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Engine sputter

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Well-Known Member
Mar 24, 2011
Reaction score
I've owned my '74 arrow now for two months. About a month ago I started to have a minor problem. I noticed about 3 times now that at low idle after start-up (two occurences) and the other after taxing at low idle that my engine almost wants to quit on me. On all occassions the engine gave more than a sputter, rather it dropped significant RPM's and kind of "chugged" a bit until I increased power up to around 2,000 RPM to keep the engine running. I've never had a problem in flight except at higher altitude this past weekend - around 9,000 ft. when the engine either started to have a very slight hesitation that was barely noticeable. I'm not great with knowing a lot about engines so I'm not sure whether to describe it as a misfire or a sputter.

The altitude of my home airport is about 800' and I have typically run the plane full rich when approaching the airport for landing and while I'm on the ground. Is the problem likley fouling of the spark plugs or is there some other issue? I've never encountered the problem on run-up. Three flights ago very shortly after taxing the plane to parking, as soon as I arrived to my parking spot, the engine just shut off without me touching the mixture control. I'm a bit concerned, although after getting new avionics installed, the avionics shop did a test flight and what they describe is something similar to what I've been observing. Their mechanics spent a couple of hours looking at the engine including performing compression checks (all upper 70's) and they say there was nothing wrong with the engine and it may have been something in the fuel that has now burned through - buy why then has it happened several times? Any help or insight as to what might be going on here are very much appreciated!

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