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Buckaroo

FD and Rotax general service?

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Here I am now looking back at 1 1/2 years of ownership and 160 hours of flying this great 2007 CTSW airplane. With only a handful of minor issues all handled by me thanks to this forum I have a question I’ll present in a minute.  As you know I’m in a remote area of Montana with no Rotax repairman in 400 plus miles. 

I just had the annual completed by a shop that knows nothing about Rotax or FD. They did install my supplied plugs and checked the compression. The 5 year hose job is due this year. I’ve done all the oil changes and was helped with a carb balance. 

Question: Should I feel concerned this rig is flying hour after hour with no expert on going examinations? I inspect the engine for leaks and parts wear every week. I guess my question is can I just do as I’m doing? The engine seems so dependable I would think someone wrenching with it would even cause more problems. I’m thinking it’s a if it ain’t broke don’t fix it thing.

 

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My question is, did they use the manual or did they just do it 43 appendix d style?

If the latter, yes, be conscious of it, some concerns and get them addressed, but don't panic and throw things.

The manuals are good and detailed enough for most people to be fine on an inspection. And mechanics are supposed to use manuals on inspections anyways, but in the world of GA, it's such a rush to the bottom (for every owner going for someone who does it right, there's a hundred that think they know better or don't care and go for the cheapest guy instead) that it's hurting the industry as a whole and encouraging cutting corners.

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I think it’s a ego thing. All the aircraft maintenance outfits I’ve approached give me the similar response to my question can you work on the Rotax? They usually say we work on jets and Turbines the Rotax is simple. 

Then I go and they call me with huge problems putting the tire on the clam shell wheels. 

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I would try and get it to someone who knows what they are doing. Something as simple as the wrong paste on the spark plugs can cause thousands in damages.

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Agree with Tom, but if it's someone who's got the manual open and following it to the letter, they'll be good. But it's very rare.

The ones that Buckaroo talks about are the ones you want to stay the hell away from. That kind of arrogance is terrible... but more than likely they're just trying to make a sale.

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3 hours ago, Tom Baker said:

I would try and get it to someone who knows what they are doing. Something as simple as the wrong paste on the spark plugs can cause thousands in damages.

Yes I provided them with a list of does and don’ts, torques, procedures etc from what I’ve learned mainly from this forum. 

I guess my question is can someone provide a listing of critical things that I should examine as we’re getting into the flying season here. My plane is performing so well if it’s not broke....

Someone told me that other than total engine destruction or running out of fuel, oil or coolant the Rotax has redundant systems that will always get you to an airport! 

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It takes a lot to cause one to break up.

Unfortunately giving you a list would mean just pointing you at the manual inspection checklists. If you want to look at everything they should have touched, that would be it.

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It’s pretty cool I can pose a question like this and the list is pretty blank! 

Like I said she’s running incredible so I guess I just wait until something gets out of line! In the mean time I fly the snot out of her! 😁👌👍👏🏿

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6 hours ago, Buckaroo said:

They usually say we work on jets and Turbines the Rotax is simple. 

That just shows ignorance. I can work on a Rotax. Would you trust me to work on your jet and then you go fly?  What if you work on VW cars does that mean you can rebuild a Duramax diesel engine. Does this mean they just absorbed the jet and turbine info or did they have to learn it, just like the rest of us have to do with a Rotax. It's a different animal.

Print out the Rotax and FD check list and tell them to use it and fill it out and not just pencil whip it.  Ask them where are they getting the specs to do the annual?  Ask them is they know the difference between an oil vent and oil purge. What's the gap for the plugs, what do you put on the plugs and do you even have any. My bet is they put anti seize on them which is a not acceptable. Ask them what the engine ring mount bolt torque is and if they checked it. What's the FD engine mount bolt torque?  How do you do a gearbox friction torque check.? Tell them the answers are all in the Line Maint. manual. Ask them if they are going to check the Rotax and FD SB's. If they say where are those then go else where. A lot of top mechanics have messed up a Rotax engine and usually fail to do a decent inspection on the engine and fuselage. 

My point is with all the above is to show they know nothing and evidently not smart enough to know they really don't know and are failing at getting the info. 

A good mechanic would have said I need to study up and find all the pertinent information, manuals and SB's for this inspection.

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54 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

That just shows ignorance. I can work on a Rotax. Would you trust me to work on your jet and then you go fly?  What if you work on VW cars does that mean you can rebuild a Duramax diesel engine. Does this mean they just absorbed the jet and turbine info or did they have to learn it, just like the rest of us have to do with a Rotax. It's a different animal.

Print out the Rotax and FD check list and tell them to use it and fill it out and not just pencil whip it.  Ask them where are they getting the specs to do the annual?  Ask them is they know the difference between an oil vent and oil purge. What's the gap for the plugs, what do you put on the plugs and do you even have any. My bet is they put anti seize on them which is a not acceptable. Ask them what the engine ring mount bolt torque is and if they checked it. What's the FD engine mount bolt torque?  How do you do a gearbox friction torque check.? Tell them the answers are all in the Line Maint. manual. Ask them if they are going to check the Rotax and FD SB's. If they say where are those then go else where. A lot of top mechanics have messed up a Rotax engine and usually fail to do a decent inspection on the engine and fuselage. 

My point is with all the above is to show they know nothing and evidently not smart enough to know they really don't know and are failing at getting the info. 

A good mechanic would have said I need to study up and find all the pertinent information, manuals and SB's for this inspection.

Yup since I’ve had this plane I have discovered many nasty surprises in the maintenance arena! Here’s an attached photo of a bill from my recent annual. Keep in mind these guys have never worked on a FD or a Rotax. After two weeks of having the plane I got a call they were having huge difficulties putting my ne recaps on the mains. That’s when I reached out to the forum asking how to squeeze the wheels together to accommodate the thick tundra recaps. I did the oil change and provided the spark plugs. The only thing the were asked to do was the annual and to mount my two main tires. Here’s the work order and receipt and the bill! 19 hours from an operation that knows nothing about FD and Rotax! 😬

Most the remarks on the receipt are fluff!

 

E68A8886-D8DA-4419-9269-CC08B600507C.jpeg

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Couldn't change a tire and left out 75 other things and it only took 19 hrs. Think if they had both inspection checklist. May have taken 2 months. 

And two weeks to inspect a CT. You could do 4+ in two weeks. So when I look at that list I would like to know what they missed since that's all they wrote down and didn't use a list.

It's just one of my little pet peeves when people that don't know the engine or plane and won't use a checklist and then you come back and find 1-2 pages of things they missed.

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Yes and then my wife and I have a summer of flying her planned. Oshkosh, Missoula AOPA fly in, maybe Page Az, local camping flights etc! 

Like I said she’s running fine so far let’s go! 

This forum is probably my safety link! 👍

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Your best bet is to go to school on your aircraft. I am well connected with several first class well run maint shops. Qualified mechanics are in very short supply in the country, there is no supply and pay is skyrocketing due to the shortage. You can do the on the job training, however the exams and practicals are brutal, not like the past, the faa has cracked down hard. The failure rate is very high like 50 to 75%. Gulfsteam came to Charleston and had a seminar to hire mechanics, Boeing is in Charleston, thats how bad it is, a good A&P school takes 2 yrs and you are still not a seasond mechanic. Good maint shops are not interested in LSA at all, they are slammed with work. If you want it done right take the time and learn to do it, go to Roger's seminar. There are, however a lot of bad mechanics that don't care, but talk big, they will never work for a good shop.

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