Aircraft Specialties Lubricants Offers Tips for Combating Aircraft Engine Corrosion

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Ed Kollin, technical director of Aircraft Specialties Lubricants, discusses tips for private plane owners to keep airplane engines healthy and in airworthy condition.

Higher fuel prices aren't just affecting automobile drivers. Airplane owners are also feeling the crunch, big-time. With fuel pushing five dollars per gallon, many airplane owners aren't flying as often as they would like, and this can lead to aircraft maintenance problems.

According to Ed Kollin, technical director of Aircraft Specialties Lubricants (http://www.aslcamguard.com), pilots flying less than 150 hours a year face an increased potential for engine corrosion.

"Last year at OshKosh, pilots who were typically flying 125 to 150 hours a year a few years ago told us they only fly 50 to 75 hours a year because of high fuel costs," said Kollin. "Unfortunately, it's this infrequent use that greatly increases the likelihood of engine corrosion."

All aircraft undergo an annual inspection for performance and airworthiness. These inspections can uncover insidious engine corrosion problems.

"The phrase 'use it or lose it' is very appropriate for aircraft," said Kollin. "If you don't use your airplane regularly, you may find annual inspections are costing you more in corrosion-related repairs, and increased down time."

Kollin said oil breakdown isn't the problem for piston aircraft engines. Rather, the biggest issue is engine corrosion due to water and acids contaminating the oil.

For pilots looking to maximize their engine's longevity, Kollin has several tips to combat corrosion. One of his first tips is to fly as often as possible.

"While it's harder for many pilots to get flight time regularly, it's important to exercise the airplane weekly for an hour or so," Kollin said. "It also never hurts to get in the air, shake off the rust, and sharpen your piloting skills."

He also recommends changing the oil every 25 to 35 hours to minimize the risk of corrosion from contaminated oil.

"In 15 to 20 hours, oil gets contaminated with acids and water that can't be filtered," said Kollin. "This is corrosive stuff sitting in your engine. If you're not flying 200 hours per year, you should change the oil in your aircraft every 25 to 35 hours or quarterly."

Kollin also suggests aircraft oil additives, but warns pilots not to grab the first additive they see. He says you should use an additive that is designed to handle oil contamination and provide a barrier against corrosion.

"After-market additives and piston aviation oils are designed primarily to address issues relating to thermal breakdown," Kollin said. "However, oils in aircraft engines have contamination problems, not thermal breakdown problems. They need an additive that nullifies the corrosive aspects of contamination. That includes strong corrosion inhibitors to provide a barrier against water and acids."

With this concept and his extensive oil formulating background at Exxon Research and Engineering Kollin created CamGuard, an oil additive package specifically designed to combat oil contamination. He knew he had the right formula when they tested CamGuard for FAA certification.

"When we took the engine apart after two-and-a-half years and 500 hours of testing, the FAA representatives said they had never seen an engine so clean," Kollin said. "There was no corrosion and no deposits. It was unbelievable."

For more advice for keeping an infrequently used aircraft flying and "unbelievable" FAA certification pictures, visit Aircraft Specialties Lubricants online at http://www.aslcamguard.com

About the Company
Aircraft Specialties Lubricants is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aircraft Specialties Services and was established to produce products specifically designed to protect general aviation aircraft. CamGuard is the first production product.

Press release provided by Xeal Inc. (http://www.xeal.com)

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