Your aircraft propeller represents a significant investment in the performance, safety, and efficiency of your aircraft. To ensure you’re getting the most from your investment, it’s critical to conduct regular preventative maintenance of your aircraft propeller in addition to complying with a regular overhaul schedule. Here are a few of our top propeller maintenance tips for aircraft owners.
Before and after any flight, it’s important to do a visual inspection of your propeller. Start by looking for signs of obvious damage, such as nicks, gouges, cracks in the spinner dome, missing hardware and signs of erosion. Check that your blades and spinner are not loose and that there’s no blade “wobble.” With the newest structural composite propellers, signs of damage or erosion can be less obvious. That’s why we created a video tutorial to help pilots conduct a detailed pre-flight inspection of composite propellers. If you do notice any issues during an inspection, it’s best to get it addressed quickly by an expert.
During flight, your propeller picks up debris from dead insects, dirt, and pollutants. This debris can build up over time and affect the performance of your aircraft propeller. Hartzell’s technical experts suggest using a simple solution of dish soap and water to gently remove debris from the surface of your blades. While cleaning your blades, be sure that the liquid you’re using doesn’t run back toward the propeller hub, as it could damage a seal. To prevent this, simply wash your blades in the down position so the water runs off the end.
There’s no regulation against custom painting or putting artwork or graphics onto propeller blades. However, it is important to ensure visibility of your blades, especially while they’re in motion. Any paint job that reduces the visibility of spinning blades is a safety hazard to pilots and passengers. At Hartzell Propeller, we use approved paint schemes in a variety of options. If you find that your Hartzell blades need a touch-up or repaint, you can send your propeller to our service center or to one of our recommended service facilities around the world and receive your propeller back with its original paint scheme.
By following a regular maintenance and overhaul schedule, your aircraft propellers can last through multiple overhauls and deliver better performance for many more hours of flying.
Do you have a question for the Hartzell Propeller technical team? Contact us today.