Source: 2009 Q1 Beartracks. Operation PHOENIX NOISEMAKER – Russ Erb Back in 2004 I bought a used Lycoming O-540 engine sans accessories for $12,000. I was told that the engine had a fresh overhaul, and the sole entry in the logbook said so. The seller even said he would give me a one year warranty starting when I first ran the engine. Sounded like a real deal. Do you really get what you pay for? Fast forward four years, and on 7 June 2008 Three Sigma had its First Flight, such as it was. Shortly after takeoff, it developed a nasty case of trim tab flutter, which went away after slowing down. One trip around the pattern and the flight was over. On 11 June 2008, with the trim tab pushrods replaced with stiffer pushrods, we launched onto the Second First Flight, which ended shortly thereafter with a severely overheating engine. The engine was removed from the airplane and shipped back to the seller for investigation and repair. Eventually he would discover that chrome rings had been installed in chrome cylinders, an absolutely forbidden no-no. He had four of the cylinders re-chromed and changed out the rings and pistons. The engine was returned after six months. (No, I’m not telling you who the seller was, so don’t ask).
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