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Top Tips For Proper Aircraft Propeller Maintenance

Among all aircraft components, the propeller is considered the most crucial part. It ensures flight safety but is also a highly stressed part. Do you know during normal flight, it endures 10 to 25 tons of centrifugal force? Even though it is the most important part, it is often overlooked by pilots. 


This as a result leads to unexpected issues and serious damages. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that the propeller receives regular care and maintenance. In addition to long life, it also ensures safe operation. Here are some best tips when it comes to aircraft propeller maintenance.


Pro Tips for Perfect Maintenance of Aircraft Propeller

Thorough Inspection

One of the best things one can do for aircraft propeller maintenance is to conduct a thorough inspection before and after flights. You can start by looking for:

  • Damages such as fractures, nicks, spinner dome cracks, gouges, erosion, any missing hardware, etc  

  • Touch the blades lightly with your fingertips to look for more damage.


Besides, there are different materials of propellers such as wood, metal, aluminum, composite, etc. Each material has its features and its damages. For instance:

  • Wood propellers ensure airworthiness. 

  • Metal propellers are prone to fatigue failures. 

  • Aluminum propellers are prone to cracks and other flaws.

  • Composite propellers are more prone to damage such as erosion, lighting strikes, debonds, etc.


If there are no signs of damage, you're good to go. However, if you find any issue or damage, address the issue quickly with a professional.

Check the Balance

When it comes to proper aircraft propeller maintenance another thing is to check the balance. There are mainly two types of balance checks- static and dynamic. A static balance is conducted when an airplane undergoes overhaul services and is done each time a propeller is removed from the aircraft.


Dynamic balance is conducted when the entire engine and propeller assembly operates as a whole. This specialized operation helps in gauging the engine and vibration levels of the propeller. Once the balance correction is done it results in many benefits :


  • Reduces cabin vibration. 

  • Smoother and comfortable flight. 

  • Ensures longevity of aircraft's propellers.

  • Ensures longevity of engine, avionics, and airframe.


If left untreated, the vibrations will not only affect the lifespan of the propeller but will also cause mental and physical stress among pilots and passengers.


aircraft propeller maintenance

Check the Surface Paint

Do you know aircraft paint acts as an additional layer of defense for both the propeller and the aircraft's lifespan? Yes! Therefore, another top tip for propeller maintenance is to check the surface paint. When checking look for:


  •  Flake or chipping before and after flights.


For minor damages, you can do paint touch-ups on your own. Besides, for major damages such as surface corrosion, seek help from experts. However, never neglect any issue for the moment thinking it is minor, because even a little crack can rapidly grow and turn out to be a dangerous crack in the propeller.


Clean the Propellers

Another tip to consider for aircraft propeller maintenance is to make sure they're clean. Because it receives the most stress, it is important to give it the care and maintenance it deserves after every flight. Keep in mind:


  • Not clean using high-speed jet water as it will cause damage to the internal components. 

  • When washing after each flight use a soft cloth, simple soap, and water mixture.

  • Before washing, point the blades in the down position and continue to wipe toward the ground.


Avoid Pushing/Pulling & Remove Gravel/Stone

Another important thing for aircraft propeller maintenance is to avoid pushing/pulling and removing gravel/stone. During moving or parking, one must not push or pull the propeller blades as it may lead to damage. Instead :


  • To safely move the airplane, use a towbar and remove it after use  


Similarly, remove any gravel or stone when running aircraft on runways. If not, it might cause damage to the propeller blades. Besides, if something strikes the propeller, discontinue the flight. Also:


  • Clear any foreign objects within 4 to 6 feet before starting or moving the aircraft to hard ground.


Check for Grease Leaks

Another thing that can raise concern is grease leaks. Even though this always doesn't mean something is wrong with your propeller, it shouldn't be neglected. For instance :


  • If your propeller is recently overhauled or is new, then it is common to leak for the first few hours. 


However, make sure the grease doesn't leak beyond the first few hours of operation. If it does, seek expert help immediately as they come with the right knowledge and tools like propeller maintenance stands.


In addition to leaks if your propeller starts vibrating too, then it requires immediate check from an expert for damage and cracks. Besides unexpected grease or leaks also gives signs that your aircraft's seals have given up and that the hub is starting to fail.


How much does Propeller Maintenance Cost?

Now that you know the importance of propeller maintenance, wonder how much airplane propeller maintenance costs? Mainly it depends on many factors but below are details about the cost:


  • Propeller paint- $160 to $255

  • Constant speed propeller overhaul- $2,850 to $3,480

  • Turbo pop overhaul/Full-feathering- $4,000 to $6,900

  • Propeller boots- $140 to $450


Keep in mind the cost of these may change depending on many things such as the type of issue, the professional, the company, brand materials used, location, etc.


Propeller Maintenance Stand

Prioritize Safety above Negligence


We at Santa Monica Propeller are your best aircraft propeller maintenance and service provider. Being certified, we work with different types of propellers and can repair or rebuild any propeller system, be it minor or complex. We offer a wide range of services such as propeller overhaul, propeller blade inspection and repair, propeller composite blade repair, etc. 


We have a team of experienced and qualified specialists who consider safety and quality service first. We have been helping clients since 1953 and we take pride in still doing. With years of dedication and top-notch service, we have successfully earned a name in the aircraft propeller industry. Be it aircraft propeller repair, overhaul, or maintenance, you can expect prompt and quality service at competitive prices.




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