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Thread: PA28 engine fail/aircraft recovery

  1. #1
    C130jake's Avatar
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    PA28 engine fail/aircraft recovery

    My brother lost oil pressure and then the engine on Dad's Cherokee 140. It now sits happily in a dairy farmers pasture. No damage other than the engine. It sits a few miles north of Black River Falls, WI.

    Anyone know of someone good to help with the recovery? The field might be a hair too short to fly out of with an inplace engine change.

    Possible to trailer out the stubby wing Cherokee without disassembly? We could do an engine swap at RNH ever I have hangar space.

    Thanks,

    Jake

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  2. #2
    cubpilot2's Avatar
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    I saw a Mooney hauled into town after an engine failure by loading on a semi flat bed; sideways of course. They stuck to the back roads to get there. Check your dimensions. You may be able to get a wide load permit.
    Good luck.
    Ed
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  3. #3
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Have friends in the area with private strips. P M me with your plans and maybe this old retired "geezer" can be of assistance. Have had some experience with cherokees and engine swaps. Very experienced A&I friend (might) be available for professional help.
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  4. #4
    C130jake's Avatar
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    PM sent

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  5. #5
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Glad we are just discussing engine swaps and plane move!

    Good flying to limit the problems to that.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  6. #6
    C130jake's Avatar
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    PA28 engine fail/aircraft recovery

    Brother is a chief test pilot at the Army test center in Virginia...it would be bad form for him to ball it up. He said it went just like he taught and was taught. Picked a good field too. Flat pasture no furrows. He said an early decision to give up trying to make Black River Falls and pick a good LZ made it look easy. Just waiting for the insurance co to take the next step.

    Better him than Dad. My 88yr old dad flies all over northern Minnesota and would have been flying the Cherokee today. He stays near roads but the forest is much less forgiving than Wisconsin farm land. Dad was so excited to get the plane back for the summer. We need to get it back up and running for him. Not sure how many flights are left in him. He wants to make it to 90. Still pretty spry and just passed this 3rd class but this could be his last year. You never know.

    Any recommendations on an engine? New, reman, overhaul? Insurance won’t buy an engine so it’s out of pocket. Yikes.
    The plane has been well taken care of its whole life. 1500hrs since rebuild so not sure why it lost oil pressure. Bad oil pump? I guess we will find out when we get it off the nose.

    My brother is the owner but has to get back to work so I will be dealing with the logistics since I live near by. (Dad sold it to him five years ago cheap if he could fly it during the summers until he can’t fly anymore)

    Any help or suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

    Jake




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    Last edited by C130jake; 04-22-2018 at 10:23 PM.

  7. #7
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Jake: One of my friends saw the 140 in the field--says it is about 4 miles by road from his strip and hangar (2 miles as the crow (or cherokee) would fly. Offered to move his plane and loan you the hangar and all the tools needed. Will call you tomorrow. Geezer Dan---Oh Yah---sez looks like your brother did a fine job of handling the situation.
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  8. #8
    SJ's Avatar
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    Jake, I can attest that a Cherokee 180 fits on a flatbed....
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  9. #9
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Loss of oil pressure leading to loss of power- probably not much inside that engine worth saving.

    Sounds REMAN to me, but what do I know? That would also be quick.

    Sometimes, even if you are the best stick in the world, an airplane decides to change it's role into 'energy dissipation' unit. Glad this worked out.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  10. #10

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    I had a friend with a Cherokee have the exact same thing happen to him several years ago. FBO suggested a local hay mover (who is also a pilot). He took his hay moving truck, tipped the bed up, loaded the Cherokee (with manpower assist) and hauled it back to the airport. Unloaded it in front of the shop.
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  11. #11
    C130jake's Avatar
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    Skis off yesterday, 29s on today. Checked on the Cherokee. May fly it out with towing it to Jim's place as a backup. Thanks again Dan.

    JakeClick image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by C130jake; 04-24-2018 at 05:56 PM.

  12. #12
    C130jake's Avatar
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    Field is drying out nicely.1600' slight down hill.Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
    brown bear's Avatar
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    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Bob Park is a great guy! I've got video of this.
    John

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    And to thread-drift this back to Supercubs, legend has it that the Legendary Dave Johnson once had an engine fail on one of his 180 Supercubs, whilst towing for the Airforce Academy. He cobbled together a bracket to mount a Schweizer tow release to the prop hub, and towed it back to Meadowlake with one of the other 180 Supercubs at the end of flying that day. I've seen photos....

    Thanks. cubscout
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  16. #16
    C130jake's Avatar
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    Thanks to this wonderful community, Cherokee is safe in it's temporary home in KRNH chillin with his PA12 cousin.
    JIM O, Geezer Dan B and Nick the recovery guru. Can't thank you enough.Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Thanks for closing your flight plan---glad all went well--Nice to meet Nick---Sure knows his business and great "git er done attitude"

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    What did you do in the field, the pics look like you are fixing the engine so you can fly it out? Was the field smooth enough for nose wheel plane to fly out or did you put it on a trailer?

  19. #19
    SJ's Avatar
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    Jake, you had the "A" team for sure on that rescue!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  20. #20
    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercub1999 View Post
    What did you do in the field, the pics look like you are fixing the engine so you can fly it out? Was the field smooth enough for nose wheel plane to fly out or did you put it on a trailer?
    I see two engines in the field; one on the ground and one on the plane. So I would assume they borrowed an engine and flew it out. Good job guys.

    -Cub Builder
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  21. #21
    C130jake's Avatar
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    7 hours from start to finish. Engine swap, parts run, run up and takeoff.
    1600’ fairly smooth pasture with 50’ trees on the end. 20kt quartering headwind and about 18 gal gas. Nick made it look easy. He was just happy it wasn’t ten below on some remote lake.

    Next time, bring three sheets of plywood and TWO old tires for moving engines in the field. Engine hoists don’t roll well in cow pastures.

    Now we ship the dead engine for rebuild and swap one more time in a few weeks hopefully. Hardest part of the day was playing musical planes to get 4 into the hangar by myself without hangar rash.


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  22. #22
    C130jake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12Geezer2 View Post
    Thanks for closing your flight plan---glad all went well--Nice to meet Nick---Sure knows his business and great "git er done attitude"
    Thanks again for the help Dan! I owe you and Jim big time.

    Jake


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