Re: N44BJ

Patrick Panzera <panzera@...>

I had the crank from a 3500 hour TT (1400 SMOH*, just a few hours out of annual)
O-360 A3A in a Cherokee 180, snap in half and jamb itself up in the crankcase
webbing (the engine completely stopped and would not turn by hand) while under
the hood, on a full power missed approach. Fortunately we had enough altitude to
make "the impossible turn" from the x-wind departure leg, and landed back on the
opposite runway from which we had just over flown.

Had it been actual IMC, I'd probably be dead now. Had we been 100'-300' lower,
the plane would be broken now. We were lucky.

Long and short of it, engines can and WILL bust, be they auto conversions or
certified. There is no certification fairy that will magically protect you if
you fly certified, or will cast an evil spell on you if you fly an auto

BTW, I've never had a car engine bust on me... ever. I've worn them out, I've
had system failures, I've run out of gas, but I've never had one seize on me or
fail in any way, as long as spark and fuel were being properly fed to it.


*hours are from memory

-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Fortin [mailto:kfortin@...]
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2004 7:31 PM
To: Q-LIST@...
Subject: RE: [Q-LIST] N44BJ

David and gang,

In the below reference to a Corvair engine, my thoughts went back to my
dune buggy days. I was never impressed with the engine, but at the time
we could buy a complete car for $40.00, so price prevailed. I may be
crazy or just uninformed, but my thought was when I read this, I would
never want a Corvair engine on anything of mine that might kill me if it

Maybe someone has worked out the details of making the Corvair a
reliable aviation powerplant but I just wanted to throw out my
"terrestrial only" experience with the thing and say; I'm not so sure. I
had an engine overheat and seize on 2 occasions. (I have to admit, we
weren't too kind to them).

If I had the financial choice, (and I admit the O-200 can get a bit
spendy) I would go for the aviation engine, which I know is pretty darn
crude, but has been proven over the years as pretty darn bulletproof.

In any airplane that lands as fast as a Q, wants to avoid an off field
landing if at all possible. The landing speeds are so high the
probability for "bad" is too high to be ignored.

My opinion and nothing more,

Kevin Fortin

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