Purpose This study aims to introduce an approach to evaluate environmental impact of a piston-prop engine from the view point of life cycle assessment (LCA). Design/methodology/approach In the aviation industry, safety is an important issue. For reliable and safe flights, the maintenance of aerial vehicles and engines is mandatory. Additionally, regular and correct maintenance plays a key role in keeping efficiency at a high level. With this in mind, a LCA of a regular 50 hourly maintenance process of Cessna type training aircraft is conducted. During the assessment, the starting of the engine before maintenance, replacement of the oil filter, test procedure of the spark plugs, a compressor test, engine cleaning and engine starting following maintenance are taken into account. Findings At the end of the study, normalization and characterization values for the maintenance, electricity consumption during maintenance and used fuel are obtained.