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Propeller Care has become a high visibility item for FAA Safety alerts.

In 2008 the FAA released five new SAIBs (Suggested Airworthiness Information Bulletins) regarding proper maintenance on propellers.

SAIB NE-08-18 – This discusses engine damper maintenance and the effect it can have on propellers if not properly maintained. These are attached to the engine crankshaft. They are mostly found on engines over 200 HP. The dampers are moveable weights attached to the crankshaft and help reduce vibratory stress on the propeller and/or other parts of the engine.

The propellers installed on these types of engines are tested and approved with specific damper/propeller combinations. Any variation or differences in the approved configuration can have adverse effects on the propeller and engine. Sometimes overlooked by the aircraft mechanic, this combination should be checked annually.

If there has been excessive time-between-overhaul on the engine this can add to the problem. It also depends on how the pilot handles the throttle(s) during run-up and flight. If there has been a prop strike or sudden stoppage there should be teardown of the engine. While this not the responsibility of the Propeller Shop that is repairing or providing a replacement propeller, it is something to be concerned about. There have been cases of cranks dislodging from the engine during flight.  The major concern becomes the propeller getting detached from the engine, causing an unscheduled landing or an accident.

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