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[May 23, 2014]


I took today (Friday before Memorial Day weekend) off of work to take care of some outstanding chores I have been delinquent on. I finished everything WAY ahead of schedule - so on a beautiful spring day what else is there to do than poke holes in the sky? I rolled the airplane out, attempted to start it and the prop kicked back. This happens occasionally - I don't necessarily like it, but I always considered it just part of the behavior of the airplane engine. I tried to engage the starter again to a very pathetic light grinding noise, and no movement in the propeller. Crap.

At first I really didn't know what happened. My first thought was the gear teeth on the flywheel were chipped off. I backed the airplane into the hangar and decowled the engine to find the culpret. Well, it took a total of 0.000000001 nanoseconds to figure out what happened. The cast metal casing of my Sky-Tec starter cracked during the kickback.

I caught up on some forums onto this issue, and while not "common", it does happen occasionally. I think someone even eluded to the fact that Sky-Tec had beefed up their casing in their newer models. I really think I am going to ditch this particular lightweight model and go with the 149-NL for $50 more than this model new. This all depends if Sky-Tec will give me a quick and cheap warranty repair.

Although I was upset when it happened, I have to say it couldn't of happened at a better time or location. It broke right in front of my hangar, on a weekend where I didn't have any airplane trips planned. Plus with the downtime, I think I *might* even be motivated enough to make the lower intersection fairings.

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Last Modified: September 4, 2017