Turbine engines have seen various advancements over the years, they can still face a number of issues that may deter standard operations or performance. When a turbine engine or jet engine has an abnormal start or fails to start at all, it is important to determine the issue at hand before attempting to fly for the means of safety. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most common problems that turbine engines face and how they may be diagnosed, allowing you to have a better idea of what to do if you are met with such issues.
If you are preparing for flight and the engine simply will not turn on, there may be a number of causes that you should consider. One common issue is simply not having enough engine fuel present in tanks, as this will prevent standard combustion from being carried out. This is an obvious issue, but not the only possibility. Another potential cause of a failure to start may also be a result of the exciter not being provided with the proper amount of electrical power. When any such issue is suspected, the engine, fuel system, and all related equipment should be powered off for safety before conducting inspections or fixes recommended by the manufacturer of the aircraft model.
Hot starts are another common starting issue that one may potentially face during the service life of their engine, and these instances are denoted by exhaust gas temperatures exceeding desired or safe limits. Exhaust temperatures are very important to monitor at all times, as extreme levels of heat can easily lead to turbine assembly damage that will require costly and timely repairs. Hot starts are most commonly caused by mixtures of very rich fuel and air, the imbalance leading to higher temperatures after combustion. Usually, this mixture issue comes from an excessive amount of fuel entering the combustion chamber or insufficient airflow. When a hot start ensues, the engine fuel supply should be cut off as soon as possible, and once everything has cooled and is safe to inspect, you should have assemblies checked to find the issue.
The last major starting issue that one may encounter is the hung or false start, that of which is when the turbine engine starts normally while having very low compressor RPM that falls below needed speeds for flight. Two of the most common causes for a hung or false start is either having inadequate starting torque values or the starter cutting off prior to the engine starting. Before attempting any other starting procedure, the engine should be shut down right away so that all assemblies can be diagnosed as required.
If you are inspecting your gas turbine engine for various starting issues and find that there are damaged or malfunctioning components, it is essential that you have everything repaired and replaced as necessary. Operating with parts that are not working correctly can be extremely dangerous, and often illegal as a result of airworthiness mandates. When you are preparing for maintenance, repair, and overhaul and require top-quality parts to get the job done, get in touch with ASAP AOG.
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