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  • McCulloch J2 Maintenance

    Hello
    I have the option to buy a J2 which has been reclassified in my country as a microlight (ultralight). The implications of this are that it means that an owner can perform a majority of the maintenance on the aircraft themselves instead of it having to be performed by a certified engineer. I am not familiar with the J2 at all, so I am seeking some opinions from those who have first hand ownership experience as to how practical it would be for me to do my own regular maintenance on it?
    Im not referring to the engine, prop, instruments etc, but Iím more concerned with the rotor and control system. What are the regular maintenance requirements for these areas and the rest of the airframe that could be performed by someone with a reasonable level of mechanical ability, and what inspections / maintenance should be considered ďengineer onlyĒ. To date, a majority of the work carried out on this particular aircraft has been done by an engineer anyway, so in some ways there is no precedent.
    I appreciate that this is a rather unique situation, but Iím trying to figure out whether itís practical to own and operate a J2 in a cost effective way in this manner?

    Would anybody know whether an electronic copy of the J2 maintenance manual is available?

    Cheers

  • #2
    You need to ask Jon Stark's expertise.
    He's on the forum but you never know with Jon.

    He could be climbing the Himalayas so you may have to wait.
    Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
    Cheers,
    John Rountree

    PRA- Director, Secretary
    PRA- Business Manager

    PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
    http://www.Pra31.org

    U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
    See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

    OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS

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    • #3
      It is my opinion that a factory certified aircraft should be easier to maintain than an amateur creation. The J-2 was certified to very high standards. Any aircraft mechanic should be very experienced with the engine. The rotor head and blades are very, very similar to the Hughes 269 / 300. There are McCulloch maintenance & Parts manuals around, the hard part is finding some of the low life-cycle items. (not as much of a problem if not certified) The J-2 did not experience enough flight time in it's short life span, so here the J-2 is burdened by very low replacement times of some items. The J-2 never had enough time to prove it's self and have the time limits raised. I have returned 6(?) J-2s to airworthiness status in the past, they are a very well made machine (actually, very overbuilt). The rotor head bearing has an FAA life limit of 300 hours (as did the Hughes 269) the 269 accumulated enough flight time to prove out the bearings life span and it was increased on the 269 to a much higher life time. Having said that, the only mechanical failure of a component on the J-2 was that rotor head bearing. The failed bearing showed signs of impending failure. A very well respected gyro pilot that owned a J-2 was due to check out the owner but stopped the pre-flight due t the bearing's noise, when hand rotating the rotors. The owner stated he had a new bearing in the glove box. The owner flew it anyway and the result was a 2 fatality accident. I believe it was the only fatal accident in a J-2. Its been a while, so don't take this as a fact.
      Tom Milton, PRA Director, Need a DAR, Seat tank, Prerotator, Rotor Brake, or Rotor Tach?
      Have Airworthiness Certification questions?
      gyroplanes@aol.com or
      Visit www.calumetair.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, that is encouraging. I do have a list of the finite life components and did I note that certain ones are quite short, as you point out. Do you know whether new control cables are able to be made by one of the companies that advertise control cable manufacturing, or are they so unique that only originals would suffice?

        Aside from the engine / prop, domany of the airframe components have a calander life or inspection requirement?

        Regards

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        • #5
          If you're in New Zealand, that's probably my old ship (formerly N4363G in the U.S., sold originally to Rob Sanders in NZ about 1999, and through a few hands since then). I think I remember the serial number was 073 from 1972; your registration might be something like RCK ??? (Somewhere I have some pictures of it after it was repainted in NZ that would show the number but I haven't dug them up.) Send me an e-mail and I will forward you a scanned copy of the maintenance manual.

          P.S. for All-In:
          Good guess!
          I'm planning the Himalayas for October this year; French Alps for late July. Right now I'm trying to recover as fast as I can from getting mashed by a drunk driver in March. I was sitting still on my bicycle at a red light in the bike lane at 7:00 a.m. when he whacked me from behind at 50 mph and I did an unplanned jump take-off and flew across the intersection. Result was a brain hemorrhage, messed up neck vertebrae, sliced up forehead, four broken bones in the face, screwed up shoulder, bruises and deep cuts everywhere, broken fibula, and a new titanium rod where my tibia used to serve me. I'd be dead if not for my helmet. He was driving on a suspended license (for DUI, of course), is only 23 years old, and now has two felony charges against him (he tried to leave the scene but got firmly stopped by a tree on the wrong side of the road). I was unable to work for seven weeks but am working hard on physical therapy now.
          Last edited by WaspAir; 05-19-2018, 12:37 PM.

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          • #6
            Thanks Jon, PM sent.

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            • #7
              Jon: Amazing you are alive after getting hit while stopped on your bike by a drunk going 50 mph! Yet, you are going mountain climbing twice later this year!

              The time is long past to remove DUI drivers from society for several years for each repeated offense. Doing long-term stretches in prison for driving while suspended and DUI will save lives as well as life-crippling injuries to those they don't kill.

              I was wondering about your absence from the forum...

              Comment


              • #8
                Glad your recovery is going well J.R. Any TBI can have unexpected consequences, they are all different.
                Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kevin_Richey View Post
                  Jon: Amazing you are alive after getting hit while stopped on your bike by a drunk going 50 mph! Yet, you are going mountain climbing twice later this year!

                  The time is long past to remove DUI drivers from society for several years for each repeated offense. Doing long-term stretches in prison for driving while suspended and DUI will save lives as well as life-crippling injuries to those they don't kill.

                  I was wondering about your absence from the forum...
                  I will admit to a strong bias, but I don't want that fellow back on the road where ordinary people are put at risk by him, and I don't know how that gets accomplished without significant incarceration and serious treatment. Thanks for the supportive thoughts! I was in the climbing gym today, and nothing was easy, but I'm making progress and happy to be able to do that. The climbing goals were set and scheduled long before the incident, and I'm using them as motivators for a rapid return to a more normal pattern.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vance View Post
                    Glad your recovery is going well J.R. Any TBI can have unexpected consequences, they are all different.
                    Hey Vance-
                    Funny how lives seem to converge sometimes -- I've thought of you often as I work my way through this. I also have across the street neighbors who will be moving to Nipomo this summer. Maybe after a while I can bring down my Bell and visit all of you!

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                    • #11
                      You are one of my favorite people J.R. I would love to have you visit. I always learn so much from you.
                      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

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