What is Aircraft Oil Analysis (AOA)?
How Does Oil Analysis Benefit Me?
Monitoring the engine’s condition through regularly scheduled oil analysis can act as an early warning system and helps aircraft owners locate excessively worn parts and predict potential failures. Oil analysis serves as a forecaster of possible engine problems—something that may happen in the future if precautionary action is not taken. Monitoring the engine’s condition through regularly scheduled oil analysis gives you the ability to spot trends in your data. Due to the fact that most bearings have a high iron composition, the most common wear metal to manifest changes is iron. Tracking the iron in this way, monitoring the trends of the iron and other metals, is an easy way to spot slowly progressing wear and damage to bearings and gears in your aircraft’s engine.
What Tests are Performed?
Customer Case Study
This aircraft owner has used AOA services for many years. Perhaps by sharing his story, other pilots will identify with this experience and realize the necessity of acting on the testing results. He writes:
“When I received my latest test results, I was in denial and thought that there had been a mistake in the readings that came back were abnormal for the aircraft. I wrote it off to some cold starts. On our climb out from Ramona Airport to return to Oregon, passing through 4,000 feet, the engine started to ‘give up the ghost’. There was first a large shutter, then it smoothed out for a few seconds, followed by major vibrations. I was able to go through my engine out checklist and make a turn to go back to the airport. The engine was running ever so rough and the whole plane was vibrating. By holding 2,000 rpm, the engine ran until I got to the airport. After a successful landing, the analysis showed a broken piston pin and loose fragments rattling around doing destruction. I only had 2 cam followers left. I do not know how the engine was able to run. Bottom line, we should have heeded the oil analysis report seriously. For your information, your program works.”
ALS aviation oil analysis kits are designed specifically for aircraft owners. ALS aviation oil analysis kits can be used for any type of aircraft, helicopter, or oil wetted system (i.e. engine, main rotor, tail rotor hydraulic, etc.). For more information contact our lab in Phoenix.
David Doyle, CLS, OMA I, OMA II