If you want to see a complete saga of my life threatening issues with Viking see: https://www.vikingenginesissues.com/

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You surely know very well that such things have happened with Lycoming, Continental, Rotax, Jabiru - all have similar histories with new engines.  Literally dozens of engine out situations over the years.   The history is all there.   The result....The factory acts to prevent further such incidents.

Viking did just that..   https://www.vikingaircraftengines.com/110-130-mandatory-flywheel-up...

What is your purpose here except some form of retaliation?   

Viking is a small company and has an excellent, I would say outstanding, performance record.   Such isolated cases as yours are for sure regrettable and unfortunate.   

BUT, that said....

Most people simply move on and don't resort to using the Internet like this.   

Not impressed with your decision.   Always two sides to every issue.   

Thank You very much for the update. If memory serves me correct Jan himself made it half way to Alaska and back with similar issues...

I am not a PR guy for Viking.  But my focus is on facts and fairness.      

I followed that Alaska flight as did many others.   From what I recall, the flight to Alaska was the first long distance journey in the Viking 180 Turbo equipped Zenith Super Duty.   This was the first kit built Zenith Super Duty sold by Zenith.   

My recall says that you are correct.  We all were advised that the gearbox from the 130HP was not up to the workload needed for the 180HP engine.   So the trip was cut short and the aircraft returned to Florida.

What should be added here is that ACTUALLY and importantly, that was a clear example of the Viking factory testing their product in real world long distance cross country flight.  

What should also be added is that the gearbox was re-designed and the aircraft flown later to Missouri for the September 2018 Zenith Factory Open Hangar Days.   See here..  


Seems to me this was a success story where Viking did the right things.   The experimental side of bringing a new engine alternative to the market will have such steps.  

All this information is available via the Internet.   And is open for anyone to comment and clarify as needed.    Unlike a closed website with only one side.   

You sound exactly like a pr guy. Jan is a big boy I’m sure he can explain him self better. Not impressed with the rudeness R. It’s obvious this particular engine has suffered a excessive amount of problems. If Jan feels comfortable not addressing them, so be it.  

Btw if any continental or lyc had any one of these problems there would be an emergency S.B. out  Soon after the problem occurred.  And the individual owners would be notified 


Unfortunately, the part in question did need to be updated.  It was done a long time ago.  The airplane in question was not a good build and those that saw it were horrified it was even flying.  Not a gift to the Zenith community or Viking 

I believe the Viking 180 problem was something entirely different, which caused him to return to Florida for more research and development.   Just as well he turned around as the weather further north was becoming increasingly unfriendly.  

You have no idea about that.  We made a decision to improve on some parts.  

Do you have any idea how far "Half Way to Alaska" if from Florida in a SD with a prototype aircraft :)

Making personalized comments against me or Viking's owner, Jan, is not helpful.  Facts are problematic only when a predisposed and unsubstantiated opinion is being challenged. 

My comments are no less pertinent than others as long as they are factual.

Apparently you did not read the first email.   The link to the July 2017 Service Bulletin email from Viking was provided.   For your benefit.. here it is again...  https://www.vikingaircraftengines.com/110-130-mandatory-flywheel-up...

What I object to is  making unsubstantiated comments and then going personal as if that makes for credibility.   

And...If your opinion of "excessive amount of problems" is so "obvious" then support your comment with facts. 


I personally only know of two cases of Viking Aircraft engine having serious engine failure.   The other was addressed by Viking in this forum and clearly provided evidence of the buyer messing with the ECU programming.    See here..  http://www.zenith.aero/forum/topics/those-who-can-and-those-who-can-t

As for your assertion that only ONE incident would be sufficient for other engine manufactures to jump.   If accuracy means anything, please take some time to read what follows.   Here are some facts ... 


Aircraft engine-maker Textron Lycoming, Williamsport Pa., is recalling crankshafts used in Robinson helicopters, late-model Cessna 182s, and some Commander 112s. This is on top of an earlier recall that affected only crankshafts in its high-horsepower, six-cylinder engines.

Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) 566 affects about 1,200 crankshafts. The MSB comes after Lycoming lost a lawsuit brought by Interstate Forging in Navasota, Tex., alleging that it had improperly called for the addition of vanadium to the crankshaft alloy.

Lycoming countercharged that Interstate had improperly manufactured the cranks and denied that the addition of vanadium was responsible for the crank failures. The jury awarded Interstate $96 million in damages.

Despite the growing number of recalled units, Lycoming says it strongly disagrees with the jury's decision and is appealing the case.   In 2002, Lycoming recalled some 400 crankshafts.

And by late 2003, after a fifth crash attributed to crank failure, it broadened the recall to include some 1,800 airplanes.


Some hydraulic lifters from Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) have shown premature wear — some in as little as five hours. TCM issued a mandatory service bulletin on Nov. 3. The FAA subsequently issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive after assessing the bulletin. All the lifters in question were installed after June 19, 2009 and the AD includes new engines as well.


Google "Rotax Engine Out" and see the hits. 



