What is an engine overhaul?

The most expensive and important part of an aircraft is easily the engine. Sometimes you don’t have any other option than to overhaul your current engine. It can be a frustrating process, but it gets easier when you know who to turn to and what needs to be done.

It’s important, for safety reasons, to regularly inspect and maintain your aircraft engine. Every 1,800 hours for a hot section inspection, and 3,600 for an overhaul. The hot section inspection is when all the hot section aircraft engine components are inspected to ensure that they can generate enough power to fly efficiently and safely. An overhaul is when the entire engine is disassembled, cleaned, inspected, reassembled, tested, and shipped back to the installation agency.

Overhauls are a thorough process. The engine’s four major sections, accessory gearbox, gas generator section, power section, and reduction gearbox, have to be disassembled and properly inspected. All the fuel control units, fuel pumps, nozzles, flow dividers, fuel oil heaters, speed governors, heated tubes, and ignition units need to be overhauled. Engine mounts are changed, and engine hoses are reviewed at this time. Mandatory and optional service bulletins are usually addressed at this time as well.

Because of how much more work an overhaul is, the price can be extremely high. Understanding your aircraft engine parts and what needs you have regarding your engine can help provide you with a better cost-benefit analysis. Sometimes it’s more cost-efficient to just upgrade than to overhaul. However, this also depends on who you’re working with. Are you comfortable with paying a bit more for an authorized and approved service center? Or are you okay with using a cheaper service center that your engine’s OEM does not support?

Choosing the right service center to oversee and do your overhaul is important. Experienced and reliable service centers will walk you through the entire process and help you weigh different costs and benefits, provide you with competitive quotes with options, be willing to answer all your questions, and be able to do any extra work you may need or want done.


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