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JPI Confirmed Life Saving Decision

Posted: October 05, 2017 by Craig Peyton
Filed in: Articles of Importance
 We spoke yesterday on the phone. I purchased a JPI-830 last year and had it installed on my Maule M-5-235 after I had the engine rebuilt earlier this year. After having the work done I flew the aircraft from Seattle up to Juneau, Alaska then for the following 3 months for a total of 65hrs on floats.
Two weeks ago I was going to take my mother-in-law over the glacial ice fields behind Juneau (read no suitable landing areas). On preflight I noticed a drop of oil on my spreader bar, which was unusual. I also noticed that the engine oil level was about a quart low, also unusual since it hadn’t really consumed any oil since the rebuild and since I had just flown it to Ketchikan and back (about a 5hr flight). So I chalked it up to gradual loss over the previous few flights. During start up I noticed a few backfires (unusual) and while taxiing it would occasionally backfire. I still wasn’t completely sure there was anything more wrong than fouled plugs so I conducted my run-up which aside from a slightly different sound than normal was within limits. I was contemplating aborting the flight when I noticed my 830 indicating the #6 CHT and EGT were not showing any rise where the other cylinders had begun to register. This cemented my decision to cancel the flight and return to the dock.
Upon inspection I discovered the #6 cylinder had 5 of 8 cylinder mounting studs sheared off. Only the two rear through bolts had held the cylinder on. One smaller stud had apparently been pulled almost half way out of the case.
  While I likely would not have launched, there was some doubt and I may have. Had the 830 not eliminated all doubt, I may have taken off and had the cylinder depart the aircraft in flight, which very well could have proved catastrophic. In short, there is a very real possibility the JPI-830 saved both me and my mother-in-law’s lives. I just wanted to say thank you for an outstanding product, superlative customer support and making a product that is both figuratively and quite literally a life saver.
                                                                                         James Thompson

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