Pitted wheel bearing cup.


This was discovered when the wheel bearings were prepared for repacking during a condition inspection. Notice the severe pitting of the cup. The dark spots are not dirt, but places where the plating has worn off of the metal. This is not an uncommon find on aircraft that have been tied down outside for long periods of time or have had their wheels submerged in water. The constant rocking in the wind, especially if they are not kept packed with the proper grease, will cause the pitting. In a car the noise created by a pitted bearing would be very audible. Not so in an airplane due to engine noise. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly remove all of the old grease and inspect the bearing cups as well as the bearings.

—Vic Syracuse

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Vic Syracuse
Vic is a fixed-wing and helicopter commercial pilot, CFII with ASMEL/ASES ratings, an A&P/IA, DAR, and EAA technical advisor and flight counselor. Passionately involved in aviation for over 40 years, he has built 11 aircraft and logged over 10,000 hours in 72 different kinds of aircraft. Vic volunteers as a Young Eagle pilot, has his own sport aviation business called Base Leg Aviation, and has written two books on aircraft prebuy and condition inspections.


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