Sometimes things happen! It’s not very profound, but it is very true. Engines suffer through prop strikes, wire strikes, hot starts and hard landings. Frequently, post incident inspections reveal minor damage and the engines are repaired and returned to service promptly. Recently, engines have been brought to Covington for investigation because “things” have happened to them. One was a reported incident of a starter/generator arcing. The starter/generator malfunctioned and was replaced. While the maintenance appears to have been performed properly, “things” still happen. Here is what we found upon disassembly:
An indication of electrical discharge was noted from the starter gear and all through the accessory gearbox. The #1 bearing failed, which in turn allowed the compressor to shift causing a severe rub of the compressor components and the compressor turbine blades. Another engine suffered from oil starvation:
Another engine suffered from oil starvation:
And a third engine had a failure in the turbine area:
Even though the engines pictured here suffered from in-flight shutdowns, all of the aircraft were able to land safely and all pilots walked away.
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Although we understand that “things” happen, we don’t want them to happen to you. If they do, we will work with you no matter where your previous maintenance was done, to ensure that you have a rental/replacement engine as quickly as possible to keep you flying. Remember to be aware of changes in your engine or events that could cause damage. Pay attention to the way it sounds (blade rubbing), looks (metal or debris in oil), smells (oil burning) and feels (vibrations) along with watching the gages. You may be able to detect a problem before some ”thing” happens to your engine.
Need to have a certified expert look at your PT6A engine? Founded in 1972, Covington Aircraft is a world-leading aircraft engine maintenance, repair and overhaul facility specializing in the PT6A turbine engine and R-985 and R-1340 radial engines. We are a Pratt & Whitney Canada certified Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility (DDOF), and provide world-class corporate and agricultural aircraft service.
If you are interested in becoming a missionary pilot or mechanic, you will need to meet a set of criteria. Aviation training and education is necessary and quite expensive. Those with significant debt will be challenged to qualify for the field. Let’s take a look at what is required to become a missionary pilot or mechanic.
Unlike other amphibious planes designed for military use, the Grumman Goose began as a private venture. A group of wealthy Long Island executives simply wanted a way to get back and forth to Wall Street, and commissioned Grumman to build a plane that could take off from a local airstrip and land on water near New York’s financial district.
When it comes to airplane engines, radial engines are the true classic
Ever since Louis Bleriot crossed the English Channel in 1909, the radial engine has been an integral part of modern aviation. Their simple yet powerful design has been improved upon throughout the 1900’s, but the basic principles behind the airplane engine have remained constant. Pratt and Whitney R-985 and R-1340 radial engines were designed starting in the 1920’s, and have withstood the test of time. Many of these radial engines are still in use today, thanks to companies like ours who are able to perform the overhaul and maintenance required for these masterpieces.
The R-1340 radial engine was Pratt and Whitney’s first foray into airplane engines, and approximately 35,000 engines were produced. The next engine to be mass-produced was the R-985. This engine was manufactured from the 1930’s to the 1950’s, and over 39,000 of them were made
Radial engines played a major part in the First World War, outlasting and outperforming rotary engines over time. The R-985 and R-1340 engines became the standard aircraft engine for World War II, powering airplanes used in basic training as well as military versions of civil aircraft. After the war, R-985 engines were used in various smaller civil and military airplanes, including utility aircraft, small transports and agricultural aircraft. Their simple design and reliability made them popular among airplane enthusiasts around the country.
Today, you’ll find most R-985 and R-1340 engines in bush planes and agricultural aircraft, as well as on WarBirds. Parts for these engines are still available on the market, but repair and overhaul of R-985 and R-1340 radial engines requires a skilled technician. As a certified FAA Repair Station, our Radial Engine Division is the largest R-985 and R-1340 overhaul facility in the world, and we pride ourselves on being true artisans when it comes to overhaul and maintenance of radial engines.
So, if you’ve got a plane with one of these engineering marvels, be sure to entrust its maintenance to a facility that specializes in the radial engine. They can keep your engine running for years to come.
The Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine has been in use since 1961 and has since logged more than 380 million flight hours, the equivalent of about 250,000 round-trips to the moon. The most advanced PT6A engine family includes three power levels, “Small”, “Medium”, and “Large” that all have the advantage of turbine cooling, aerodynamic design, and advanced technologies in materials. Keeping these engines running efficiently and safely wouldn’t be possible without a periodic Hot Section Inspection.
Covington Aircraft is a Pratt & Whitney Canada authorized Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility (DDOF) specializing in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of corporate PT6A Turboprop engines. We also offer world-class agricultural aircraft services.
The Lancair experimental aircraft: beautiful, fast and having what the FAA calls a “disproportionate” number of fatal accidents. There seem to be a higher number of fatal accidents involving Lancairs, which can be powered by the PT6APT6A. We want you to be aware of some statistics and information.
Last month we disassembled and investigated a 3000 hour time since new PT6A-34AG engine with a #1 bearing failure that appears to be attributable to a phenomenon called: EDD! The damage from the failure combined with damage from the propeller sudden stoppage following the aircraft’s off airport landing has resulted in a BER; an engine that is “Beyond Economic Repair”!
As we head into the winter months. the question is often asked about Preservation and Depreservation of engines. To help answer some of these questions, the following information was gathered from the PT6A-34AG Maintenance manual (Manual Part Number 3021242).