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Leading from the Core

My Engine Needs an Overhaul. Will You Still Fly With Me?

Lesson #24: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit
Posted on October 16th, 2019 by Randall Taussig

I love my airplane and work hard to maintain it within safe flying standards. According to manufacturer guidelines, the engine is now due for a complete overhaul…but I’m not going to do it!

Want to fly with me?

Before you reply with a big fat NO, I’d like to assure you that my decision is based on good solid (predictable) data:

1. Oil Analysis: I change the oil every 30- 35 flight hours and send out for lab analysis. This detects early wear and tear on the engine.

2. Borescope Inspections: This uses a tiny camera placed inside the engine to inspect the color/condition of the piston and valves. Again – an early indication of pending problems.

3. Compression Testing: This provides feedback on compression within the cylinders and can help detect irregularities that could be early indications of a problem.

4. In-Flight (Real-Time) Indicators: This includes monitoring things like cylinder head temperature (CHT), oil temperature, oil pressure, and fuel flow. Though not as future predicting as 1-3 above, still early prediction of an engine failure!

The engine manufacturer assigns an arbitrary number of flight hours called TBO (Time Between Overhauls) as a guide to when an engine needs to get overhauled. The TBO for my plane is 2,000 hours, which I have exceeded. In reality, some engines should be overhauled at 500 hours and some well beyond 3,000 hours.

Put into EOS terms, the above “Measurables” make up my critical “Scorecard” that helps predict my aircraft’s engine life with a high level of confidence.

Early indicators help me take corrective action to address pending problems BEFORE potentially turning into a disaster!

What critical factors must you predict in your business?

Your Scorecard can provide your management team with the same type of early indicators that I have for my aircraft engine.

Don’t risk the life of your business. Find the indicators that provide early signs of problems before it’s too late!