In November 2014 the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority proposed restricting all Jabiru-powered aircraft to day-visual flight rules only, without passengers or solo students and within gliding distance of a safe place to land due to the engine line's safety record. This was in response to 46 reports of engine failure in flight. In flight failure modes included, but were not limited to: fuel starvation; valve/port collapse & breakage of critical bolts.  


And a bit more from the Australian Transportation Safety Board....

Clearly demonstrates that Viking's engine easily exceed the safety records of other engines.

To formally and more fully examine the contributing factors behind these statistical observations, the ATSB initiated this Aviation Research investigation (under the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003).

Over the 6-year study period between 2009 and 2014, 322 engine failures or malfunctions involving light aircraft were reported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and/or Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus). These reports involved single-engine piston aeroplanes up to 800 kg maximum take-off weight. Aircraft powered by Jabiru engines were involved in the most engine failures or malfunctions with 130 reported over the 6 years. This represents about one in ten aircraft powered by Jabiru engines in the study set having reported an engine failure or malfunction.

Reports from Rotax powered aircraft were the next most common with 87 (one in 36), followed by aircraft with Lycoming (58 – one in 35) and Continental (28 – one in 35) engines.

When factoring in the hours flown for each of these engine manufacturers, aircraft with Jabiru engines had more than double the rate of engine failure or malfunction than any other of the manufacturers in the study set with 3.21 failures per 10,000 hours flown.

And more from CONTINENTAL..

April 2017 - Plane and Pilot...

Late last month, Continental Motors [ONLY JUST NOW} issued a mandatory service bulletin (MSB) to replace camshaft gears on several models of its IO-470, IO-520 and IO-550 series engines. Continental introduced a replacement gear more than a decade ago, but many engines remain in service with the old part, which is prone to failure. The MSB requires that owners replace the old gears at 100 hours time in service, at the next engine overhaul or within 12 calendar years, whichever happens first. The MSB will affect thousands of aircraft equipped with these engines.

Jabiru engines were involved in the most engine failures or malfunctions with 130 reported over the 6 years.

That Australian CASA study was based on very bad data. AFTER the "study" was published, the data was available for detailed analysis.  Turns out some of this was highly questionable as some of the "engine failures" were student pilots who got lost and ran out of gas!  Guess if I was a student pilot and my engine quit, I would claim the "engine failed" rather than admit to my incompetence.  Last time I checked, every engine ever built "fails" if it runs out of fuel.  Another curious thing is that Jabiru has now been manufacturing engines for 30 years with continuous product quality improvement and is on its 4th generation presently.  In the USA, if the FAA finds a problem with an engine, the serial numbers or dates of manufacture are specified, but the Aussies simply lumped all the engines together - we don't know if they were 20 years, 20 months, or 20 weeks old when they had a problem.

As a Jabiru owner, I was concerned when this study came out and discussed it with Pete Krotje at Jabiru USA, the US distributor for Jabiru engines and the principal maintenance facility and parts source for Jabiru engines.  He said there was absolutely NO correlation with the problems reported in the CASA study vs problems in US engines as evidenced by repairs or parts orders.  Approximately half of the Jabiru engines ever built are in the US and don't seem to have near the incidence of problems, so this adds further evidence that the Australian study was highly flawed.

A little-know fact is that Jabiru aircraft (which are of course, 100% powered by the same Jabiru engines available to the EAB community) have excellent long-term safety records.  A quote from Jabiru discussing the CASA issue:

“Jabiru had addressed most of the identified problems over three years ago. I believe CASA has been negligent because they never consulted with us before they introduced the consultation draft, and they pulled the rug out from under us while we were on the plane on the way down. They couldn’t wait another day to talk about the issue, which really tells you what the intent was; the intent was obviously to damage us to the point where we couldn’t survive.
“When we finally worked that out with RA-Aus we spent a whole weekend going through the 40 events, comparing it with our list of failures, and working out which were just maintenance items like leaking fuel pumps, or simply running out of fuel, which were all on the CASA list. When we’d tidied it up we actually added some to the CASA list and when that was sorted out there were 12 actual in-flight engine failures which led to genuine forced landings. But that was in 93,000 flights, and 43,000 flying hours. And it was mainly flying schools because Jabirus are such popular training aircraft. We already had corrective measures in place for almost all of those 12, and had implemented them since 2011.”
In earlier discussions, Jabiru had offered CASA information from a detailed survey of light sport aircraft safety in the United States, conducted by Aviation Consumer magazine, which placed Jabiru’s safety record in the top three of over a dozen types along with Cessna 152 and Cessna Skycatcher in three categories:
• Overall accident rate per 100,000 hours of flight (Jabiru was second only to Cessna 152);
• Fatal accident rate (Jabiru’s score was zero in USA); and
• Accidents per hundred aeroplanes registered (Jabiru was second only to Cessna 152 and Skycatcher.

Just the facts!



(560+ trouble-free hours on 3rd generation Jabiru 3300)

(No business or commercial affiliation with Jabiru)


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