To Borescope – or – Not to Borescope, that is the Question
Over the last 30 years, turbine engines have become so reliable that routine maintenance is recommended and required, but often doesn’t seem necessary for operators. Quick reminder though! Less attention to your maintenance schedule means there is a lack of transparency about what is happening within the inaccessible parts of the engine. Borescopes allow for visual inspection of hard to reach places inside of the engine without having to dismantle and can create a clear understanding of corrective action required for the engine to run optimally. However, before you stick that cool, new technology (we use video borescopes here at DAI) into your engine, you must understand the following:
1. Is the inspection part of OEM-recommended maintenance?
Each engine and airframe manufacturer has varying time requirements for maintenance checks listed within their respective maintenance manual. Occasionally, those checks include borescoping a portion of the engine. If that is the case, then the operator will need to follow the recommendations suggested in the maintenance manual. Due to the advancements in technology, borescoping can visualize deterioration such as: erosion, burning and cracking. However, it takes a well-trained eye to interpret and identify if the condition is normal for the time of operation. If deterioration is found during unscheduled maintenance, the engine manufacturers maintenance manual will need to ‘guide’ the operator in their next step. This guidance can only cover general conditions and may drive the operator to a deeper workscope diagnosis of the engine. If the condition was never revealed via borescope, the engine would have continued to its next scheduled event without issue.
2. Is the inspection a required part of a pre-buy inspection?
While it is understandable that a buyer would want to know the intimate details of an engine they are purchasing, a ‘pre-buy borescope’ is NOT considered scheduled maintenance. If the buyer wants to proceed with borescoping, it is important to have an understanding of expectations if discrepancies are found. It is also good practice to contact program administration for clarification of their coverage before a borescope is administered in case they do not cover conditions found on an unscheduled borescope inspection. Also, remember to have a clear understanding of the warranty coverage on an engine prior to a pre-buy borescope inspection.
3. Are you looking to try out the latest borescoping gadget?
It is tempting to try out new technologies and get a closer look at your engine. Keep in mind, the situations described above, before a borescope is casually used on an in-service engine. It may reveal a much too detailed look at the inside of the engine that you may not expect and aren’t sure how to interpret.
As an independent, OEM-approved engine service center, we recommend operators always follow OEM-recommended maintenance practices, but in the case you’re uncertain of the findings from an unscheduled OR scheduled borescope inspection, don’t panic! Just contact your Regional Engine Manager, so the Dallas Airmotive team can diagnose the issue or prepare a solution to restore your engine to its former glory. It’s what we do!
Click the image to view the full-size infographic. Then, fill out the form to see if you qualify for a free borescope inspection!
*New Customers ONLY, Inspections to be Performed in the US, and Must Be Scheduled for Before Dec. 31, 2018.