Best Practices When Using a Borescope for Helicopter Engine Maintenance

The use of borescopes is common in aircraft engine maintenance. Helicopter engine inspection requirements may vary, depending on the type of helicopter and the intended use. Most commercial and military helicopter engines have stringent inspection requirements since lives are at stake.

Routine inspection of turbine engines and internal parts, including panels, fans, and blades, is made easy using borescopes. Borescopes can help the helicopter maintenance crew detect signs of corrosion, cracks, wear and tear, fluid contamination, and poor lubrication in engines.

Proper use of the imaging device is important to ensure accurate identification of issues that can save thousands of dollars in damages. Here are the best tips for engine maintenance crew when using the device to identify engine problems.

1. Proper Training of Crew

A tool is as good as the user. The maintenance crew should know exactly what is being displayed on the borescope monitor. It takes more than just looking at the monitor to detect problems. It’s important to know the difference between good and bad parts.

Additionally, the crew needs to be able to know about possible engine defects. They should also look for the serviceability limits of the manufacturer. The maintenance crew should be properly trained to use the device for engine defect detection.

2. Look for Bright Lighting

The maintenance crew should also be aware of how bright lighting can affect the detection of engine problems. Bright lighting can negatively affect the ability to see images displayed on the scope.

For optimum clarity, it is recommended that borescope inspection should be performed inside the hangar.

3. Use the Right Type of Borescope

Keep in mind, videoscopes are available in different varieties. The size, image quality, and functionality of borescopes differ. The manufacturers’ recommendations for a borescope should be followed.

Using the wrong type of borescope can create difficulties in detecting engine faults. The scope selected for the inspection of the helicopter engine should have the right scope with excellent lighting and camera resolution to identify defects accurately.

Modern borescopes are recommended for the inspection of helicopter engines. The tools have advanced functionalities like 3D stereo defect monitoring. The stereo defect detection system allows more precise and instantaneous identification of defects as compared to using physical measuring gauge for estimating the defect sizes. 

4. Know What to Inspect

A borescope tube is generally fed through the engine’s air inlet or a specially designed port. The leading edges of the engine blades are inspected for erosion and foreign object damage (FOD). Additionally, the burner cans are inspected for cracks and misalignments.

Fuel nozzles and other engine components are inspected for distortion, cracking, and excessive coking. Additionally, the scope is used to detect heat damage to the turbine engine. The guide vanes and the nozzles can be checked for pitting, cracking, sulfidation and burning. The blades are also checked for rivet cracking and shifting.

A great thing about borescope inspections is that they can be done anytime with the images saved. The software allows the re-measurement of dimensions and other problems that were not identified in the first inspection.

USA Borescopes stocks high quality borescopes that can be used for commercial and military helicopter engine maintenance.  Contact us today to know about the best borescope devices for helicopter maintenance.  You can also call and speak to a professional at 931-362-3304


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