Although every aviation mechanic should be well-versed in the maintenance requirements of aircraft turbine engines, with time comes complacency. Failure to adequately perform maintenance on a gas turbine engine can lead to engine failure, which could have catastrophic, if not deadly, results. Therefore, let’s examine a few routine maintenance items on aircraft turbine engines that are often overlooked.
Improper Torqueing Techniques
One common error during maintenance on an aircraft turbine engine is using improper torque. Mechanics often estimate the amount of torque they are using rather than getting a torque wrench to perform the maintenance correctly. When engineers design an aircraft, whether it is one with a large or small turbine engine, a thorough analysis is done on the stresses that will affect each part of an aircraft. Under-torqued hardware will result in inadequate preload and lead to unnecessary wear on nuts and bolts, while over-torqued hardware exceeds the design limits and often leads to failure.
Improper O-Ring Installation
When mechanics get busy, O-ring installation is one of the aircraft turbine engine maintenance requirements that are easily overlooked. However, by following good standard practices, O-ring maintenance is much easier. Inspect O-rings prior to installation, looking for manufacturing defects, such as cracks or material left over from the manufacturing process. Ensure the O-rings are properly lubricated using the correct type of lubricant. Improperly lubricated O-rings can clog filters and fuel nozzles. Install a protective sleeve over any threads the O-ring slides over to prevent damage.
Another area where mechanics can become complacent while performing routine aircraft turbine engine maintenance is inspecting the many clamps found in the aircraft engine. Mechanics should inspect clamps for proper cushioning as worn or out-of-position clamps can cause wire and tubing chafing. When clamps are replaced, check for damage to the tubing where the clamp was located, and replace the clamp with one of the same size. A clamp that is too small will pinch the hose, while one that is too large will not hold the hose securely. Solvents spilled on rubber clamps could cause deterioration of the rubber, so use caution. Never use tie wraps in place of clamps as tie wraps are hard enough to cause serious damage to the wiring, tubing and engine frames.
[gravityform id=”1″ name=”Request Maintenance”]