Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Matilda McLean

Second Advisor

William Feenstra

Third Advisor

Scott Austin


This study looks to create a caddy using 3D printing which will hold items needed to pre-flight a single engine training aircraft. Currently, the fuel sump jar and dipstick are stored loosely in the baggage compartment of Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation’s aircraft, thus requiring students to hold each item while moving around the aircraft. This has been noted as a challenging situation, especially during cold weather months. Additionally, these items must be placed on the wing when not in use and can be blown off during windy days. Furthermore, Aviation Gas is a carcinogenic fuel which should not come into contact with human skin per the manufacturers’ recommendations. The caddy aims to solve these problems by providing a convenient way for pilots to carry the supplies and a location to place the pre-flight items when not in use to prevent them from blowing away. The designs underwent several revisions and were approved by the Director of Aircraft Maintenance before the caddies could be tested on the aircraft. Multiple prototypes were utilized by students which provided feedback for design refinement via Google Forms during two separate testing periods. Such refinements included condensing the designs into a lighter, more compact caddy and repositioning slots in the caddy to prevent pre-flight items from falling out while the caddy is moved around the aircraft. This research is important because it will allow the next generation of pilots to more safely and efficiently pre-flight an aircraft.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted