Author Topic: flight school’s aircraft may be long overdue for critical maintenance  (Read 1043 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
https://www.tmj4.com/news/i-team/i-team-discovers-flight-schools-aircraft-may-be-long-overdue-for-critical-maintenance-following-fatal-crash

MILWAUKEE — The quality of aircraft at a Milwaukee flight school where a student died after crashing an airplane has raised concerns about the reliability of its engines.

Less than a week after Daniel Perelman, 18, was killed after crashing an airplane, the I-Team discovered information on Spring City Aviation’s (SCA) website showing the plane he was flying may have been long overdue for critical maintenance.dollars - because it could end up costing you your life. It’s not worth that risk.”

Th quality of aircraft at a Milwaukee flight school where a student died after crashing an airplane has raised concerns about the reliability of its engines.

Spring City Aviation
   By: Shaun GallagherPosted at 5:17 PM, Jun 01, 2022 and last updated 6:23 PM, Jun 01, 2022
MILWAUKEE — The quality of aircraft at a Milwaukee flight school where a student died after crashing an airplane has raised concerns about the reliability of its engines.

Less than a week after Daniel Perelman, 18, was killed after crashing an airplane, the I-Team discovered information on Spring City Aviation’s (SCA) website showing the plane he was flying may have been long overdue for critical maintenance.

Recent Stories from tmj4.com

According to Spring City Aviation’s website, the airplane Perelman was flying, a Cessna 152, last had an overhaul of its engine 7,954.1 hours before the crash. The manufacturer recommends an engine overhaul every 2,000 hours.

“If it turns out the information we have concerning this particular aircraft is correct, then that is very shocking to me,” Robert Katz, a 41-year experienced pilot said.

Katz is also a certified flight instructor for the last 33 years. He explains that an overhaul is much more intensive than a typical maintenance check on your vehicle.

A person will completely disassemble the airplane’s engine, inspect each individual piece and then rebuild the engine to assure it’s safe to use during flight. Then, in a logbook, airplane owners are supposed to keep track of how many flight hours occur between overhauls; referred to as Time Since Overhaul (TSOH) or Time Between Overhaul (TBO).
dollars - because it could end up costing you your life. It’s not worth that risk.”

Th quality of aircraft at a Milwaukee flight school where a student died after crashing an airplane has raised concerns about the reliability of its engines.

Spring City Aviation
   By: Shaun GallagherPosted at 5:17 PM, Jun 01, 2022 and last updated 6:23 PM, Jun 01, 2022
MILWAUKEE — The quality of aircraft at a Milwaukee flight school where a student died after crashing an airplane has raised concerns about the reliability of its engines.

Less than a week after Daniel Perelman, 18, was killed after crashing an airplane, the I-Team discovered information on Spring City Aviation’s (SCA) website showing the plane he was flying may have been long overdue for critical maintenance.

Recent Stories from tmj4.com

One killed One killed, several injured in three overnight shootings
According to Spring City Aviation’s website, the airplane Perelman was flying, a Cessna 152, last had an overhaul of its engine 7,954.1 hours before the crash. The manufacturer recommends an engine overhaul every 2,000 hours.

“If it turns out the information we have concerning this particular aircraft is correct, then that is very shocking to me,” Robert Katz, a 41-year experienced pilot said.

Katz is also a certified flight instructor for the last 33 years. He explains that an overhaul is much more intensive than a typical maintenance check on your vehicle.

A person will completely disassemble the airplane’s engine, inspect each individual piece and then rebuild the engine to assure it’s safe to use during flight. Then, in a logbook, airplane owners are supposed to keep track of how many flight hours occur between overhauls; referred to as Time Since Overhaul (TSOH) or Time Between Overhaul (TBO).


“An engine that’s running past 2,000 hours is considered run out,” Katz said. “It can not be considered reliable as if it was within its overhaul period. That is a definite benchmark and one that I would certainly be approaching with trepidation.”

While the aircraft Perelman was flying has the largest listed TBO, every listed aircraft on the SCA website has its concerns over the last time its engine was overhauled.

Spring City Aviation Engine Maintenance Concerns
Table with 2 columns and 6 rows. Currently displaying rows 1 to 6.
Airplane   Time Since Overhaul
N4978B Cessna 152 (Listed as inactive: Daniel Perelman's plane)   7954.1
5355P Cessna 152 (Inactive)   2549.1
N4723B Cessna 152   6096.2
N277GT Cessna 172S   6976.7
N351ME Cessna 172S   -4089.5
N501TX Cirrus SR20   3124.8

All but one aircraft exceeded the 2,000 hour manufacturer’s recommendation. Two were listed over 6,000 hours (6,975.7 hours and 6,096.2 hours), one is listed at 3,124.8 hours and another at 2,549.1 hours.

The lone aircraft under 2,000 hours had an improper entry, listing its TBO at -4,089.5 hours.

The I-Team went to SCA looking for clarity on the information on its website. Jim Furlong, the Director of Maintenance at the Aviation School, says he can’t comment since there is an active investigation following Perelman’s crash.

“You have four airplanes well over the manufacturer’s recommendation,” the I-Team’s Shaun Gallagher asked. “Are they flying?”“We don’t have any comment on that right now,” Furlong said. “I’m sorry about that.”

“There are people around here who are probably concerned about whether these airplanes are up in the air, above their homes,” Gallagher asked. “Are these accurate numbers?”

“Sure, I’d have to look at the numbers myself again,” Furlong said. “But we don’t have a comment right now.”

Furlong pointed the I-Team towards the company’s President, Brian Behrens and General Manager Josh Siehoff for comment. Neither responded by deadline.

While Furlong did not comment on the accuracy of the TBO numbers listed on its site, he says their aircraft are safe.

“They are safe,” Furlong said. “Absolutely. We take great care in doing that.”
“I would not touch that airplane with a 10-foot pole,” Katz said of Perelman’s airplane. “I would not want to subject myself, my family, my passengers, the people whose heads and homes I’m flying over to any sort of undue risk.”

Katz described the meticulous notes that are taken concerning aircraft maintenance. He says, typically, there are two to three log books kept; one for airframe, another for the engine itself and a third for accessories like the propeller, radio or avionics equipment. These logbooks, according to Katz, should have the information to clear up any confusion about what’s presented on the SCA website. But even if the numbers presented online are not accurate, Katz is still concerned.

“The company needs to clarify exactly what’s going on with this particular plane as well as other in their fleet,” Katz said. “When the lay public comes to a flight school to learn to fly an airplane, they are not going to be entirely familiar with these esoteric details concerning maintenance, upkeep and reliability. I certainly hope this company will address any of these concerns, if only to clarify what is accurate and what is not.”

While engine maintenance can be costly, Katz says it’s imperative to keeping a safe plane.

“[Engine overhauls] are critical to safety,” Katz said. “When you think about a single engine airplane, your life is hanging on that one propeller and the function of that engine. You don’t want to cheapen, defer or outright neglect maintenance to save a few dollars because it could end up costing you your life. It’s not worth that risk.”

The NTSB is still investigating the cause of Perelman’s crash. A preliminary report should be completed within a few months.