Parts and Maint. problems:

The aircraft owners that have certified Rotax engines or an SLSA in the US have very very few engine issues when maint. is done by a trained Rotax mechanic and on adhered to time intervals. The biggest majority of the owners that have ever had issues has come from the experimental side, no Rotax training, mechanic not trained, not reading or having the manuals, and not following what the Rotax manuals tell them as far as inspections and time limits. The first thing I did when I became a certified Rotax mechanic was print all the manuals and read them cover to cover. Then if I didn't remember something at least I knew it existed and where to find it. This habit came from 30 years as a firefighter, paramedic and HazMat Tech. The time to learn is not when the problem is at hand, but before.

My quote has always been:
"The worst thing that ever happened to a Rotax engine was its owner". :huh:

Engine's are mechanical things and they do break from time to time, but it is far between when they are maintained properly. Rotax has a solid product that has been time tested over 21 years (912 series since late 1989). I would encourage every Rotax engine owner to take a Rotax class. All the Rotax manuals are free on line here on this website, all the SB's are here, print all of them that apply to your engine, follow them, replace parts when it says to and do the inspections on time (i.e. 100 hr and annual condition inspections)

No one said flying was cheap and sometimes cutting corners, trying to save a buck or just listening to your neighbor can cost you more than you can afford down the road.

I didn't mean to climb up on my soapbox today and especially this early, but many maint. issues can usually be avoided when things are done right.

If your pocketbook isn't deep enough now for a part, how will it ever be deep enough when it fails and cost 2-100 times more? I hope my soapbox saves someone some money in the future.

This box got so high I'm going to have to jump down. :silly:

Roger Lee
LSRM-A & Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
Tucson, AZ Ryan Airfield (KRYN)
520-349-7056 Cell

  • Re: What will it cost me in the long run ?

    by » 13 years ago

    Those are some really great points Roger, and I totally agree! That said, I would like to add a few additional factors Rotax Owners should consider when thinking about long run costs, namely their own personal relationship with their Rotax maintenance and parts suppliers!

    In another section of this forum I noticed some chat about the high cost of certain Rotax parts, with comments that often such prices drive people to the after market or to bounce between suppliers hunting for the best elusive deal. Although we all want the best deal we can get, I would like to raise another point of view on this topic and how that might affect ones "long run" costs!

    I've had the good fortune of owning multiple businesses over the years from Aviation related to Automotive and Power Sports just to name a few. In all cases my customers at some point and time rub price in my face in that they found the same or a comparable item cheaper down the street, on the other side of town or at the local Wal Mart. I learned over time that the only answer to this dilemma was to raise the very important point that even though in all cases I could not always beat someone else's price, I could almost always give the best value over time!

    To understand this statement fully obviously it needs some further explanation. Basically, as a service provider I owe my customers the best "value" possible, but not always can value be measured by just one deal, to the contrary! Value should be measured over time, as only then can it really be measured fairly and objectively. Maybe the price of my individual Rotax oil filters seems a little high when compared to a similar looking filter from PepBoys, and independent of the many technical reasons it just simply is not apples to apples(a topic in itself), people should try to avoid judging on that one or two items alone. Not only is that Rotax filter completely different technically, with a very special bypass and and bleed back valve design, but so is the personal service I provide to any customer who purchases filters from me! In short, when you buy a genuine Rotax filter from me, you get the benefit of all my and my staffs experience to back it up! I'm sure you treat your customers also the same way, establishing solid long term relationships based on added value for everyone involved.

    This "added value" does not stop at what I alone by my own resources can provide to my customer, but also what my relationship is with my Rotax parts supplier following in the same spirit. When I have a "special" Rotax engine related problem I need help on for one of my customers, I as a Rotax Repair Center can "always" count on my local Rotax Service Center for over the top support who in turn can count on his suppling Rotax Distributor to back him, and he the Rotax factory. In the end it's the sum of the whole that makes Rotax one of the best products in aviation! Yes every guy in the chain makes a margin, that's what allows for a dedicated group of service providers to even exist. If it wasn't for this powerful chain of support, the product would fail and we all would be still flying lawn chairs with wings bolted to them run by chain saw engines!

    I can't count how many times one of my customers has had a unique problem that required above and beyond help from the entire Rotax support chain, all at no direct cost to him. In the end, when the chips are down and a customer really needs a break, by virtue of the strength of the entire combined Rotax support network is it possible to provide these lower "long run" operating costs by backing up the guy with the best service possible.

    Next time someone questions the price of a Rotax part, I would ask them to consider the real "long run" costs of running their engine, and if they've truly been out of whack, that maybe they should review their own long run commitment to their dealer allowing him a chance to return good value over the longer term back to them! Every time one of those "cheaper" filters gets put on a Rotax, not only does it hurt the chain of valid support but it also risks hurting the engine resulting in you needing that chain of support anyways, so why bother!

    Find yourself a good Rotax Service provider, support him with your business, communicate with him clearly and I'll bet over the "long run" you'll get those lower operating costs your looking for, even if that oil filter is a little more money! :)

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