When owning or flying an aircraft, safety should be the greatest concern and responsibility. One major way to adhere to safety is to ensure that your aircraft engine is regularly overhauled at a facility. Time Between Overhauls (TBO) is a set amount of time, usually determined by the manufacturer, that is the recommended amount of operating hours before an engine requires an overhaul. Aircraft in use face normal wear and tear, and those that fly in extreme conditions are faced with much more, all affecting the performance and operation of the engine and its components.
While wear on the engine does not always mean imminent failure, it can decrease the performance of the engine, leading to more consumption of oil, decreased power, and increased safety risks. Thus, regular aircraft engine overhaul can help to identify any risks or problems before they have time to cause a failure. In general, overhaul encompasses the maintenance and restoration of components so that they can meet various set requirements. To do this, overhauls may follow on of two types: major and top overhauls.
A major overhaul can be intensive, requiring total disassembly of the engine so that every component can be inspected to check that they meet requirements and serviceable limits. Top overhauls, on the other hand, is the inspection and repair of components that do not require disassembly of the crankcase. Major overhauls can affect the engine’s value, as the engine loses value the longer they have been used since their last overhaul.
While non-commercial aircraft do not always require overhauls, they are extremely recommended for safety and optimal performance. Having scheduled inspections and choosing the right facility can help you easily maintain your aircraft. Often, companies will offer a variety of services to overhaul an engine, and these options may range from overhaul to meet basic minimum requirements to making an engine a factory rebuild so that it is “like new”.
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