North America:1 (800) 942-7767 International:+1 (937) 778-4200

Hartzell Propeller Service Center

Prop Shop FAQ: Answering Your Propeller Service & Support Questions

Date: August 22, 2023 Category: Blog Tags: , , , , , , ,
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

When it comes to maintaining your airplane propeller, it pays to be picky. Not every maintenance and repair facility holds the same standards for quality, service, and support. Prop shops can also vary greatly in the experience and training level of technicians, the sophistication of repair processes, and the equipment used to overhaul aircraft propellers.

To meet the needs of our growing customer base, Hartzell Propeller proudly operates our own on-site propeller Service Center with fly-in service at the Piqua Airport/Hartzell Field (I17). As the only Hartzell-owned propeller repair station, the Hartzell Service Center provides the highest standard of service available on Hartzell propellers and governors with fast turnaround, competitive pricing, and excellent customer support.

Airplane Propeller Service FAQ

When your propeller needs to be serviced, it’s natural to have questions. After all, you want to know what to expect so you can get back in the skies.

Today, we’re sharing the answers to some of the most commonly asked propeller service questions:

Propeller Balance Technician
Hartzell Propeller’s Service Center

#1: How often should my aircraft propeller be serviced?

It should go without saying, but always have your propeller looked at by a qualified professional if it has been damaged due to a prop strike, crack, or corrosion — or if you notice unusual vibration, excessive noise, or changes in performance during flight. 

This is why preflight and postflight propeller inspections are so critical. If you see signs of visible damage, don’t fly. Even seemingly “minor” prop damage can become catastrophic in flight.

For regularly scheduled maintenance and TBO (time before overhaul) limits, adhere to the requirements set forth by your propeller manufacturer. If you have a Hartzell prop, refer to the most recent revision of Hartzell Service Letter HC-SL-61-61Y and use your propeller model number to locate the overhaul limits that apply to you.

Hartzell Propeller Non-destructive testing Service Center
Non-destructive testing

#2: What does a propeller overhaul involve?

At Hartzell, our propeller overhaul process is comprehensive and highly meticulous. While the exact details will vary depending on the specific model and material of your propeller, a Hartzell propeller overhaul typically includes:

  • A visual and dimensional inspection and assessment of the propeller’s condition
  • Careful disassembly and cleaning/replacement of components
  • Non-destructive testing to detect hidden damage and corrosion in blade and hub
  • Blade inspection, refurbishment, and repainting
  • Reassembly and testing, including static balancing
  • Final inspection to verify the components and propeller assembly meet Hartzell’s safety standards

When you send your prop to the Hartzell Service Center for overhaul, you can expect it to be returned in “like new” condition, since we use the same inspection techniques and surface treatments as the factory where your airplane propeller was originally manufactured.

#3: How can I maintain my propeller between overhauls?

We’re glad you asked! Preventive propeller maintenance is a great way to protect your propeller investment and promote safe flying. Here are some tips:

  • Perform regular propeller inspections to catch signs of damage as early as possible.
  • Clean your aircraft propeller with soap and water to prevent the buildup of bugs and debris.
  • Lubricate your propeller according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Use caution when operating in harsh environments such as gravel, sand, and grass.
  • Avoid excessive pushing or pulling on propeller blades to move the aircraft.
Hartzell Propeller Service Center Parts Inventory
Service Center Parts Inventory

#4: How long does propeller service typically take?

The short answer is that it depends. Simple routine maintenance and inspections may take only a few hours, while more complex repairs and overhauls can take a few days up to several weeks to complete.

When you choose the Hartzell Service Center, you’ll benefit from our extensive spare parts inventory, which helps to minimize downtime significantly.

We also offer a convenient propeller exchange program to support a wide variety of aircraft. Customers are welcome to schedule a delivery of an exchange propeller prior to their maintenance schedule needs.

#5: Why should I get my propeller dynamically balanced?

While not required as part of the propeller overhaul process, dynamically balancing your propeller offers significant benefits. Dynamic propeller balancing is performed while the propeller is on the airplane, ensuring that the engine and propeller assembly is balanced as a whole. This helps protect the life of your aircraft engine, leads to smoother performance, and helps save maintenance dollars in the long run.

Hartzell Propeller offers dynamic propeller balancing at our Service Center. The process can usually be completed within a few hours, providing noticeable results for your next flight.

Do You Have a Propeller Service Question?

Our team of propeller experts is happy to answer any question you may have about airplane propeller service, including maintenance, repair, overhaul, and even propeller upgrades for better performance. Get in touch with us today!

Hartzell Propeller