Friday, 26 March 2010

More alternator comms from Kelly

I had a bunch of emails from Kelly today. They were from Tim Gauntt, their Director of Warranty and Tech Support. Tim explained the issue with Kelly (Ford) alternators...

The looseness of the case is a mechanical issue on all the Ford-style alternators. The way the housings are fitted to the stator allows for movement after the alternator is heated up and run with a load, something which we cannot duplicate in production testing. This is why you found the housing bolts loose but still safety wired. We currently affix a decal to the housing and recommend the through bolts be re-torqued after the 1st 10 hours of operation and then each 100 hours thereafter. It’s been my experience the 1st 10 hour re-torque and the 1st 100 hour inspection will be all that’s needed.

The picture here was sent to me by John Miller, a South African journalist/editor who had this happen to another C182 in flight. I've also heard of another occurrence in the UK which sounds very similar. I (along with engineer Justin Cox) caught my alternator failure when the case was just starting to come apart, but I'm led to believe that this is how it would have ended had we not spotted it.

I can't say that I am hugely happy about a design that allows this kind of thing to happen, but I am happy that the conversation with Kelly is now two-way.

So, if you have a Kelly (Ford) alternator on your TCM engine you might want to get your engineer to check the torque next time you have the cowling off.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Kelly progress, Garmin brilliant again

At the risk of making this boring, after yesterday's 'no news from Kelly' post the dam has burst and I've had a positive email and a (yet to be fulfilled) promise of a telephone call. I'm assured that my alternator woes will be swiftly addressed!

When I flew EW back to the strip I also discovered a fault with the Garmin 530W. I called Garmin, and unlike Kelly they answered, asked me to return the unit, and have just emailed again (only 3 days later) to say that my freshly repaired GNS530W is winging its way back.

Two problems, both a pain. One has left me frustrated (so far) with Kelly, while the other has left me impressed with Garmin.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Kelly update...

Erm, well actually the news is that there is no news. Despite one voice message, a couple of emails, a couple of messages left via their web contact form and two messages left on someone's voicemail there's been no contact from Kelly.

Looking at this thread it seems that I'm not the only person to experience difficulties with Kelly products.

Ho hum, I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


EW came home on Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday it rained.

Monday, 22 March 2010

That special smile

I popped into Compton Abbas late Sunday afternoon, it was a short flight from Henstridge and I was glad to find the circuit fairly quiet - one departing, one PA28 waiting to depart and me and a couple of others in the circuit to land.

There was a bit of a crowd outside, all of them taking an interest in the PA28 which by now was in the circuit. It was being flown by Emma Hughes who, along with her mum, dad and sister, run Compton Abbas. Emma obviously did OK, because after a short time her instructor climbed out and sent her solo. Emma's dad, Clive, watched closely and her mum busied herself with pretending that it wasn't happening, but Emma did well and was still beaming when I left half-an-hour or so after she'd landed.

Nice one Emma.
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Sunday, 21 March 2010

EW's home

I'm very happy to say that EW is now back at the strip, and that the strip is again dry enough to use. Ian Q kindly picked me up in his C180 and we popped in to another strip on the way to Henstridge.

I've got a couple of small issues to fix, namely a GNS530 that is no longer transmitting and a Kelly alternator that I presume is made of chocolate or something else equally useless for an alternator, but as soon as they're both taken care of we'll be set for the season.

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