An essential part of aircraft is an aircraft exhaust system. Any damage to it may lead to malfunctioning of the engine and cause excruciating problems like abrupt fire. A timely inspection can save you from facing extreme conditions and severe consequences. A right and efficient maintenance plan can be devised by using proper inspection steps. Proper inspection allows you to know how your exhaust system is working, what are the problems, and how they can be replaced. This article will provide you with some top inspection tips to obtain optimum aircraft exhaust system performance.
What Is An aircraft exhaust system, And Why Is Its Inspection Important?

Aircraft exhaust systems are used for maintaining an ideal temperature in the aircraft’s engine. Its purpose is to discharge hot air to a standard collector ring. Thus, its maintenance is really important because a damaged exhaust system may be very dangerous.

It may cause harmful gasses such as carbon monoxide to be released into the cabin, cause fire problems, and affect the performance of the engine. Therefore, their inspection is necessary to flush out harmful gasses and prevent them from entering the passenger's area. Inspection of the aircraft exhaust system is essential, so some tips for its inspection are:
Remove All Shrouds And Shields From The Muffler

It is important to remove all the coverings and shields from the muffler because these shields may become an obstacle in the proper inspection. Instead of removing shrouds and shields, some mechanics in a hurry open it and have a look at it and then close it back again. This small mistake may lead to problems. There may be several cracks and deformities that might not be caught due to partial removal of the shroud.
Check For Leaks And Corrosion

The easiest inspection technique is to check for leaks and corrosion of your exhaust system. If there is any leak in the exhaust system, you may notice a stain over that area. A grayish soot-like material may build up due to the leaks. Its colour may change to orange if left for a longer time. These signs of damage are most visible around flanges and welds.

These signs are an indication of corrosion that may cause significant damage to important parts of your aircraft. You should not mark the problems using a lead pencil while inspecting because it may lead to bigger problems.
Read AD

Reading the Airworthiness directives or bulletins provided by the manufacturer helps you to determine whether your aircraft is airworthy or not. These documents provide you with information for inspection and proper maintenance of your aircraft.
Pressure Test To Find Leaks

Another way to detect leaks is to perform a pressure test. For the detailed procedure of a pressure test, you should refer to your maintenance manual. Generally, a pressure test is done by inserting an air source such as vac shop in reverse mode or regulating shop air in the tailpipe. Then pressurize the exhaust system. You should not over-pressurize the exhaust system because it can damage your exhaust system or entire engine.

A pressure test makes it easy to check for leaks and cracks helps to spot problems, thus, making the process of inspection easier.
Checking Connections

You should make sure that all connections are correctly connected. You should see that all seals are completely sealed, and slip joints are slipped. If you find that these things are not in place, then there is a probability that there may be leaks somewhere. You should ensure that mufflers are intact, not distorted.
Inspect Internally

You should thoroughly inspect every part. There are possibilities that you may notice cracks, putting, wear, and broken baffles by inspecting the exhaust internally. Corrosion may be occurring in areas that look perfectly fine from the outside.

You can shine a flashlight on the internal parts of the pipes so that you may get a clearer view and easily inspect every component. A borescope can also be used to examine the hardware internal parts.
Check For Baffle Breakdown

You should carefully inspect the mufflers to look for broken baffles and tubes. These broken baffles and tubes may cause power loss and restrict outlet. If you notice some damage to bafflers, try to repair or replace the muffler.
Check For Metal Fatigue

You need to inspect all the surfaces internally to check for metal fatigue. When you notice cracks, bulging, and distortion, they may indicate metal fatigue. The appearance of blisters on the surface of metal due to heat and other contaminants indicates metal fatigue.
Installation Tips

Some installation tips for exhaust systems are:

You should not forcefully fit any part because it may damage the component, and cracks may appear. This can shorten the life of components.
Gaskets should not be reused.
The alignment of parts should be proper.
Nuts should be tightened adequately for proper torque value to OEM specifications.
Retighten nuts after a hot run.
All hardware and clamps should be inspected properly to notice wear, pitting, or heat stress.

Author's Bio: 

A proper aircraft exhaust system is crucial for smooth aircraft airtime. The article provides top tips to obtain optimum aircraft exhaust system performance.