Emergency Landings Often?

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designrs
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Emergency Landings Often?

Postby designrs » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:19 am

Pilot makes same emergency landing... twice.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/20 ... twice.html

acensor
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:20 pm
Location: ASHLAND, OR 97520

Re: Emergency Landings Often?

Postby acensor » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:06 pm

Well, having flown a Challenger with the 503 two cycle, and read and heard many reports.... I think it's generally fair to say with that engine --- unless RELIGIOUSLY and compulsively and skillfully maintained and checked ----it's not a matter of if you're going to have to do an emergency landing, but when and how often ..... and whether anyone even gets to hear about it.
Bet there are thousands of 503 engine quit incidents never reported anywhere.

Luckily Challengers and other LSAs and ULs that use that beast are so slow and light that when the engine quits and has forced landing usually no one is hurt and the plane is usually re-usable. :roll:
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HAPPYDAN
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Re: Emergency Landings Often?

Postby HAPPYDAN » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:17 pm

acensor wrote:Well, having flown a Challenger with the 503 two cycle, and read and heard many reports.... I think it's generally fair to say with that engine --- unless RELIGIOUSLY and compulsively and skillfully maintained and checked ----it's not a matter of if you're going to have to do an emergency landing, but when and how often ..... and whether anyone even gets to hear about it.
Bet there are thousands of 503 engine quit incidents never reported anywhere.

Luckily Challengers and other LSAs and ULs that use that beast are so slow and light that when the engine quits and has forced landing usually no one is hurt and the plane is usually re-usable. :roll:

Here's a question maybe you can answer. Several years ago, a good friend got the UL bug, took lessons and bought a new plane. During a dual instruction flight, the 2-stroke engine seized and they crashed into trees. The manufacturer denied the warranty claim, alleging owner/operator abuse. Since then, as a motorcyclist, I have become very familiar with the damaging effects of Ethanol gas on 2-stroke engines. Husquvarna has published warnings, and even sells pre-mixed stabilized ethanol-free fuel for use in their dirt bikes. He was very diligent about the maintenance and operation of his plane, and swore the fuel was properly mixed. Now I wonder, since he was using auto gas, was Ethanol in fact the culprit?

acensor
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:20 pm
Location: ASHLAND, OR 97520

Re: Emergency Landings Often?

Postby acensor » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:37 pm

First the ethanol issue.... which has been discussed at length here and other places and should by now have been put to rest.
Short version: Rotax 912 series and 503 have for many years now been officially approved by Rotax for up to 10% ethanol. And probably millions of trouble free hours have been flow in many aircraft with auto gas with 10% ethanol. We've run it in our 912 for about 700 hours and 5 years.
Second: There's the issue of components OUTside the engine, fuel tanks, fuel lines, fuel filters, etc.
Particularly in older vehicles and aircraft there's some risk of ethanol weakening seals, etc. And in fiberglass fuel tanks it can catastrophically release glass fibers that can cause really nasty things. So, there are some aircraft where the manufacturer of the aircraft says "no ethanol" for good reason even though Rotax says it's OK for their engines, some where the aircraft maker formally gives their blessings. And some aircraft where the aircraft manufacter says "no" to ethanol for, as far as I can tell, absolutely no good reason other than liability-wise it's safer to day "no" than "yes."

Third, under certain unusual but not unheard of conditions (considerable water getting in fuel tank, by, say, condensation in a hanger that gets alternately very cold then warms up... sucking in damp air which condenses moisture on the sides of the tank during the cooling period) the alcohol and gasoline can separate (phase separation) and the alcohol water mix (which can't run an engine) goes to the bottom. This can be prevented by leaving tank topped off or adding Stabil's ethanol adjustment additive.
==================

As for your friend's situation.... if the engine was under warranty (only one year if I remember right) and he had been under the recommended overhaul hours (think it's as little as 300 on a Rotax 503) and followed ALL the many Rotax rules... it seems to me Rotax should have covered him. But, regardless, not surprising to me that they didn't. They make some good engines, But they are not IMO a end user friendly company...I've never heard of them going the extra mile or giving a owner the benefit of the doubt.
Also they have this disclaimer on all their uncertified engines, including the very reliable 912UL four cycle:
"WARNING:This engine, by its design, is subject to sudden stoppage. Engine stoppage can result in crash landings, forced landings or no power landings. Such crash landings can lead to serious bodily injury or death...This is not a certificated aircraft engine. It has not received any safety or durability testing, and conforms to no aircraft standards. It is for use in experimental, uncertificated aircraft and vehicles only in which an engine failure will not compromise safety. User assumes all risk of use, and acknowledges by his use that he knows this engine is subject to sudden stoppage...Never fly the aircraft equipped with this engine at locations, airspeeds, altitudes, or other circumstances from which a successful no-power landing cannot be made, after sudden engine stoppage."

So they have a blanket "out" regardless of how ridiculous their disclaimer is.
----------------
Finally, for what it's worth, Rotax no longer sells any 2-cycle engines for use in aircraft.

Hope that helps.

And apologies for getting OFF topic as this section is intended for humor, etc.
Last edited by acensor on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HAPPYDAN
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Re: Emergency Landings Often?

Postby HAPPYDAN » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:05 pm

It sure does and thanks. I don't know if it was even a Rotax, but it was some sort of 2 cylinder 2-stroke mounted in a 2 seat glider trike. He claimed it was built in South Africa. I was not in to aviation at the time, but perhaps was inspired by his enthusiasm. I don't claim to have any facts regarding his case; I was just wondering if that might possibly have been a contributing factor.


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