I was curious about the process that preceded the issuance of the SAIB, so I called Richard Woldan, who was listed as the contract name on the SAIB. Woldan is an aerospace engineer at the FAA‘s Engine Certification Office, in Burlington, MA. Woldan is involved with certifying imported engines, including Rotax engines, and gave me the context for the SAIB. He had been working with his colleagues at both EASA and Rotax, and this SAIB was a continuation of the efforts of those organizations.
Neither Rotax, EASA, or the FAA worked with anyone from Evans Cooling Systems Inc. to develop the EASA AD or FAA SAIB. Their considerations were to the owners and operators of the Rotax engine, not to Evans Cooling Systems Inc. Other water-cooled engines in service include Thielert Aircraft Engines and Austro Engines. After learning about the benefits of waterless coolant I applaud the OEM and the regulatory agency staff for their due diligence. I think they made a great call when recommending the waterless coolant as a solution to the Rotax engine overheating problem.
This SAIB could be the catalyst that helps us move away from the limitations that water-based coolants place on piston engines. Not only will we see greater fuel efficiency, but the subsequent reduction in heat and pollution in both gasoline and diesel engines will certainly help the effort to reduce toxic emissions and reduce the impact on global warming. Who knew that reducing engine overheating could possibly lead to a cleaner environment? In aviation you never know where a path or a story will lead you.
Charles Chandler is an A&P based in MI. He received his training from Spartan College of Aeronautics.
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