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Limited Life Components Or Llc’s
Limited life components or LLC’s, a formal way of describing anything that has a finite life span or a mechanical limit. Open the cowl on any aircraft, close your eyes and point and you’ll find one. What are they exactly? Alternators, belts, hoses, tires, light bulbs, spark plugs to name a few.
Having to adhere to that life span can mean taking something off your aircraft that literally looks like it’s brand new and replacing it. For example, engine hoses. They might look ok, but they are usually recommended to be replaced every five years or as needed.
You get something in return for it, the predictability of your aircraft operating without failure, at least for that part anyway.
Not everyone follows the time and cycle schedule though. Some replace parts on what is known as “On Condition”. The folks that use this method swear by it. What is it exactly? On condition is simply a way of inspecting and checking that a component functions properly or within OEM specs. It is with the inspecting and a functional check that one can determine if the item needs to be replaced before it fails. On Condition is not to be confused with replacing when the part fails or as it is also known; fit until failure.
Yes, you can fly until your alternator goes out and as long as you are not flying your aircraft for hire, you don’t have to replace the hoses unless they look like they need to be replaced. Many LLC components can and will just fail, while others give ample warning signs, for example, a fluctuating amp meter, frayed hoses or dry rotted belts.
See more; Aircraft for Sale
So, what can you do to head off any LLC issues that could leave you stranded? If you are renting, then you shouldn’t have too many worries since the aircraft has to go in for a 100hr inspection, however what if you are renting and it’s eight more hours until the 100hr inspection? It’s always a good idea if you are a renter and leaving for a trip to go out the day before and give the aircraft a good once over so that if there is anything wrong you can get it corrected or schedule another aircraft.
All in all, the best thing to do is keep a close eye on the items that wear and tear the fastest. That way you can have some expectation of when you’ll need to schedule maintenance. How does that old saying go? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
KEEPS EM FLYING!
You’ve heard it when you’ve been outside doing yard work or standing at the mailbox. The sound of an airplane in the distance, but it’s not the normal sound you are used to hearing from an aircraft aloft and it takes a second for you to hone in on it. What is it? The sound of a radial engine or the crackle of a Merlin in the distance? Your next thought is some lucky person is having a good day behind the controls of that machine and you wish it was you!
There are many warbirds and other vintage aircraft still flying today.
Some are affordable and others... not so much. It takes a lot to keep an older aircraft flying and much more so for a warbird. They were built tough; however, they still need a lot of maintenance. Thankfully, there are many dedicated nonprofit organizations and private owners with deep enough pockets to keep the more exotic warbirds flying.
Hearing and seeing these old aircraft are some of the reasons aviation is so exciting. It adds something unique and special to a world where the commercial flight is growing rapidly, but let’s faces it, commercial aircraft are functional, useful tools for getting from point A to point B and they have their own appeal, but not like old iron! That’s why it’s so important to keep the warbird and vintage aircraft population alive.
See more; SR22 Cirrus
Can you get into the game? There are affordable warbirds, the North American SNJ, T-28 Trojan, T-34 just to name a few. While 150k-250 might not seem affordable, you can think of it this way, could you afford a second home? A vacation home, condo on the beach or close to it? That is essentially comparable to the initial purchase price.
The same thing about general aviation aircraft, if you can afford a brand-new truck or SUV, you can buy a good used four-place GA aircraft. If we all get in the game and stay in the game, we can keep these warbirds alive and well for the next generation to take over and all the while being a positive force in General Aviation!
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