Borescopes are visual inspection tools that have helped the aviation sector for scheduled maintenance needs and non-routine checkup for possible defects. Let’s consider how mechanics perform borescope inspection on the modern engine Rolls-Royce AE 3007.
Borescope inspections on-condition
The first thing mechanics learned, when they were introduced to AE 3007 engine was on-condition. There was no-scheduled inspection program for the AE3007 engine. The mechanics can perform borescope inspection only when they get an abnormality signal.
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So, how to determine the AE3007 engine needs borescope inspection?
How will the aviation maintenance team know when the AE3007 engine needs an inspection? Are there any signals that will alert inspection needs? The answer lies in the feature engine performance trending process. In the cockpit, there is a CMC [Central Maintenance Computer] located.
It is an element of an avionic suite, which accompanies the aircraft. Lots of engine, environmental, and airframe data gets electronically recorded on the CMC. The parameters that get monitored include fuel flow, N1, N2, ITT or EGT, vibrations, oil pressure & temperature, and more. The data gets downloaded every week regularly.
The data gets downloaded and reviewed by the airlines or the hired monitoring services. In case of adverse trend detection, the operators get an alert of a change in the engine trends. If the change is significant, then an emergency borescope inspection is recommended.
Borescope tool choice and inspection
As soon as there is a recommendation for borescope inspection, the instructor needs to choose proper equipment. According to Rolls-Royce, a 4 mm borescope is ideal. However, some operators found that 3.9 mm is much appropriate. The flexible jacket on the outer-side of the tip gets roughed and worn. It enlarges the tips effective diameter, which can get stuck in small parts of the engine.
After choosing the proper borescope tool, there are some things to consider for a smooth inspection.
- Ensure a clean tip before starting an inspection.
- Getting oil on the tip is easy as it goes through the gearbox, which can give a distorted view.
- Ensure to make decisions based on clear images – in case of doubt remove the borescope clean the tip, and go again.
- The data has to be good as you are not going to separate the engine for making a decision but use the borescopes digital photographic and measurement capabilities to decide.
- Always make sure that the inspection tip is properly secured before using and is present when the borescope is pulled out from the engine.
While performing borescope inspection always refer to the maintenance manual. You will know how to recognize the defects and make valuable decisions based on knowledge. Ensure to know the potential of the borescope you will use for aircraft maintenance. The AE3007 engine is a little different in terms of routine inspection, so gain proper engine and borescope training.