With Double M’s expertise on your side, your King Air aircraft will be ready to fly when you are.
In this article, we explore the ins and outs of King Air maintenance and aim to help our customers navigate maintenance requirements with ease.
Understanding Your King Air Maintenance Schedule
To maintain compliance, safety, and optimal performance, every King Air aircraft should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s prescribed maintenance program. However, even for experienced aircraft owners, the King Air’s maintenance schedule may seem complicated. There are multiple maintenance schedules, and an aircraft’s requirements vary depending on its flight hours.
If you’re a King Air owner, you want to maintain compliance with as little downtime (and as little confusion) as possible. To do that, you’ll need two things: A solid understanding of which maintenance schedule your aircraft is on and detailed records to help you stay organized.
For King Air aircraft that fly more than 400 hours in a 24-month period
If you fly more than 400 hours in a 24-month period, your King Air aircraft will use a standard maintenance program. This involves phase inspections after every 200 hours of flight time.
Your maintenance cycle will begin immediately following your most recent Phase 4 inspection. 180 to 210 hours later, your Phase 1 inspection is due. (For new planes, your first Phase 1 inspection should take place after the first 180 to 210 hours of flight time.)
All four phase inspections must be completed within 24 months of the beginning of the inspection cycle, and you cannot go more than 12 months between phase inspections, even if your flight time drops below the threshold of 400 hours in 24 months.
Alternate Inspection Program
For King Air aircraft that fly between 200 and 400 hours in a 24-month period
If you fly between 200 and 400 hours in a 24-month period, your King Air can use an alternate inspection program. You’ll still complete all four phase inspections, but the Phase 1 and 2 inspections can be combined, and the Phase 3 and 4 inspections can be combined.
Your maintenance cycle will begin immediately following your most recent Phase 4 inspection. 12 months or 200 hours later (whichever comes first), your aircraft is due for a combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 inspection. The 12 months or 200 hours after that (again, whichever comes first), you’ll complete the Phase 3/Phase 4 combined inspection. As with the standard program, all four phase inspections must be completed within 24 months of the beginning of the inspection cycle, and you cannot go more than 12 months between inspections.
Biennial Inspection Program
For King Air aircraft that fly fewer than 200 hours in a 24-month period
If you fly fewer than 200 hours in a 24-month period, you can use the biennial inspection program. This program requires an interim inspection at the 12-month mark. All four phase inspections are conducted at the same time at 24 months.
For all three programs, the general guidelines are the same:
The clock resets at the end of each Phase 4 inspection. If you’re using a standard or alternate inspection program, your next inspection will be a Phase 1 inspection. If you’re using the biennial inspection program, your next inspection will be an interim inspection.
You cannot go more than 12 calendar months between any inspection. A calendar month is just what it sounds like—the time between the first day of a month and the last day of the same month. So if you get your Phase 1 inspection in mid-January, your next inspection must be completed by the following January.
You cannot take more than 24 calendar months to complete an inspection cycle. If you conduct your Phase 4 inspection in March 2025, your next complete cycle of inspections (Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4) must be complete by the end of March 2027.
Some models of King Air aircraft, those with Pro Line Fusion avionics systems, use an inspection cycle that’s broken into detail inspections rather than phase inspections.
Every 200 hours, a detail inspection takes place. Detail 1, Detail 2, Detail 3, and Detail 4 must be completed in a 48-month period. Typically, one of these inspections takes place every 200 hours. For aircraft that do not reach 200 hours in a 24-month period, two detail inspections may be combined.
If your aircraft usage increases or decreases, you may need to change programs. You’ll need to make the switch right away. Simply look back to the completion of your previous program cycle and proceed from that point on the new program. This may mean doing some catch-up maintenance to get synchronized with your new program. (In other words, if you find you’ve missed an inspection according to your new program, schedule one ASAP.)
Apart from the regular inspections and maintenance involved in the King Air inspection programs, every King Air aircraft requires additional maintenance. Here’s what to check:
- Altimeter and Pitot Static System Inspection: The aircraft’s pitot-static system needs to be inspected and tested periodically.
- Brake Hose Replacement: The hydraulic fluid transfer hoses in the main landing gear need to be replaced every five years.
- Cockpit and Cabin Interior Inspection: This is a detailed visual inspection of the aircraft’s interior for safety and functionality. Areas of interest include ducts, wiring, plumbing, and the oxygen system.
- De-ice Boot Replacement: Aging de-ice boots may crack or degrade over time. They need to be replaced periodically.
- Engine Flammable Fluid Hose Replacement: The hoses that transfer flammable fluids in the engine should be replaced every five years.
- Engine Hot Sections and Overhauls: Critical inspections and overhauls of the engine’s hot sections and other components are essential. Hot sections need to be inspected every 1,800 hours, and overhauls should take place every 3,600 hours.
- Engine Minor Inspection: Completed every 400 hours, this inspection includes a series of checks and replacements related to engine maintenance.
- Gear Extend/Retract Hose Replacement: Essential for the proper operation of the landing gear, the exposed extend/retract hoses need to be replaced every ten years.
- Landing Gear Inspection: A comprehensive inspection of the landing gear, involving several replacement and refurbishment processes, is done every six years.
- Propeller Overhaul: The aircraft’s propellers must undergo a detailed inspection and/or overhaul based on model-specific time or usage intervals.
- Wing Bolt Inspection: Every King Air aircraft requires a thorough inspection of the wing bolts and nuts every five years.
Records Are Key
With so much to keep track of, detailed records are essential. Using maintenance tracking technology such as Planelogix can help you keep track of your maintenance schedule. If you’re using an automated system, it’s important to make sure the system is using the correct cycle for the number of hours the aircraft flies each year.
The right data in the right system with the right settings can reduce your downtime. At Double M Aviation, we can help you get—and stay—organized.
Your Expert King Air Maintenance Team
Double M Aviation is here to help you navigate the complexities of King Air maintenance, whether you’re new to the aircraft or have been flying King Air since Day 1. We are committed to providing expert service, comprehensive communication, and personalized care for all your maintenance needs.