As previously reported, the new engine which was refurbished by Anderson Aeromotive, successfully passed all checks at the end of July 2012. Thanks to Lufthansa's special efforts it was then rushed to Lahr in record time.
On August 8 a ground engine run was conducted; the engine ran for 75 minutes, and no problems were noted. The positive results of the checks conducted in the US were confirmed.
Following the ground run, extensive checks were carried out on August 9. Unfortunately, the results were alarming, as substantial quantities of metal chips were discovered in the oil filter.
We have worked closely with Anderson in trying to determine the cause of this problem. Unfortunately our worst fears were confirmed on Monday; after conducting a short second test run, more chips were found in the filter. This means that there is internal damage, and we will not be able to use this engine.
The engine being under warranty will return to engine shop in the USA for trouble shooting and repair. However, it will take between 8 and 10 weeks to receive it back from the USA.
Unfortunately we are faced with the fact that the Connie will be grounded for the rest of the year.
The financial damage is substantial, but its extent cannot yet be fully determined. The committee members will meet prior to the end of the month, and will communicate any additional information as it becomes available.
One thing we know for sure; we will not give up! We will try everything in our power to get the Breitling Super Constellation back into the air next year!
The members of the committee are certain that there will be a way to keep the "Star of Switzerland" alive and flying for many more generations to come.
Payments which have been made to reserve seats for previous flights will be credited to a flight of your choosing in the coming year. There is no expiration date.
We would appreciate any donation and support in this difficult situation, regardless of the amount or currency.
For the committee
Markus Weishaupt, Ernst Frei