Rotax ignition bug bites!

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Re: Rotax ignition bug bites!

Postby R Rinker » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:55 pm

There is a totally different mentality to aircraft maintenance than auto, farm, etc. type maintenance. It is really important to diagnose quality control issues. Just because some modules ran for hundreds of hours, does not mean you can ignore the fact that a number of them had a critical problem, and It is very important how that is all deal with. To sell me modules and have me flying them, that reason says can, or a certain percentage certainly will, fail if I fly into cold weather, is definitely problematic. When I say that here is data that makes me uncomfortable, that is very different from saying it just doesn't sound like a real engine. In my flying career there have been times when I made a flight because I wanted to believe something that was irrational. Somehow I managed to survive those times, but I know how strong the tendency is to put reason aside and act on what we want to be true. The simple point I'm trying to make here is the trap one finds themselves in, where they could be flying a module that works great to start up and get in the air but would shut down if one flew into colder air. If it is rational to say that with some of these components this can and will happen, then that needs to be acknowledged. So why don't the manufacturers diagnose the problem, redesign the component, take all the problematic designs out of service and replace them with something that will work without having a known and proven defect?

It also brings out the reality how everything is designed and tested for the warm balmy climates. I had an old chevy that was made without windshield defrosters! And folks down south would say, "Whats wrong with that?"
Rodger Rinker - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
Super Stol build/January 2014
NL7AL & VE6RWR
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Re: Rotax ignition bug bites!

Postby emm01 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:07 pm

R Rinker wrote:There is a totally different mentality to aircraft maintenance than auto, farm, etc. type maintenance. It is really important to diagnose quality control issues. Just because some modules ran for hundreds of hours, does not mean you can ignore the fact that a number of them had a critical problem, and It is very important how that is all deal with. To sell me modules and have me flying them, that reason says can, or a certain percentage certainly will, fail if I fly into cold weather, is definitely problematic. When I say that here is data that makes me uncomfortable, that is very different from saying it just doesn't sound like a real engine. In my flying career there have been times when I made a flight because I wanted to believe something that was irrational. Somehow I managed to survive those times, but I know how strong the tendency is to put reason aside and act on what we want to be true. The simple point I'm trying to make here is the trap one finds themselves in, where they could be flying a module that works great to start up and get in the air but would shut down if one flew into colder air. If it is rational to say that with some of these components this can and will happen, then that needs to be acknowledged. So why don't the manufacturers diagnose the problem, redesign the component, take all the problematic designs out of service and replace them with something that will work without having a known and proven defect?

It also brings out the reality how everything is designed and tested for the warm balmy climates. I had an old chevy that was made without windshield defrosters! And folks down south would say, "Whats wrong with that?"

This reminds me of why do valves stick in contential engines, i'm sure that most people know that 100LL has 4 times more lead than the engine was designed to run on , Contential has not fixed the problem a known and proven defect . sometimes i just like you Mr. Rinker it seems wrong
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Re: Rotax ignition bug bites!

Postby gkremers » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:23 pm

Roger,
Not sure what the relevance of farm or auto maintenance has in this discussion. I don't think many on this forum would every compare that type of maintenance to an aircraft engine, airframe, avionics, et... I've had my fair share of engine or engine component issues over my 30+ years of flying. Most of them have been in the traditional Lycoming. The 912 was first rolled out in 1989. Have there been changes, modification, upgrades, failures over that time. Of course there have been, just like every other engine, ignition system, avionics, et.... To say Rotax should have built or purchase a better ignition system because there is a chance of them failing if you take off with a sick module and then fly into cold weather. I could say the same for many Lycomings that need to have a wobble test every 400 hours because of KNOWN stuck valves. Just check VAF website, failures as early as 120 hours. EVERY engine has something you need to keep an eye on. Lack of understanding and maintenance has no place in our flying world.

I'm not happy about some of the SB's that have come out on the 912, the carb floats were a huge fiasco and Rotax took too long to come to the plate. I wish they were more forth coming with info but I'll live with it and make the best informed decision I can. I also wasn't very happy when the ECI cylinder issue raised it's ugly head many years ago on the 0-360 in my RV7. Our flying passion has risks, I choice to minimize them to the best of my ability.

I live in Michigan so our weather is certainly not as unforgiving as your part of the country. I wouldn't call it balmy, winter flying gets down to -10F, summer is up to the mid 90F.

How far along are you on your build and what power plant are you leaning towards.

Gary
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Re: Rotax ignition bug bites!

Postby R Rinker » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:46 pm

I'm close to the covering stage for the fuselage and my wings are mostly done. As far as a powerplant...I don't have funds for an engine anyway, due to a 182 & airstrip taking my money, but I'll save that for the last thing in hope that an alternative shows up as viable soon. I don't know what engine I'll settle on. I'm trying to get some hard facts on the Viking Honda which seems to be credible. Unfortunately, hard data is hard to come by in the experimental world as most people seem to let attitudes determine their thinking instead of facts. Some issues take a lot of understanding to evaluate clearly. To put a Rotax, & all accessories like exhaust etc., would cost me over $25,000 in Canadian funds. A fellow in the flying club here, recently put a Rotax in his 750 and he lost his first year of flying trying to get it running right, and he took the factory course. I have to keep lowering my expectations as to what operations to use the airplane for also. Whatever I end up with, I hope I have the discipline to prove it before expecting it to do the work I'm used to.
Concerning the risks involving virtually all engines & systems. When the issues are clearly defined and documented, often those risks can be entirely avoided because a multitude of issues are related to a specific operating perimeter. For our work in the arctic and Siberia, our policy is to use new cylinders and overhaul once. That eliminates the vast majority of problems associated with failed cylinders. When you research failed cylinders, you find that the vast majority have an incident, or multiple incidents of being stressed, or else an unknown history, as individual cylinders can float around being used over & over with no logbook on the cylinder itself. After having an engine melt down in a few minutes once, due to a cylinder with an unknown history, I will never fly one again, unless I have operated it from new. The lead fouling problem is an operations issue that can be entirely avoided when understood. Somebody, somewhere will find a way to wreck anything that could ever be built, so when you see failed component, it's important to understand why it failed so you can avoid repeating that. Guys will do runups on gravel! I have a friend that put 2 brand new props on his 180 in 25 hours. I guess that's enough of a rant for now...
Rodger Rinker - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
Super Stol build/January 2014
NL7AL & VE6RWR
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