Jabiru 3300 reliability?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by aanderson81, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. aanderson81

    aanderson81 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am currently in the process of considering purchasing a factory build Jabiru LSA that has the 3300 engine in it. However I have heard that the Jabiru engines have a bit of a black eye with cooling issues for the last 2 cylinders.

    My questions are:

    Is the 3300 plagued by these issues?
    If so is there a good way to check for issues related to this during the prebuy? The plane has about 200 hours on it currently.
    If there are issues with the 3300 is it an issue more with the engine or the fact that its often used in E-AB installs that may not have appropriate cooling?

    Thanks
     
  2. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    My 09 J230 stays cool or at least all cylinders are close.
     
  3. aanderson81

    aanderson81 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is an 04 I believe. Is there anything extra that you do to keep an eye on the engine at annual or during maintenance?

    Or is it as along as the cylinders are cool, the issue is a bit moot?
     
  4. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    Mine has CHT and EGT on all cylinders. I have a graph of each at the bottom of the PFD and watch temp in climb especially in the summer. If they start creeping up then I'll level out until they come down.

    I don't recall what changes to the heads and such happened when. I think there is a document on either the Aussie or US web sites. I'll post if I find it. They did have heat problems for several years.
     
  5. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Having worked in Australian industry, including small aviation and ship building sectors, all I will say Is I wouldn't buy an Aussie high value product. Way too much "She be right mate" goes on.
     
  6. tyndall

    tyndall Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The black eyes aren't just for cooling, it's the reliability of the whole damned engine. After seeing two lose their props in flight, one from a cracked flange, the other sheared the miniature bolts, I'll pass.

    CASA, the Australian FAA, has put operating restrictions on these lemons. Things like any passengers having to sign a waiver and any flight over populated areas must be at an altitude to glide away from people.

    Here's what they want the passenger to sign:

    I, [insert name] , PROPOSE TO TAKE A FLIGHT IN THE AIRCRAFT IDENTIFIED AS [insert registration information] (THE AIRCRAFT). I AM AWARE THAT THE CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY AUTHORITY (CASA) HAS DATA INDICATING THAT THE TYPE OF ENGINE USED IN THE AIRCRAFT HAS SUFFERED A HIGH NUMBER OF FAILURES AND RELIABILITY PROBLEMS.

    ‘I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT CASA HAS IMPOSED LIMITATIONS ON THE AIRCRAFT TO PROTECT PERSONS ON THE GROUND NOT ASSOCIATED WITH THE OPERATON OF THE AIRCRAFT, UNINFORMED PASSENGERS AND TRAINEE PILOTS. THOSE LIMITATIONS ALSO HELP PASSENGERS AND TRAINEE PILOTS TO MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION ABOUT WHETHER TO ACCEPT THE RISK OF FLIGHTS IN THE AIRCRAFT.


    ‘I NOTE CASA’S ADVICE THAT, ALTHOUGH MOST JABIRU ENGINES OPERATE NORMALLY, THERE IS AN ABNORMAL RISK THE ENGINE IN THE AIRCRAFT WILL MALFUNCTION.


    ‘I ACCEPT THE RISK OF BEING INJURED OR KILLED IN THE EVENT OF AN ENGINE MALFUNCTION DURING FLIGHT, NOTING THAT:


    ‘(a) THE AIRCRAFT MUST BE FLOWN AWAY FROM PEOPLE ON THE GROUND (AND BUILDINGS), EVEN IF THAT MEANS AN EMERGENCY LANDING AT A LOCATION THAT IS LESS SAFE FOR THAT PURPOSE; AND

    ‘(b) THE SAFETY OF AN EMERGENCY LANDING CANNOT BE GUARANTEED EVEN IF THERE IS A SUITABLE LANDING LOCATION.


    ‘I NOTE CASA’S ADVICE THAT I SHOULD NOT FLY IN THE AIRCRAFT IF I AM NOT PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE HEIGHTENED RISK INVOLVED.

    ‘I ACCEPT THE RISK NOTING THAT THE ENGINE MANUFACTURER IS WORKING TO IDENTIFY AND FIX THE ENGINE ISSUES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    ‘I AM AWARE THAT CASA REQUIRES MY SIGNATURE ON THIS STATEMENT BEFORE THE FLIGHT MAY COMMENCE.


