I’m making progress on recovering the aircraft. Monday I made contact with Larry Vetterman to discuss my failure and get his advice. He said that the IO-360-A series engines are the model where he has by far the most problems with exhaust system failures. The failure rate must be fairly low though, as I’ve never seen any discussion of it as a concern on any public forum. But, since my exhaust system was made in 2001, Larry has done a continual series of design changes to address various areas that proved problematic in service. In particular he has increased the wall thickness of the stainless steel tubing at the top of the exhaust from 0.035” to 0.049” as well as making reinforcements in various areas. I’ll ship my whole exhaust system back to him and he will upgrade it to the latest configuration, which has proved relatively robust in service.

I got a very generous offer of temporary hangar space from a Cessna owner in North Bay who is good friends with an RV-9A builder who read about my plight on the Vans Air Force web forums. Yesterday evening local RV-9A Alfio F. flew me to North Bay and back so I could put the aircraft in the hangar. Thanks Alfio!

This evening I drove to Carp to meet with Mark R. who has an RV-8 with a similar engine to ours. His aircraft was damaged when his hangar door blew in earlier this year, so it is out of service. Mark removed his exhaust system so I can borrow it for a few days. Thanks Mark.

This coming Saturday morning John, a coworker, has agreed to fly me, the loaner exhaust system and a bunch of tools to North Bay. I’ll remove my exhaust system and install Mark’s, load up the tools, etc and fly back to Smiths Falls, hopefully.