AIR ATLANTIQUE has applied to the UK Civil Aviation Authority for an almost 60% extension of the time between overhauls (TBO) on the Teledyne Continental GTSIO-520 piston engines powering its Cessna 404 Titans.

The first of four tear down inspections required by the CAA, has revealed no problems with an engine operated for 2,154h, 33% beyond Continental's recommended 1,600h TBO. The UK operator is seeking a 2,500h TBO.

As CAA regulations allow for engines to be operated 20% beyond the manufacturer's recommended TBO, Air Atlantique is hoping for an effective 3,000h over-haul interval. This would increase operating time by more than 80% and result in cost savings of $30,000 per engine, the company estimates. Approval is contingent on satisfactory tear down reports from Continental on three further engines averaging 2,000h operating time.

The TBO extension, is based on Air Atlantique's preventative maintenance programme, which includes oil changes every 50h and filter changes and compression checks every 100h.

In addition, pilots flying the Titans on aerial surveys, for Air Atlantique Group's Coventry-based Atlantic Reconnaissance division, maintain constant throttle settings where possible to reduce engine wear and tear.

Source: Flight International