Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have this problem with my aircraft engine...

Thankyou for your inquiry regarding your aircraft engine. It has been over 15 years since I sold my engine overhaul  business and I find my knowledge is dated and sometimes fading from memory. Even though I cannot answer your  specific question, I would like to express my thoughts on airworthiness that might be of some help.

In the aviation industry airworthiness is based on objective evidence. This standard exists in most countries and is exemplified by the use of "inspectors" and "documents". Your question about the "airworthiness" or safety of your  engine is a valid question and you do not need a reason to ask. In fact, inspector's will pull job sheets at random and ask for proof of airworthiness. Inspectors and inspection based on documents are an integral part of aircraft maintenance at every level.

How does your mechanic, maintenance shop, manufacturer, etc. show airworthiness? All of the following are typically  required:
  • Evidence of approval from governing body,
  • Evidence of training,
  • Necessary tools and equipment at hand,
  • Appropriate maintenance manuals,
  • Calibration reports to show measurement integrity,
  • Inspection reports and check sheets,
  • Functional tests.
 Objective standards of airworthiness are not based on a "personal" relationship between inspector and technician. In fact, this often hinders the objectivity of the inspection.  

Your question involves a measurement issue. This can only be answered objectively by either:
  1. obtaining the inspection reports showing dimensional recordings, with calibration sheets to back up measurement  quality.
  2. Re-taking the measurements.
The burden of proving "airworthiness" rests on the shoulders of the maintenance facility. Generally, there is a record retention time limit for such questions to be asked, often 3 years or longer.

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