Today’s blog goes out to all you Beechcraft King Air owners and pilots. What better way to start out my second blog than to talk about the most important (and most expensive) component of your Beechcraft King Air Series aircraft…your Pratt & Whitney PT6A Series engine.
We all know that the technology of turbine engines is such that we just can’t simply make sure there is oil in the oil tank and that proper maintenance such as periodic inspections, hot section inspections, and engine overhauls all need to be performed when required. Two other preventative maintenance items I left out are the subject of today’s blog. Those two items would be engine fuel nozzle maintenance, and compliance with Pratt & Whitney Service Information Letter PT6A-116, borescopic inspection of the engines during compliance with the fuel nozzle flow testing.
Let’s start with proper fuel nozzle testing. Pratt & Whitney recommends the fuel nozzles in your PT6A Series engine be tested every 400 flight hours. Poor fuel nozzle flows are one of the primary causes of reduced hot section life and can affect hot section components, especially the compressor turbine vane ring. Proper fuel nozzle inspection and maintenance are able to help prevent problems from occurring in your engines. At Advancetech Aircraft Maintenance, Inc., our employees are trained in the proper inspection techniques of your PT6A Series engine fuel nozzles, and take every precaution to make sure the fuel nozzles and nozzle sheaths meet the highest standards before reinstalling them in your engine. In the event of a failed nozzle tip or sheath, Advancetech also is usually able to supply its customers with overhauled components which could equate to a huge savings if having to replace a number of them.
Secondly, and just as important, is making sure your repair facility is complying with Pratt & Whitney’s Service Information Letter PT6A-116 during the fuel nozzle testing of your engines. This service letter was introduced to detect heat distress at the compressor turbine vane ring, something which might not otherwise be detected during regular ground power checks or during flight data collection for those using trend monitoring. An undiscovered hole in one of the C.T. vane ring trailing edges could end up being the cause of C.T. blade fatigue requiring replacement of the entire set of C.T. blades.
Advancetech takes the proper care of your aircraft engines very seriously, which includes complying with the borescopic inspections of your Pratt & Whitney turbine engines. We take great care in not only performing the inspections utilizing our 3.9mm color articulating video borescope, but we make the data available for the aircraft owner in the form of a CD for each engine inspected containing not only the color still photographs and videos taken during the borescopic inspection, but also a formal detailed analysis of our findings. This has proven to be an extremely important tool in not just determining the current status of your hot section components, but also an excellent point of reference for comparison with future inspections.
As the old saying goes, you can “pay me now, or pay me later”. Proper care of your engines during regular maintenance such as your fuel nozzle and borescopic inspections are proven to be huge factors in preserving the integrity of your engine components and saving money in the long run. And isn’t that what it’s all about in the end?