Aug 24, 2009

A Dog's Life - Devil Dog Needs Left Engine Replacement

Georgetown, TX — August 24, 2009 — The Devil Dog experienced low power from the left engine during take off from EAA's Airventure at Oshkosh. Subsequent inspection revealed small metal pieces in the oil sump. The Dog needs an engine replacement.

If you've been following the Devil Dog over the last couple of years, you know that it has undergone several repairs to return it to airworthy condition. The right engine was rebuilt after a bad piston was discovered. Corrosion was found on structural pieces in the tail and left wing and those pieces were replaced with new custom made pieces.

After nearly two years of work, the Dog returned to flight in early July 2009. [see videos] The Dog made its return to flight debut at EAA Airventure, one of the largest aviation gatherings in the world. It was featured in two of the flying performances that week, one showcasing female pilots on Women's Day, with the Devil Dog Squadron's own Col Beth Jenkins piloting the Devil Dog. [CAF links, see day 6 and 7 reviews]

One step forward, two steps back

Metal pieces found in oil of left engine

Overall it was a successful week in Oshkosh - until the return trip home. Shortly after take off, the left engine was not developing normal power. The pilots decided it was best to return to the airport and investigate the issue on the ground. Initial troubleshooting pointed to the carburetor. But after a carburetor swap, on subsequent run ups, the engine still was not developing sufficient power. A check of the oil sump revealed loose pieces of metal - a sure sign something was broken inside the engine.

The Devil Dog Squadron, an all volunteer organization, was just begining the process of raising money to replace the aging left engine. Now those plans are being accelerated to get the Devil Dog in airworthy condition again. One reason for the urgency is the Devil Dog is literally stranded at an airport 1,000 miles from its support crew, without a hangar for protection from the winter elements.

A plan is taking form to secure an engine currently undergoing an overhaul. This should enable the Dog to be in flyable condition before the worst of the winter weather hits. Purchasing the rebuilt engine has the additional benefit of continued possession of the current left engine for future rebuild should it be needed.

Together with the logistics of replacing the engine, the Devil Dog Squadron is working on plans to get the word out and raise the ~$75,000 to purchase the rebuilt engine. If you would like to help get this rare piece of flying history back in the air please consider making a donation. Donations are accepted on our website through Paypal, or you can mail a check. For more information see our Sponsorship or PX pages.

For information on becoming a member of the Devil Dog Squadron please see our Squadron page.