Your aircraft’s magneto is one of the most important components supporting the proper function of your engine. Steady, reliable, and remarkably easy to maintain for decades or more, this compact piece of equipment packs dozens of feet of heavy-gauge copper wire, powerful magnets, and exceptionally high voltage all into one sturdy housing.
Aircraft Magnetos keep your spark plugs firing and your cylinders pumping—until they don’t.
If you’re an experienced pilot, you already know how the magneto under your cowling keeps your engine running at peak performance.
By rotating a strong magnet, called a rotor, within tightly wound coils of wire, your magneto can generate a current of anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 volts. As that current is directed to your spark plug, the powerful spark triggers your initial engine to start, or propels your aircraft forward.
Over time, the heart of your magneto—that heavy-duty center magnet—loses its magnetism. The weaker electric current generated by a worn magneto can make it difficult to start your engine, and can eventually lead to engine power loss, or engine failure, mid-flight.
The serious risk of operating an aircraft with a worn magneto is why we strongly recommend every aircraft operator mind their maintenance and send their magneto in for a full inspection every 500 hours. It isn’t just good for operation—a properly maintained magneto can be the difference between smooth sailing and mid-flight failing!
Rather than buying a new magneto, a magneto overhaul can be a cost-effective way to keep your engine running better, longer.
When it comes to mag performance, there are two crucial checkpoints every mag should pass: Your pre-flight check and your OEM-mandated 500-hour inspection.
During your pre-flight engine run-up, perform a basic mag check by switching to your left mag and noting the RPM, running both mags (noting the RPM again), then switching to your right mag and noting that RPM. Pay attention to the sound and feel of each side as you switch between the mags
Compare your RPMs to the range listed in your aircraft’s operations manual. If you observe a difference in the RPM drop that is greater than your aircraft’s specifications, it’s time to send your mag in for an overhaul.
The second checkpoint isn’t just a suggestion—it’s required by your mag’s manufacturer. The OEM 500-hour inspection mandate recognizes that beyond 500 hours, magnetos can operate unreliably—triggering power loss and even engine failure. That’s why they recommend you have your magneto completely overhauled or replaced after 500 hours in service, so a certified technician can check the health of your critical components.
Magneto overhauls restore your component to like-new status.
An aircraft magneto overhaul is an extensive service process that involves completely disassembling and inspecting your unit before rebuilding it from the bare housing, up. By replacing the internal mechanisms with new serviceable parts, an overhaul ensures your entire magneto is ready for another 500 reliable hours in the air.
When it comes to magneto overhauls, you have a couple different options. You can have your unit rebuilt using low-cost, easily accessible and FAA-approved aftermarket parts, or you can have it rebuilt using OEM components.
Here at Aircraft Accessories of Oklahoma, we always rebuild using OEM parts, unless our customer requests aftermarket components. While there is nothing technically wrong with these third-party parts, we strive to offer the highest level of quality and performance—achieved by rebuilding your magneto using the same manufacturer’s components it housed before the overhaul.
For customers in need of a fast exchange process, we often keep a limited number of new and fully overhauled magnetos in stock, including Slick Champion aircraft magnetos. Give our team a call at 918-835-9924 to learn more about our magneto availability and current turn times.
Even the highest quality components wear over time. Don’t risk your safety—mind your mag maintenance!
At Aircraft Accessories of Oklahoma, our team of A&P mechanics, certified repairmen, and experienced technicians inspect and overhaul dozens of Bendix, Kelly Aero, and Slick magnetos every month. We overhaul, repair, bench test, and run 500-hour inspections on magnetos from across the country—and around the world. When you’re ready for an overhaul you can count on, call 918-835-9924 to talk to our team, or use this form to ship your magneto straight to our shop.