It totally depends on maintenance. How many engine failures happen on
engines past TBO time? How many sat for several years without running,
That's a great point that is often overlooked. Engines that fly 5
hours a year can be scary things.
Regular use seems to be the ticket for longevity for many mechanical
I've known several regular flyers who have gone way past TBO, and eventually
either sold the planes, or got the engines overhauled, just because it was
bugging them. There was no particular problem, they just felt like they
were on borrowed time.
And our flight schools thrash their 150s/152s all day long, day in and day
out. Those birds have 100 hour inspections every other week, and they
never, ever fail.
But then, our plane only got 1500 hours on the last engine before it started
making metal. Not surprisingly, this happened after a frequently-flying
owner sold Atlas to a contractor who flew him only occasionally. When we
took it in for the pre-buy (and found the metal), he hadn't flown it more
than three times in the last four months.
Iowa City, IA
"Your Aviation Destination"