Do you need assistance? Know before you call.

Do you need assistance? Know before you call.

Kelly Aero receives calls daily from customers in need of product support to select a Kelly product or
technical assistance after the product has been installed. Due to our long industry experience at Kelly
Aero, the vast majority of calls are routine, and we can quickly provide an answer to any question asked
to us. However, calls get a bit complicated when the first several minutes are spent trying to determine
what the topic is when a customer calls.
All too often, customers start their phone call with a vague request of “I have a Lycoming engine and I
need a harness” or “…the magneto on my engine isn’t working…” While all conversations have to start
somewhere, the reality is that some conversations stop as quickly as they start. The information
provided by the customer is missing too many important details or the customer simply does not know
the details. It can be frustrating to a customer who is in a rush or in the middle of working to solve a
problem when the conversation with Kelly becomes a game of 20 Questions. Unfortunately, this game
of 20 Question is particularly frustrating for both sides on a busy Friday afternoon when an airplane
needs to fly on Saturday morning.
Just like how a pilot completes a checklist before the airplane is ready to fly, customers and mechanics
can complete a simple checklist of items prior to calling that will the customer to ask the right questions
quickly, and the Kelly Aero representative to provide an accurate answer.


What is the engine make and model you are working on?
Invariably, the Kelly Aero Product Support person will need the following specific information:

  1. Which company manufactured the engine? Is it Continental, Lycoming, Superior, Franklin,
    etc.?

    As a note to this comment: The name of company who overhauled the engine is not useless,
    but also not particularly useful. Starting the conversation with “I have an engine overhauled by
    Empire Engines” is good to know, but does not really provide any magneto information. What is
    useful is the specific original manufacturer of the engine, such as Continental or Lycoming.
  2. What is the complete engine designation?
    Ok, you know that you have a “four cylinder Lycoming” or a “550 Continental” but specific
    details are critical. For example, the magnetos used on a TSIO-550-K are much different in
    configuration and troubleshooting than the magnetos installed on an IO-550-A. Provide as
    much exact information as possible including the prefix, engine number and suffix, such as O-
    320-D2J, O-470-R, TSIO-550-C.
    Additionally, some of the Kelly Aero Technical reps are experienced A&P mechanics with deep
    knowledge of specific engine and airframe applications. If a customer calls in with what seems
    to be a magneto operation issue, a bit of discussion may lead to other known areas of concern
    unique to specific engine models.
    What is make and model of magneto?
    Simply referring to a magneto “a Kelly mag” or maybe as a “Bendix” or “Slick” usually is too broad of a
    description. No surprise, but Kelly will need the exact magneto part number details to put the known
    service history or troubleshooting techniques into perspective.
  3. Is the OEM manufacturer of the magneto Bendix or Slick?
    While Kelly takes it as a compliment when a customer says, “it’s a Kelly Aero mag”. While Kelly is
    an OEM for replacement parts, we are also a service provider to overhaul OEM magnetos. The
    magneto data plate may be labeled with Kelly Aero, but the magneto it is attached to is Bendix
    or Slick magneto, but overhauled by Kelly Aero.
  4. What it is the magneto model series? Bendix makes the 20 series, 1200 series, and Dual D2000
    and D3000 series magneto. Slick mags will be either a 4300 or a 6300 series. Drilling deeper,
    the part number of the magneto is critical as this identifies the configuration of the magneto. As
    an example, the Bendix 20 Series 10-51360-37 and the 10-500514-1 are approved for the same
    engine applications, but very different in the details of how the magnetos are mounted to the
    engine and how the ignition switch p-lead attaches. But, these seemingly small details can add a
    lot of time and expense to an otherwise simple installation if a mechanic has to alter a P-lead or
    order different mounting clamps and gaskets.
    What is the magneto serial number?
    The new data plate that Kelly Aero affixes to all Bendix and Slick overhauled magnetos has lots of
    information that the Kelly Aero product support representative will need to know. Most important will
    be the serial numbers stamped on the data plate.
    The Kelly Aero data plate will display both the OEM issued serial number and the Kelly Aero issued serial
    number. The OEM serial number is important to track any OEM specific service issues or compliance to
    OEM Service Bulletins. The Kelly Aero assigned serial number links the overhaul of the magneto to
    records maintained by the Kelly Aero Repair Station quality management records. The Kelly Aero serial
    number is required to confirm compliance to Airworthiness Directives, certain manufacturer Service
    Bulletins and the general timeframe when the magneto was serviced.
    When was the magneto installed? Calendar date and hours, please…
    Hours of operation and calendar time are two different ways to measure time in service for magnetos,
    and each tells a story independently, and together to put the magneto service history into perspective.
    For example, calendar time frames the reference for the type of parts or service issues known to be in
    effect during a particular year or month. Hours in service provides a view of how quickly, or slowly,
    hours were accrued on the magneto.
    The relationship of calendar time and hours is very important for the Kelly Aero product support
    specialist to assist with customer questions. For example, a customer may comment that they have a
    question regarding a magneto with 100 hours. However, was that 100 hours accrued over two months
    or ten years? Low magneto time is one story, but low magneto time over many years tells a different
    story.
    Harness Nuts and Spark Plug Type. Let’s have this discussion again…and again…and again…
    Search through Kelly Aero ignition system articles and ignition harness selection has been a topic more
    than once. Ignition harnesses have a few options and do required the buyer to do some homework as
    part of the selection process. Virtually all customers are able to determine which custom fit harness is
    required for their engine using Kelly’s Ignition Harness Application Data by clicking on this link:
    http://kellyaerospace.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Aircraft-Harness-Application.pdf.
Aircraft-Magneto-Engine-Replacement-Parts2

