May 2001 Issue

Shake, Rattle & Roll

Your prop is out there working hard for you, and no one likes to feel taken for granted

To most pilots, the airplane’s propeller is something routinely taken for granted. Oh sure, preflight may include running a hand over the blades in some pretended attempt to look for something. But many people don’t have much of a clue as to what they’re looking for — maybe nicks or leading edge surface roughness from sand or water erosion.

Controllable-pitch props generally have some kind of flight time or calendar TBO, such as requiring an overhaul after 1,200 hours or five years, whichever comes first. Check the logbooks of most older airplanes, and you may find this to be the most commonly ignored manufacturer recommendation for Part 91 airplanes.

Some misguided owners, in an eff...

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