Sun, Aug 16, 2009
Field Service Difficulty Reports Received About The
A Special Airworthiness Information
Bulletin (SAIB) has been issued to alert owners, operators, and
certificated repair facilities, of any propeller, or any propeller
component parts, repaired, inspected, or overhauled by Western
Aircraft Propeller Service, Inc. (Air Agency Certificate #FQ6R544N)
of potential nonconformities that might exist. We have received
field service difficulty reports concerning two Hartzell Propeller,
Inc. model PHC-C3YF-2UF (S/Ns EB1176 and EB1178) propellers
installed on a Hawker Beechcraft Baron Model E55 airplane. We
evaluated the propellers based on an owner complaint that his
propellers were improperly overhauled. At this time, the
airworthiness concern is not an unsafe condition that would warrant
airworthiness directive (AD) action.
The above suspect propellers were removed and sent to another
propeller repair station for evaluation. An FAA Flight Standards
Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) witnessed the subsequent
teardown of the two propeller assemblies. During the teardown
inspection several nonconformities were discovered, and the
propellers were sent to Hartzell Propeller, Inc. for further
examination. The following are some of the nonconformities compiled
by the FAA PMI from that examination:
- Helicoil “Slimserts” required to be installed at
overhaul were not installed in the hub mounting studs.
- The blade pitch change knobs were shot peened without the
required quality control preauthorization from the propeller
manufacturer and appeared to have used the wrong shot peening
- Protective finish paint was not Polane Gray as defined in
manufacturer’s instructions for continued airworthiness
(ICA), and was easily removed using lacquer thinner.
- Pitch change knob bushings were installed in the wrong
position, and were installed with an un-approved adhesive.
- One hub had damaged threads well beyond tolerances established
by the ICA.
- One cylinder had damaged threads well beyond tolerances
established by the ICA.
- EC776 “sealer” was applied in the hub bearing
retention radius which has not been required since the early
Beech Baron File Photo
Because of the observed condition of the propeller assemblies
discovered during this inspection, the Portland Flight Standards
District Office (FSDO) performed a focused repair station facility
inspection. The following are some of the conditions noted during
- The facility performed inspections specified by Airworthiness
Directives (ADs), and returned propellers to service, without
meeting the applicable nondestructive inspection (NDI)
qualifications required by the AD.
- NDI equipment calibrations were not kept current in accordance
with the applicable propeller manufacturer’s ICAs.
- Employee certifications for NDI Level II requirements were not
- Calibration of tools used to assemble and overhaul propeller
components were out of date.
- The facility was not qualified to perform shot peening and used
an unapproved shot peening process on propeller blades.
- The facility performed NDI, and applied protective chemical
conversion coatings on propeller component parts without meeting
the requirements or qualifications specified in the propeller
manufacturer’s ICA. Some of these parts were installed during
overhaul, and some were stocked for resale with FAA 8130-3 forms
- Used propeller parts in stock at the facility were returned to
service with FAA 8130-3 forms as “overhauled,”
“reconditioned,” or “inspected” without
reference or traceability to any FAA accepted standards.
- The facility did not perform all the requirements for a
propeller overhaul as defined by the applicable propeller
manufacturer’s ICAs, but returned the propeller assembly to
service as “overhauled.”
To prevent potential propeller failures or associated propeller
service difficulties, we recommend that if you have any propeller
model or propeller component part that has had work performed by
this propeller repair station reinspected in accordance with the
applicable propeller manufacturer’s
published ICA documentation. If any nonconformities are discovered,
please contact the FAA below and submit a report summary of the
nonconformities. Please include propeller manufacturer’s
name, propeller model, part number (as applicable), serial number,
and applicable aircraft installation information.
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