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Propeller overhaul (merged)

I have a question. Everybody here follows strictly the overhaul periods published by propeller manufacturers?

I've noticed that since EASA implanted the CAMO thing, every CAMO (at least in Spain) is including in each and every approved maintenance plan all maintenance tasks recommended by aircraft/propeller manufacturers. The reason is clear, almost all CAMOs are closely related to a maintenance organization, so doing like that allows to ensure themselves a lot of work. Whats your view on that? It's the same all over Europe? Are you happy knowing that every recomendation is applied on your plane? or do you feel it leads to 'excesive' maintenance in some cases?

LECU - Madrid, Spain

Unless the aircraft is operated commercially or for flight training, there is no reason to put it in a CAMO. It removes any discretion about maintenance, completely pointless for private operators. Inside a CAMO, manufacturers' maintenance guidelines are binding.

In Germany neither propeller nor engine overhauls are mandatory for private operators. It's different in other EASA member states from what I heard.

It was why I moved my aeroplane onto N reg. I was facing a mountain of recommendations, that were deemed mandatory under EASA. As far as the UK Part M guys were concerned, if it stated, recommended, anywhere in the manual, then as far as UK went, ALL was deemed mandatory. In GA you cannot live with this, therefore under FAR, it goes on condition, unless you are operating for hire and reward.

I have recently found out that a number of Part M, UK maintenance shops could not fix an electric kettle, let alone an aeroplane, but that is another story.........

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

Unless the aircraft is operated commercially or for flight training, there is no reason to put it in a CAMO>

Yes, this should be the case. Then it comes the next ubiquitous practice, at least in Spain: I'm a 145 organization and I have also a CAMO, I don't take your airplane if it is not in 'my' CAMO. Thus finally you 'choose' to be in a CAMO.

LECU - Madrid, Spain

Don't you have the same flexibility as G-reg that you have with D-reg? There is a hardly a difference between Part 91 and what I can do with D-reg. The only exception I know of is the dreaded safety belt overhaul but I think that was rescinded some time ago.

Unless the aircraft is operated commercially or for flight training, there is no reason to put it in a CAMO>

Yes, this should be the case. Then it comes the next ubiquitous practice, at least in Spain: I'm a 145 organization and I have also a CAMO, I don't take your airplane if it is not in 'my' CAMO. Thus finally you 'choose' to be in a CAMO.

Yes seen this creeping into the UK. Screwed if you do, screwed if you don't

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

I think the two biggest advantages of Part 91 FAA maintenance are (1) no documented maintenance plan requirement, providing the owner with proper flexibility to do what's needed when its needed, and (2) the lack of any recognition for the organization that a certificated A&P mechanic may or may not work for. That means (for instance) that the A&P can be your friend who worked for an aircraft manufacturer in the 80s but now makes his living elsewhere. Such an A&P will likely not be motivated to play games with you, and if he does you just throw away his phone number and call somebody else to come by instead.

The A&P IA who helps me out the most also taught me to fly, but today makes 95% of his money doing neither. The freedom from financial motivation (I'd guess he makes a six figure income in his real job) means he can afford to help his friends, and I think one of his motivations is not to kill his friends with bad advice. Odd how that works ;-)

Everybody here follows strictly the overhaul periods published by propeller manufacturers?

I take it you are in Spain. I think the UK does the same - a 6 year mandatory overhaul.

It was why I moved my aeroplane onto N reg

I am N-reg too and I maintain my plane on a "money no object" principle, with a zero defect tolerance. This is much easier than on G-reg, where I was for the first 3 years from new, where a lot of pointless work was done, often creating new problems because it was sometimes done by chimps (JAR145 chimps - they are very good). On N-reg I can get work done by the best people I know, chosen individually and not as a company for its approvals.

But - while being N-reg does allow you to skip the 6-yearly (or whatever) prop overhauls, you need to make a decision as to when to do it according to condition, and you need expert input for that. It is not a license to run the plane until something falls off, which unfortunately does sometimes happen. I know of people in the USA who have run their prop for 20-30 years without opening it up, and then they find it seizes up - or worse. If a blade comes off, it will probably rip the engine out, in seconds, and the plane will not be controllable in pitch due to the massive W&B issue. Also a prop accumulates nicks due to stones etc and eventually the amount of metal removed in dressing these means that at least 1 blade will be too far gone. Otherwise, the actual reasonable period depends on the type of prop and also depends on whether the plane is hangared, and on the environment (salt, etc). And obviously on hours flown, to some degree.

It is probably true that the ability to disregard component life recommendations (which in light GA are mostly arbitrary anyway and not based on engineering data) in the FAA regime is balanced by frequently inept EASA maintenance practices in the Euro regime, in the overall accident data

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

For propeller maintenance recommendations, I ask my friend across the field who founded an aircraft propeller manufacturing company 20 years ago and now with his staff designs and builds CS props for a living :-)

His are much better than what I can legally run, but the process of making them better taught him in detail the weaknesses and requirements of the various certified designs. If my A&P IA has a prop issue, guess who he goes to first to get the straight scoop.

Operating under FAR gives the owner/ operator the flexibility, authority and responsibility to manage his maintenance programme, in accordance with the manufacturers manual, in a sensible and balanced approach. Like Peter, I maintain my aeroplane to the highest standard, but found out the hard way, that a number of shops operating under EASA PartM, gave my aeroplane a 'tick box' approach to maintenance. It nearly fell to bits.

Now, I take an active role in the maintenance and overview, of my chosen shop, my chosen I/A, and make sure I look and understand what they have done. Previously I was under the very false illusion that you could trust the Part M system, and those that operated it, to properly maintain your aeroplane. I was very wrong.

Propellers must be maintained to the manufacturers overhaul regimes. It is a very important part of your aeroplane.

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow
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