An aircraft needs plenty of TLC to keep it in the air and keep the passengers and operators safe. And no matter its size, its purpose, or the kind of engines it’s using, there are plenty of steps that could call for some attention. Knowing how to tell what kind of engine work is needed is important since it will often dictate whether your own team of mechanics handles a job or if you hand over the work to someone with more resources and experience.
Maintenance is usually the easiest to understand since regular maintenance is laid out clearly in engine owner’s manuals. Daily inspections and weekly checks will help keep an aircraft in the air and out of the repair shop, so it’s a good idea to simply plan on doing maintenance as frequently as needed.
The big question will usually come down to whether or not you need to repair your engine or replace it completely. Obviously, repairs are usually less expensive but there are plenty of occasions when even your budget will benefit from a replacement. The key is knowing when that time is. Your own mechanics will be able to let you know when a job is outside their abilities, but what then?
For starters, ask the expert who is handling your aircraft repair. They’ll be able to tell you what the problem is, what options there are, what the costs will be, and what future issues could come up. If an engine is ruined or has failed completely, replacement will be the obvious choice. But you may need to weigh the long term costs against the short term costs in some cases.
For example, will a repair cost less now, but potentially last for only a short time? If so, you may save by paying for a new, reliable engine and then avoid downtime in the future. A grounded airplane means a loss of income, so you might need to weigh out the pros and cons of each option in order to determine what steps you should take next.
With the help of an experienced MRO expert, you’ll be able to review all of your choices and make the right call. Look beyond just initial cost and consider things like future downtime, reliability, safety, and more. Those are the factors that should guide your ultimate decision.