Group to Revive Precision Carburetor Line
November 20, 2007 — A tentative agreement was announced Monday to restart production of Precision Airmotive's MSA line of carburetors and spare parts. EAA reported earlier this month that Precision had halted production of the units November 1 because it was unable to obtain product liability insurance. That move prompted concern in the vintage and experimental aircraft communities as Precision was the nation's only manufacturer of the Marvel Schebler float carburetors used in many type certificated aircraft engines manufactured by Lycoming, Continental, and Franklin.
A group led by Tim Henderson, president of Aero Accessories, and others from Tempest and Precision Airmotive carburetors, saw a significant need for someone to continue that product line, said John C. Herman, Tempest vice president of sales & marketing. "This has obviously happened very quickly because of the circumstances of Precision announcing that they're getting out of that product," Herman said. "We had to move pretty quickly."
While the details of the agreement were not disclosed, Herman said that the acquisition and relocation of the production line from Seattle, Washington, to Gibsonville, North Carolina, would be completed by January 31, 2008. The Henderson Group's immediate plans are to continue to produce the carburetors and parts as Precision has in the past. The line will eventually be integrated into the Tempest engineering and research & development programs and be sold as "Tempest" products.
"Go back and look at what we've done with the vacuum pump product line when Airborne got out of the business," Herman said. "We stepped in and took over that product line and as a result have made some significant product improvements, making them much safer and a better product.
"It (acquiring the carburetor line) will follow the same philosophy that we've operated the vacuum pumps under."
Tempest Plus Marketing Group President Stan Fletcher added, "Precision carburetor products meet the same high standards for quality and value that Tempest has become known and respected for in the industry. We are excited about the acquisition of this high-quality product."
H.G. Frautschy, executive director of EAA's Vintage Aircraft Association, welcomed the news. "We're pleased to hear that Tempest has acquired this critical engine accessory business from Precision Airmotive," he said. "While the issue of parts with only a single-source supplier still remains one for concern, it's good to know that aircraft owners and operators will experience minimal disruptions to the supply of carburetors and parts for their aircraft."