Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

Cust (49)Cust (49)

The following stories from the December 4, 2009, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.

- My ePilot -- Helicopter Interest -

Helicopter Safety and Quality Summit announced

CHC Helicopter has opened registration for the CHC Safety and Quality Summit, scheduled for March 22 through 24, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, with early-bird pricing until the end of 2009. The nonprofit Safety and Quality Summit attracts aviation experts from around the globe to share best practices and explore the latest in safety management systems and human factors. Read more >>



Understanding ‘TBO’

A student pilot can hear a barrage of new terminology on the flight line and in the hangar. Much of it concerns aircraft maintenance. There’s no need for a student pilot to know everything an airframe and powerplant mechanic (A&P) knows, but basic concepts are valuable. “TBO” is one. It’s the “time between overhauls” in hours of operation of your aircraft’s engine.


Many pilots ask: Must my aircraft stop flying at TBO? “You are under no obligation to overhaul at TBO unless the aircraft is being flown for hire in a (federal aviation regulations) Part 121 or 135 operation. However, it is important to note that airworthiness directives or mandatory service bulletins may be due at TBO, or cycle or time-limited parts may need to be replaced at that time. If the airplane is subject to these requirements, and if they are not accomplished at the required time, flying the airplane beyond TBO would be in violation,” the Aug. 7, “Quiz Me” column in ePilot said.


Different rules govern light sport aircraft (LSA). “LSA regulations do not require compliance with the manufacturer's traditional service bulletins. However, on a LSA, service bulletins are called ‘safety directives’ and they are mandatory. Moreover, while TBO is normally not mandatory on a traditional aircraft engine, it is on an LSA,” Arlynn McMahon explained in “ Lightening up” in the March 2008 AOPA Flight Training.


AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines wrote about overhauling his 1972 Beechcraft Bonanza’s engine in the magazine’s October 2002 “ Waypoints.” And what about the propeller? “As with engines, propellers are not required to be overhauled at the manufacturer's recommended time-between-overhauls interval when used under FAR Part 91,” he wrote. But, “With the engine out, it's a good time to overhaul the prop….”


Curious about your trainer engine’s TBO? Look up the engine series in your pilot’s operating handbook, and find its TBO in a service instruction. For example, a 1986 Cessna Skyhawk has a Lycoming O-320-D2J engine; Lycoming lists the TBO for this and other engine series in one service instruction. After you have looked up the TBO for your trainer’s engine, ask the mechanic who works on the aircraft how much time remains before TBO, and what is planned at that point. Knowing the regulations and the overhaul process will help you understand the decision.


To gain a better basic understanding of propellers and engines, work through the AOPA Air Safety Foundation online course, “ Engine and Propeller.


ASA’s Prepware available on iTunes

Want to study for your next knowledge test while on the go? ASA has made all of its Prepware courses available on iTunes as applications that can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPod Touch. Courses available are sport, private, instrument, CFI, commercial, and ATP knowledge tests, as well as military competency, aviation maintenance technician, and flight engineer. See the Web site for more information.


Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.


Question: Is it legal to fly an intoxicated passenger on a Part 91 flight?


Answer: Federal Aviation Regulation 91.17 (b) prohibits a pilot from transporting any passenger who appears to be intoxicated or demonstrates behavior consistent with being under the influence of drugs, except in an emergency.


Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don’t forget the online archive of “Final Exam” questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.

Related Articles