Sorry to hear the whole story.There was no previous owner of this gearbox. The plane had a Rotax engine and was purchased by a dealer, who took it to Titan in November 2016 to upgrade it to an LS3 powered plane, which involves a lot of stregthening of the fuselage, gear, etc. While it was there the plane was started under full power in a crowded hangar, trashing another plane and shredding the prop and damaging the leading edge of the right wing on this one.
The engine would begin to misfire after 30 minutes of flying and they couldn't diagnose the problem until it blew up-- 2 holes in the crankcase per their pilot.
So this was a brand new gearbox installed in 2018. Now it sounds like it's history, never having left the Titan factory.
Sounds like I need to file an insurance claim and get a new box. I bought this plane in July 2018 and still haven't flown in it.
I'm not a happy camper
I'm new to aviation and don't know how everything works.You've got insurance that covers mechanical failures? Normally you have to go to the trouble of flying and crashing a plane in this condition to file an insurance claim.
I hate to say this, I suspect you need a lawyer, and it sounds like you shouldn't wait.
I am not an expert, but I'd be very surprised if a typical aircraft insurance policy covered damage caused by the negligence of a commercial business. If you have "Ground risk--Hull (non-motion)" coverage, see your policy to see if you are covered (it can cover some types of damage caused by other uninsured aircraft, but I don't know if this situation would be the same thing.) Proving the prop strike caused everything else would be a very heavy lift--especially now that you know the bearing was not put in the right spot.I'm new to aviation and don't know how everything works.
So if you have a prop strike the insurance company says "Here's your new prop, but if the crankshaft is cracked, that's not covered"?
This gearbox runs about $12,000-$14,000 (not sure as the Titan website has been pulled). It will take a minimum of 6 months to a year to get a replacement from Neil Hintz - Autoflight New Zealand. It may even take that long just to get new gears, unless Titan has them sitting on the shelf in their factory.This is big money and a complex situation. IMO, you need a lawyer skilled in these matters.
"Big money" is a relative term. Going through something similar with the governor failure on my Rocket. In my case, I hired an aviation attorney to draft a demand letter, and that produced an enforceable settlement agreement. That cost about $2500 bucks, but I had HUGE leverage on the shop. That said, the cost of going after the settlement agreement in court (if he defaults) is going to be $10k in legal fees, minimum. Tough choice....This is big money and a complex situation. IMO, you need a lawyer skilled in these matters.
Titan is located in Ohio, the limit for small claims court is just $3K. So, unfortunately, that raises the cost to take more significant action.In my case, he's in default but I've managed to pull enough out of him that I'm now right about where a small claims limit ($10k) will almost make me whole.
Pure speculation...but it is pretty safe to say that this gearbox was no different than the other two hundred that are in the field. That is, correctly machined by Autoflight New Zealand.Seems to me potentially harmful claims here against any company is premature until the facts are known. Was the gearbox machined incorrectly by Autoflight or damaged in a prop strike or modified for excess power at Titan?