But, there are also many, many times that customers, typically private owners who are learning the
process to buy their own parts, who need a bit of guidance on selecting between ignition harnesses that
fit Bendix or Slick magnetos. As always, the most confusing part is the difference between 5/8-24 or
3/4-20 spark plug nut connections.
Sorting out the difference between spark plug nut sizes is usually the substance of most phone calls.
The 5/8” and 3/4” refers to the diameter and thread pitch of the spark plug barrel, not the wrench used
to remove the nuts. The easy way to determine nut size follows:

  1. A 3/4” wrench is used to remove 5/8”-24 spark plug nuts used on REM style spark plugs
  2. A 7/8” wrench is used to remove 3/4”-20 spark plug nuts used on RHM style spark plugs
    Who is asking the question: an A&P mechanic….or an Owner?
    Let’s be realistic: Aircraft owners are more deeply involved in the maintenance process of their
    airplanes than ever before. Owners provide important operational information used by mechanics and
    product support representatives. Owners research and purchase parts used on their airplanes,
    consulting their mechanic, parts supplier, and manufacturer sales and support teams. Internet owners
    groups can be useful, but very often lead to some good answers. The same groups also generate
    answers that may not be completely accurate or even completely incorrect. Ultimately, owners are
    going to have to spend their hard earned money and the educated owner is motivated to do research on
    the products that they own or want to buy.
    By no means does this imply that Kelly Aero does not want to talk to aircraft owners. In fact, we
    encourage and support aircraft owners to contact us to work through product selection or product
    operation questions. But, calls can become frustrating when the owner is speaking in terms which are
    not aligned with standard industry terminology used by trained mechanics. Additionally, Kelly Aero
    product support answers may overwhelm an untrained caller with all sorts of terms and references that
    will make no sense. It usually require a lot of repetitive discussion to explain terms and concepts that
    are easily understood, with no further explanation, by an A&P mechanic.
    From the technical support perspective, Kelly Aero can be less technical, use or explain more of the
    specific terms that an owner may not understand. In effect, Kelly Aero can tailor our conversation with
    the customer to speak with terminology useful to the caller. The end result is a much better experience
    for both the customer and the Kelly Product Support representative.
    Kelly Product Support does not replace required reading material!
    When working on a critical process, such as ordering internal components to the magneto, completing
    magneto assembly, or performing magneto to engine timing, the Kelly Product Support Representative
    will ask, “Do you have a manual?”
    To be blunt, working on a magneto is not the same set of skills as required to change the light bulb
    inside your refrigerator. The magneto and ignition harness are components critical to the safe operation
    of the engine. It only makes sense that anyone who plans to or is working on an item critical to safe
    operation would have a set of instructions in their hands. It is reasonable and obvious that a properly
    rated individual should have access to and use the service manual. Nevertheless, it is also a good idea

