October 2015 Issue

PT-6 Overhauls: Complex and Expensive

Don’t think of them as anything like piston overhauls.There are so many model variants that an owner is well advised to seek an expert to see the work through.

As a variation on the tired trope about not being able to afford something if you have to ask its price, we offer this: If you want a detailed understanding of all there is to know about the myriad models of Pratt & Whitney’s workhorse PT-6 turbine, you’d need a career change just to frame the question. If variety is the spice of life, the PT-6 is off-scale high on the Scoville index. Daunting or not, PT-6s eventually have to be overhauled and the market for such services is competitive and well-served, albeit structured a bit differently than the piston-engine overhaul world. Given the complexity, newbie PT-6 owners—and there appear to be more every year—may be unavoidably dependent on advice from shops which either specialize in aircraft powered by the PT-6 or, better yet, independent consultants who understand these unique engines.

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