Friday I was testing needle placement and prop spacer blocks on my P3. I did a warm up and then a simulated takeoff and throttle back to cruise to see how my throttle response would be. Everything went well until I throttled down to cool off. It ran for about a minute then RPM started to slowly drop until the engine died.
I let the engine cool down and then tried to start it again. It would not start even after several attempts. I scrubbed the morning’s flight and headed home. The next day I called factory support and he walked me through several steps to try to get the engine started. Nothing worked. Even spraying starter fluid directly into the carburetor would not get the engine to start. We verified that the spark plugs and ignition system was working, we verified fuel flow, all to no avail.
Their engine guy asked me to check one more thing. He had me pull the muffler and exhaust manifold and check the pistons. It was not a pretty picture.
I’ve sent the pictures to their engine guy and their chief and we’ll just have to wait and see what they come back with. I really don’t want to tear into this engine, I’m not a mechanic. So rather than going to the High Sierra Fly-in I may be going up to their facility to see if they can help me out.