for an educated owner to read the service manual to have an idea of the work required for a particular
component.
While Kelly Aero is eager to assist our customers, discussions with a Kelly Product Support
Representatives do not replace the need- or FAA requirement- to have a service manual for the
component that will be serviced. Copyright laws restrict Kelly Aero from sending copies of OEM service
manuals to customers, but Kelly can distribute our own documents freely.
A brief note regarding Kelly Aero manuals: Keep checking the Kelly Aero web page during 2021! We are
working on new product application manuals, product service manuals, and supplementary Service
Letters to make it easy for users of Kelly Aero products to service all of the parts and assemblies that we
manufacture.
Are you ready to make the call?
Get your notes ready and give Kelly Aero a call at 334-286-8551!

Magneto Failure Overview

Magneto Failure Overview

Magneto technology is some of the oldest and most trusted in the aviation industry!
However, what happens when a pilot has magneto failure? When one magneto fails, there are a few things a pilot might notice. First, there will be a decrease in engine power, but the engine will remain running thanks to the second system being independent of the first. Second, sometimes a magneto can malfunction in its failure to ignite the spark plugs, or the internal timing may malfunction. In this instance, the pilot will notice the engine beginning to run rough and will need to switch to the remaining magneto and see if that clears the problem. 
Even though an engine will continue to run with the loss of one magneto, there are several problems with having a magneto failure mid-flight. With the loss of one magneto comes the security of redundancy. They are a vital piece of equipment, and there is a reason that aircraft are built with two. Additionally, the loss of engine power can be potentially problematic, though in most cases does not pose a serious threat to the safety of pilots and guests. 

Aircraft-Magneto-Engine-Replacement-Parts2


Even in the case of magneto failure, only a very few accidents are a direct result of magneto failure, according to statistics provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. NRSB reports 16 recorded cases of aviation accidents due to magneto failure, with two of those sixteen being fatal. Most of these failures were listed as being caused by lack of maintenance or non-compliance with servicing and inspections. 
With attention to detail and a history of reliability, Kelly Aero has made sure that the magnetos produced to be dependable and safe. Our products are designed and engineered using in-house resources, with additional tooling and manufacturing for aftermarket magnetos occurring at our facilities. We offer an FAA and PMA approved quality system, which is readily available with low wait times. We both meet and exceed the standard industry testing with our own set of criteria for the product, whether it be the full system or a replacement part. We want to work with customers to ensure the delivery of a product that is first and foremost high quality and reliable, and that meets their needs.

Aircraft-Magnetos
Quality Upgrades at Kelly Aero

Quality Upgrades at Kelly Aero

One of the great additions to our processes in 2020 is a high power AmScope Microscope to our final inspection process.
This allows every our inspection team to get take a high power look at our finished units before they leave our facility.

Our new 80 power microscope allows us to inspect our block components for carbon tracking, carbon particles can collect in small cracks and develop into problems down the road.

“The Kelly Aerospace Quality Team is committed to adding new technologies to our final inspection process,” says Neil Clark (VP Sales & Marketing) “This addition allows us to go one step further in catching minor imperfections before they leave our facility.”

Doubling down our commitment to quality, this addition allows for a 99.9% rating on all blocks that leaving our facility free of imperfections.
Our engineering and development team has made major strides over the last few years to ensure that our processes at Kelly Aerospace continue to improve.

