Maintenance Matters

September 2008 Issue

Prop Overhauls: It’s All Your Fault

Well, maybe not entirely. But proactive midstream clean and reseals can make the inevitable prop major a little easier to swallow.

Unless youíre among the small but increasing number of aircraft owners lucky enough to own a jet, your airplane has at least one propeller and sooner or later, it will need an overhaul. The cynical joke among some mechanics and owners is no known prop shop ever saw a propeller that didnít need an overhaul. While that may be too harsh, even cheapskate owners are finding that there are too many substandard props out there that are signed off as airworthy but are, in fact, marginally airworthy. No small number of them are absolute junk. Why? Corrosion, mainly, and lack of maintenance by owners who just donít understand what kind of care propellers typically need and whose ignorance costs them money. In fact, according to the pros, treating your propeller like the critical component it is and lending it a little TLC every now and then can go a long way toward preventing costly maintenance. And when your well-cared-for prop does go into the shop, you may have more options than just getting it overhauled.

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