ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Mechanics / Technicians (was RE:Engine Problem ...
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Thread: Mechanics / Technicians (was RE:Engine Problem ...
Message: Mechanics / Technicians (was RE:Engine Problems Solved
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From: "John Collier" <collier at austin.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1996 14:40:04 UTC
This topic should really generate some lively discussions. I can see both (several score?) sides beginning their warm ups now. But seriously, mechanical skills are acquired through experience. There are some really good schools that teach a lot of the mechanics but like schools of all types, the result of graduation is really just a license to go learn. When I was in the service, we had a big rash of "surging props, unable to maintain sync" write-ups. We followed all the service bulletins, even had the manufacturing reps from P&W, Beech, and Woodard work on the problem. We changed governors and props until everyone was really getting frustrated. Late one night,as I was changing yet another governor, I happened to notice that the gasket we were using was "new". The screen, instead of being small mesh and curved in a semi-circular arc was now a punched metal screen with a square cross section. When I placed the gasket over the pad, the screen essentially blocked the oil holes, reducing the cross sectional area by more than half. The "new" screen had been approved as a substitute through all of the formal channels of all the manufacturers yet it was the cause of the problem. We went back to the old style screen and the problems were solved. You, as the taxpayers spent well over $0.5 million solving this problem. The moral of this story is that as mechanics, we attempted to solve the problem by looking at the most likely causes first. In the military, the most likely causes are documented (sometimes) in the manuals. When you exhaust all the likely causes, you move to the less common causes. Now as for posting success and failure stories, I'd suggest that we all focus on the positive ones. In reading the rec.aviation.* groups this past year, I have seen great numbers of "they ripped me off man..." stories that have really been situations like I described above. It's tough to be on the discovery end of a difficult problem but it happens.