Saturday, 2nd October, Mal and his wife prepare the club’s Tecnam for an excursion to Broken Hill for the long weekend. That afternoon the Westmans were sitting out front of their home in the Aviation Estate when Geoff stops outside and notifies them that Mal has landed at Menindee after experiencing sudden rough engine running about 10 mile North of this airstrip. After much thought, Paul and Joan Westman load up their “minibago” with tools and a bit of food and head out to Menindee, via Hillston and Ivanhoe arriving after midnight. The next morning, Sunday, Mal and Kay meet us from Broken Hill in their rental car, after hitch hiking to Broken Hill the previous evening. After a careful visual inspection of the engine, no obvious problem could be detected except for a compression problem in the left piston. Mal and Kay left to continue their holiday and the Westmans continued to check out the problem that could be with the hydraulic lifter. The decision was made that we just had to return to Temora. About 20 K back out on the road to Ivanhoe, we decided to turn around and take the engine out. Checked with Geoff and he concurred that that was the best option.
On Monday the engine was packed on a pallet and trucked to Bert Flood in Lilydale, Victoria. All looked smooth running so that we could get it back for the next weekend. Not to be!! Wally, who works on Rotax Engines, was delayed by a problem which put him in hospital! Thursday arrived and it looked like he was going to be back on deck on Friday. To shorten this story – Westmans packed up again, took off for Lilydale Thursday evening, picked up the completed engine Friday around 1:00pm and headed back up to Menindee. The problem: a broken valve spring! never seen before by Wally who has worked on Rotax Engines for many years.
Robert Maslin, who was back from his holiday in Perth and “Curly” flew out in Rob’s plane Saturday morning and Curly flew back the club Tecnam after the engine was back in place. A beautiful flight back for Robert and Curly and a long one on the road for the Westmans.
All is well, now!