As someone wise once said, it is the *&^%$ little things that kill you. With airplanes… it isn’t so much the big bills you get. It is the thousand here and there you didn’t see coming and have a hard time measuring.
Entire ecosystems thrive off you and your plane.
A child will go to a better school because you paid a tad more for Jet-A than you should have. You are the unknowing philanthropist.
Yes, it is the little things that make us crabby when we force them out of the closet. The endless list of little things, that all seem reasonable in isolation, until they are added up, placed under the sober vision of your accountant, and you say, “WTF Mr. Accountant? Didn’t we agree that we’d put me back in rehab if I agreed to more airplane stuff?”
The seminal moment tends to be overhaul or hot section time. The hot section is not where the attractive ladies are kept. It is where hot gases do their thing and expand and drive your turbine faster out the back part than it sucks in via the front part.
The hot section is an inspection interval whereby little expensive things are evaluated for continued use before being all put back together. If your pilots behave, this is a well planned, expected and relatively painless time. If they’ve been bad, or improperly trained, well… the hot section has quite a bite.
Like most machines, aircraft engines need not only some love, but some basic understanding. If you find it in your heart, be sure your crews go the extra mile and do a class on just the engine. Yes, you can school them on your TFE731, PT6, whatever – there are specific programs (for pilots) that keep them fresh on the cause and effect about what their hands do in the cockpit.
Remember, they’re rarely as smart as they look. They’re pilots, not engineers.