500hr Magneto Inspection/Overhaul

500hr Magneto Inspection/Overhaul

So your prized aircraft is down for an annual and your A&P says it’s time for your 500hr inspection.
Some pilots choose to overlook the importance of the inspection.
However, the 500-hour inspection is the single most important magneto service event.

Whether you are an owner, flight school, commercial operator, or engine overhaul shop, you can ensure continuing trouble-free and safe service of an aircraft magneto.

The 500-hour magneto inspection is critical to the safe operation of magnetos. While not a required service action as an airworthiness directive, it is considered critical and
mandatory by magneto OEM’s and is considered a good, common-sense maintenance practice by aircraft mechanics.

The 500 hour is scheduled preventative maintenance and to avoid expensive unscheduled maintenance. If a magneto is not inspected every 500 hours, then the risk of an unplanned component failure that can cause inconvenient and unplanned maintenance at a location far from an aircraft owner’s home airport is certain to occur.
The cost of one or more nights of hotel, car rental, meals, missed work, lost flight revenue will easily be offset by the relatively small cost of a 500-hour inspection.
The inspection is not limited to magnetos which have accumulated 500 hours in service. A 500
hour inspection can be accomplished at any hours of magneto total time in service. In some cases, some magneto and engine combinations may result in the need to perform magneto maintenance more frequently than 500 hours. Pressurized magnetos used on Continental and Lycoming engines operate in demanding, high altitude environments and require more maintenance than other types of magnetos.
Dual contact, or retard breaker magnetos that use the Shower of Sparks starting system typically require more frequent maintenance. Magnetos used in Shower of Spark applications require frequent
inspections to ensure that fuel-injected Lycoming and Continental engines do not experience hard
starting problems.


To begin the 500-hour inspection process, an inspection return form is downloaded from the Kelly Aerospace website. Complete one form for each magneto that is returned. Before boxing the magneto, remove the drive gears attached to the magneto. Return the complete magneto, with the drive gears removed, and do not forget to include the completed 500-hour inspection form. The magneto is returned directly to Kelly Aerospace, 1400 East South Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36116 with Attn
500-hour inspection marked on the box.
When the magneto is received, work starts within 24 hours of receipt. Plan for four working days to complete the inspection, plus shipping time to return to the customer. Kelly Aerospace ships via UPS or
FedEx and can ship worldwide. Check your shipper delivery zone time chart to determine the duration of shipping time to and from Montgomery AL.
The magneto is disassembled by a magneto technician so that the parts can be inspected and cleaned.
The magneto parts are cleaned and polished as needed. Magneto frames and housings are not repainted but can be repainted if the magneto is upgraded to an overhaul. The magneto parts are
inspected by visual and non-destructive testing, and must meet the criteria established in the Bendix
and Slick Maintenance and Overhaul manuals.
The 500-hour inspection for Bendix magnetos includes new replacement hardware, new contact points,
oil slinger, oil seal, (2) ball bearings, carbon brush, o-ring, felt strip, felt washer, and impulse coupling spring. The 500-hour inspection for the Slick magnetos includes new replacement hardware, new
contact points, and cam, oil seal, (2) ball bearings, carbon brush, distributor gear to comply with

Champion Slick Service Bulletin SB1-15A and impulse coupling spring. An FAA Form 8130 will be provided to document the 500-hour inspection.
Depending upon the condition and service history of the magneto, extra work or parts may be required.
Some of the extra parts would include worn distributor gear, worn distributor block, faulty coil, faulty
capacitor, worn impulse coupling, worn rotor shaft, or parts affected by airworthiness directives.
If any other parts are required, the customer will be contacted for additional charge approval prior to work
being completed.

500hr Inspection & Certification

500hr Inspection & Certification

Utilizing over 25 years of Bendix/CMI magneto overhaul experience, Kelly Aerospace Energy Systems has developed a detailed 35 point checklist that complies with all applicable AD’s, service bulletins, and Continental Motors Master Service Manual to ensure a complete inspection of your aircraft magneto. Ask about our 500 hour inspection certification today!

View Kelly Aerospace Aircraft Magnetos.