Starter Failure 421B

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    Yesterday evening, on the return flight to our home base of Lachute PQ, when we tried to start thr right engine {hot start procedure, OAT in Toronto for our departure +43 deg C!} the left engine started just fine using the “hot start” procedure but when it came to the right engine we could hear the “shower of sparks” working, but no noise or rotation from the rght side, there was however some smoke emiting from the vent slots on top of the cowling, we shut everything down and parked the aircraft {four and a half hour drive home, as opposed to a thirty minute flight} We will be returning to CYTA with a spare starter along with tools, does anyone have some thoughts on what we are going to find? Thanks, L/L



    the smoke is not a good sign, best case is it was the starter motor shorting out. What did the voltage gauge do when you tried to start?

    I would show up with a starter + starter o-ring + tools. I like the TCM energizer field wound (heavy) starters. i think Hartzell-Kelly is remaking them now and their quality with Hartzell involved seems to have improved.

    Did you try and move the prop to see if there was any resistance?



    Yes, I moved the prop to “dress” them, it didnt feel to have too much resistance, and the shutdown seemed normal, there was no abnormall vibration in flight and temps and pres all OK, lets hope that there are no chunks of metal floating around! This is a Ram low time engine which replaced one which let go at twenty hours, will let you know what we find!


    Well, we changed out the starter but before we started work we applied power to the U/S one, in about five seconds it was too hot to touch, looks like a major short in the windings, new one installed, works like a charm, no other faults found, back home again!


    What type of starter was the one that failed?


    The failed starter was made by “Kelly Aerospace” it has about 250 hours on it total which would be about 150 starts, we pre -heat in anything below ten degrees C so it hasnt worked too hard, we are fortunate it took place at CYTA as being a geared engine one cant use the “Indian Rope Trick” to start ,as we have done at remote locations in the past.

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