H. Paul Shuch is a Light Sport Repairman with Maintenance ratings for airplanes, gliders, weight shift control, and powered parachutes, as well as an independent Rotax Maintenance Technician at the Heavy Maintenance level. He holds a PhD in Air Transportation Engineering from the University of California, and serves as Director of Maintenance for AvSport of Lock Haven.
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OK, got a question about Jabriu engines. I know they are air cooled and direct drive unlike ROTAX which have the reduction gearbox and the hybrid air/liquid cooling. The local FBO works on ROTAX and claims they can repair anything air cooled similar to a Lycoming or Continental. I'm looking at an Arion Lightning that has the 120HP Jab in it, but I'm scared that it may have overheating issues or I have also heard they seldom make TBO. I'm concerned that the A&P might open the cowl and scratch his head. They have never seen one, but again said that they could work on it, I'm not doubting it but how different are they than the standard Lycoming or Continental? I'd hate to buy something I can't get serviced, or get them to do a prebuy and not know what they are looking at...
That is a valid concern. Just today, I was discussing the issue with a student who was contemplating buying a Jab. I told him that, although I am something of a Rotax expert, I have no experience with the Jabiru engine. Fortunately, we have a local pilot who's on his second Jabiru in an experimental aircraft, so I referred my students to him for advice. But, I would never choose to work on or inspect any engine on which I have not been trained.
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