
Mike is a mathematician by training, having received his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude, and elected to the Phi Beta Kappa society. While at Dartmouth, Mike did pioneering work in computer software development. He went on to do graduate studies in mathematics at Princeton University on a National Science Foundation fellowship, and graduate studies in business administration at Columbia University.
After retiring from a long and successful career as a software entrepreneur, Mike co-founded AVweb (the pioneering Internet aviation magazine and news service with 130,000 subscribers) in 1995 and served as its editor-in-chief and one of its most prolific writers for seven years until AVweb was acquired by Belvoir Publications in September, 2002. A professional aviation writer since 1970, he has published hundreds of articles in numerous aviation publications, including Air Facts, American Bonanza Society Magazine, AOPA Pilot Magazine, AVweb, Cessna Pilots Association Magazine, Cirrus Pilot, IFR, Light Plane Maintenance, and The Aviation Consumer. Mike currently writes monthly columns for AOPA Pilot Magazine, Cessna Pilots Association Magazine, and Cirrus Pilot Magazine.
As a member of the technical staff of the 12,000-member Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) for more than 15 years, he was one of the original architects of CPA's renowned model-specific systems and procedures courses, has taught dozens of those seminars throughout the U.S. for owners of both single- and twin-engine Cessnas, and has assisted thousands of fellow aircraft owners to troubleshoot and fix the thorniest maintenance problems that their own local A&Ps have been unable to solve. He subsequently expanded his type-club activities to provide technical support to members of the 10,000-member American Bonanza Society (ABS) and the 2,700-member Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (COPA).
As an A&P/IA himself, Mike understands how owners and their mechanics can and should work together as a team to achieve the highest level of safety and dispatch reliability while minimizing frustration and expense. Between 2004 and 2010, he has conducted nearly 50 weekend Savvy Owner Seminars in venues throughout the U.S. to help nearly a thousand Part 91 aircraft owners learn how to manage the maintenance of their aircraft more effectively and cost-efficiently. Since 2010, he has conducted more than 50 monthly maintenance webinars sponsored by EAA.
A staunch general aviation safety advocate and technology buff, Mike was responsible almost single-handedly for the introduction of pulse oximeters and digital carbon monoxide detectors into GA cockpits.
As the twin-engine specialist for the Cessna Pilots Association, Mike has represented the twin-Cessna owner community in several major FAA rulemaking actions. After exhaust-related failures in turbocharged twin Cessnas was responsible for 30 fatalities during a 30-month period in the late 1990s, Mike spent three years working closely with the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate, the Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, and FAA Headquarters to craft a solution that met the FAA's safety goals while simultaneously being something that aircraft owners and maintenance facilities could live with. The result of this effort was AD 2000-01-16, and since its issuance in January 2000, there has not been a single exhaust-related accident in the twin Cessna fleet. More recently, Mike was heavily involved in the development of the Cessna 400-series spar strap ADs 2005-12-12 and 2005-12-13, once again working closely with the Small Airplane Directorate, the Wichita ACO, and FAA HQ.
Mike earned his private pilot certificate in 1964, and today has logged more than 7,000 hours as PIC, almost all in piston-powered GA airplanes. He is a commercial pilot with instrument, single- and multi-engine land, single-engine sea, and glider ratings; a certificated flight instructor for airplanes, instruments and multiengine; and a certificated A&P mechanic with Inspection Authorization. He purchased his first aircraft (a Cessna 182) in 1968, moved up to high-performance singles, and since 1987 has owned, flown and maintained a known-ice-equipped 1979 Cessna T310R turbocharged piston twin.
Mike resides on three oak-studded acres in a semi-rural area of California's central coast.
NOTE: In addition to his renowned maintenance writing and webinars and his maintenance management practice, Mike is also available as a consultant or expert witness.