System Predicts Valve Failure

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Master aircraft mechanic Mike Busch says he's found a reliable way to predict exhaust valve failures using data from engine monitors. Busch said he noticed a pattern in exhaust gas temperatures about 10 years ago that preceded valve failure, which is the most common cause of power loss in a cylinder. Busch's Savvy Aviator aircraft maintenance and management company has been working on software that can detect the subtle patterns that precede a failure.

Failing Exhaust Valve Analytics (FEVA) scans the engine monitor data through the SavvyAnalysis.com website through a yearly subscription and if it picks up the telltale pattern, the system sends an email alert to the aircraft operator warning of the impending problem. "Catching an exhaust valve problem early can avoid a potentially serious in-flight loss of power," Busch said. "That was our motivation for developing FEVA."