    Almost makes a Subaru look good. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  7. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Well that's a shame, I always thought they were sharp looking engines, as if they had been CNC cut from a solid block of billet aluminum.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

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    Posted my comments on the red board. But I will say that is the best look I've had of one in a while. The air defenses citing arround the cylinders will hide that sucker pretty quickly.

    Assuming you get the temps under control, the sound is musical, just like a Connie, but ....
     
  9. aanderson81

    aanderson81 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is what caught my eye and prompted me to look further into it. I wasn't sure if it was specific to a particular engine or across the line and if the installation was a significant concern. It seems a bit unorthodox as well so I wasnt sure if there was motivation behind it
     
  10. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Pattern Altitude

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    Do you want to put your money and or your family into something that is all right "if this, or this" ? Or would you rather put your effort in something that's just plain "right" without any excuses or releases ?
     
  11. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    My 1998-2013 homebuilt accident database has 37 accidents involving aircraft with Jabiru 3300 engines. Just two of the cases involved the core engine. One was, "A failure of an engine cylinder exhaust valve due to the buildup of lead deposits on the valve stem and fatigue cracking of the valve stem" (ERA12TA542). The second one (CEN12FA217) was attributed to a leaking intake valve. Two other cases were due to improper installation of engine systems (improper use of sealant on the fuel system, improper construction of an oil hose).

    There were three cases where the cause of the failure was undetermined; this is a typical percentage for homebuilt aircraft.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  12. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Is that just NTSB, or does that include CASA and EASA records as well?
     
  13. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Just NTSB. Seems like the ratios would be the same.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  14. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    CASA doesn't seem to think so which is why I was wondering if they were seeing something different.
     
  15. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    It is kind of curious. The US Jabiru-engined fleet is probably operated differently, though...little if any training, probably a lot fewer hours. There's even the possibility that the homebuilders are providing better cooling than the OEM providers.

    Wonder if gas has anything to do with it. Do the Oz aircraft operate on the same specification of 100LL than we do, or is it some other mix?

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  16. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Aussie 100LL likely comes from the same refineries ours does and gets shipped in a product tanker. It looks and smells identical.
     
  17. JHW

    JHW En-Route

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    You can't put any stock in anything CASA says or does. These are the same people who mandate that all bonanzas have their control cables replaced on a schedule because a couple of coastal planes were found with corrosion. This has caused many maintenance-induced failures and improper re-installation, i saw a couple of them even on our small island. FAA looked at the same data and decided an AD would be counterproductive.

    Australian nanny state philosophy is to have knee-jerk regulations in response to the slightest incident. It's pervasive throughout the society and can't be used as an example of a product being good or bad.
     
  18. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Can't argue with any of that, Aus is the worst nanny state I've ever lived in. Seriously, I'm a grown man, I can decide when to wear a helmet on a push bike.
     
  19. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    500 hrs on my 09 3300. No issues yet.
     
  20. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    I certainly agree as far as conclusions and actions. However, if their data are correct (e.g., the number of engine failures and the types of failures), it is certainly an eye opener....and worthy of additional study.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  21. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    Here's Jabiru Australia's response.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    But what was CASA referring to to begin with?
     
  23. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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  24. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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  25. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    Jabiru put quite a bit of data in their letter. CASA didn't seem to have much data. Just decided it was a good idea after a couple of incidents to single out Jabiru. As their data show they were mostly better than other engines/aircraft.
     
  26. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    My suspicion is it isn't as much about design quality as quality control. My experience with QC in Australia was abhorrent, an adversarial process where people sought how to cheat. I can't count how many major mistakes were covered up with a "she be right". Kinda like the primary topic at any party was how to get on the dole for the most money.
     
  27. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    We're visiting next Spring. I'll keep that in mind.
     
  28. jcwCT

    jcwCT Filing Flight Plan

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    aanderson81,

    I own a 2010 J230-SP with 450 hrs. on it. Overall, I would say that my experience with the 3300 engine has been "mixed." Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to go into details. I'll PM and email you my telephone number. If you are interested in talking about my experiences as well as the CASA situation in Australia, give me a call. (The CASA situation is hardly as clear cut as LawnDart makes it sound).

    In the meantime, attached are a good balanced article from Sport Aviation magazine in Australia and a letter from Jabiru Pty. in Australia about the CASA matter with some comparative statistics.
     
  29. jcwCT

    jcwCT Filing Flight Plan

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    Aviation Consumer Magazine article on LSA safety in the U.S. Includes very favorable data regarding Jabiru aircraft.
     
  30. aanderson81

    aanderson81 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks, that was a good read.