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Technical Tip - watch for paint flakes in carb box

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Technical Tip - watch for paint flakes in carb box

As part of my walk around the other evening, I was shining my bright mag light around the plane looking for problems. The hanger was a bit darker than usual and so I had a really good look through the air screen right into the air inlet of on my Pitts. The ram air box, has rubber seals all around it, that are attached to a little box on the inside of the cowl. These rubber seals all had red paint on them and some of that paint was starting to crack/flake due to the flexing of the rubber. The result is that paint flakes could easily come off the rubber seals and go straight into the carburator. I presume the red paint is simply overspray from when the cowl was painted, obviously nobody masked off the air inlet opening.

It took the cowl off and cleaned off all the paint on the rubber seals to avoid ingesting paint flakes. I strongly recommend that anybody with a Pitts check to make sure they do not have flaking paint inside that box, either on the rubber or on the insides of the box itself.

I'm not sure what the engine would do if it ingested a quarter sized flake of paint but I don't particularly want  to find out.


Peter Ashwood-Smith

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