Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Flying Machine

The position of PRM - Person Responsible for Maintenance - is an official one in a Canadian aviation organization. The holder has to write a test and pass an interview to show they understand the regulations and responsibility. There was a while in our company where the holder of the position was trying to transfer the duty and responsibility to someone else because the outgoing PRM was too busy to do the job, but the supposed-to-be trainee PRM didn't hold either a pilot licence or an aviation maintenance licence. That's not a legal problem, but while he was clearly enthusiastic about ensuring the aircraft worked safely, the idea of doing maintenance just because it's legally required was a hard sell. There were clearly a lot of cracks for things to fall in, big holes in those layers of swiss cheese, so I was keeping a close watch, and ended up doing some PRM duties.

The purpose of the above paragraph is to explain why I am the one here talking to the new PRM (neither of the above people) about upcoming maintenance, and why I knew these things. The AME is confused as to why I say the propellers on this airplane will be due for overhaul in the spring, because he knows he just put them on a couple of years ago, and normally propellers have about a ten year overhaul cycle. The AME has previously worked on corporate and private aircraft and, while of course he knows that there is an hours-flown component as well as a calendar time requirement for a propeller overhaul, he can't remember ever seeing anyone fly the hours off before the propeller times out. But we've put almost two thousand hours on these propellers, so we have to overhaul them.

I, on the other hand, have pretty much always worked on commercial aircraft that can easily log twelve hours a day. I'm not sure I've ever seen a propeller time out, except on a plane that we bought for parts. We will send its propellers out for overhaul and swap them onto the airplane whose propellers have timed out.


Cedar Glen said...

Good. Keep them spinning. If they ever stop spinning in flight, you'll know that they are far more than just AC blades to keep the pilots cool. Good maintenance is AT LEAST as important as is good flying. Happy New Year, -C.

majroj said...

Tell them there are always PRM positions for NIgerian Airways etc.

D.B. said...

Mine's timing out this year, and will be off for maintenance in the summer - with about 800 hrs in the past 10 years. :(