TBO within the aviation industry is a common acronym that experienced pilots know stands for Time Between Overhaul. If you are new to flying, here's the gist of it: every piston engine plane is rated to fly safely for a certain number of hours. That is to say, the manufacturer of the aircraft engine believes the plane can fly for say, 2,000 hours or more before an overhaul on the engine is required. When it's time for an overhaul, a seasoned professional will repair or replace key parts within the aircraft engine in order to make sure that it's safe to fly for the next 2,000 hours. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you are a new pilot who is not used to keeping track of your plane's TBO.
Start By Educating Yourself on Your Specific Engine Type and TBO Number
Every plane and aircraft engine is different. Some plane engines will be able to fly longer without needing an overhaul. Start by researching what the manufacturer of your current plane recommends when it comes to Time Between Overhaul. You will likely be logging your hours in the plane anyway, especially as a new pilot, but make sure to keep an eye on this number as the plane gets closer and closer to its next recommended overhaul.
Keep Up with Oil Changes and Other Maintenance
Here's the most important part of that TBO number that's provided by your aircraft engine's manufacturer. The manufacturer believes that the plane can go that many hours between overhauls when regular maintenance is provided between flights. In other words, you need to keep up with your aircraft's oil changes and other small maintenance tasks on a regular basis. If you forget to change the oil or make other maintenance mistakes, your plane engine could suffer additional wear and tear and it won't be able to make it to the TBO number. Be honest with yourself: if you know you haven't done a great job of providing regular maintenance for your plane, you should opt for an engine overhaul sooner rather than later as your number of hours in the sky begins to climb.
Get the Overhaul Done By a Seasoned Professional
The best way to maximize your TBO is to get each overhaul done by an experienced company. By using only officially approved parts for the aircraft engine and installing them carefully and efficiently, you can have full confidence that your plane will be able to stay safe in the skies until your next TBO number arrives. Contact a company that specializes in aircraft engine overhaul today for more information