Regulatory Brief -- FAA Amends Lycoming oil filter converter plate gasket AD

Regulatory Brief

FAA Amends Lycoming oil filter converter plate gasket AD

Updated June 19, 2002

The issue:

On September 5, 2000 the FAA issued Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2000-18-53 requiring inspection and or replacement of oil filter converter plate gaskets on various model Textron Lycoming engines. The AD was issued as a result of several incidents and accidents in which the oil filter gaskets swelled resulting in oil loss, and in some cases in-flight fire and engine failure.

On June 18, 2002 the FAA superceded Emergency AD 2000-18-53 by formally introducing a terminating action in a new AD 2002-12-07.

The importance to our members:

AD 2002-12-07 affects an estimated 3,000 aircraft on the U.S. Registry. The FAA maintains that if the unsafe condition remains uncorrected, these airplanes may be subjected to in-flight oil loss and subsequent engine fire/engine failure. At the time AD 2000-18-53 was issued, AOPA and many affected owners questioned the availability of the approximately 3,000 replacement gaskets that would have been needed immediately to comply with this AD and were fearful of the aircraft down time that would result from a parts shortage.

Superceding AD 2002-12-07 provides formal terminating actions to the condition addressed in the original AD 2000-18-53.

Significant provisions:

  • AD 2002-12-07 supercedes AD 2000-18-53
  • The AD applies to the following Textron Lycoming engines:
    O-320-H1AD, -H2AD, -H2BD, -H3AD, -H3BD, ( L)O-360-A1AD, -A1F6D, -1G6D, -A1LD, -A3AD, -A4AD, -A5AD, -E1A6D, IO-360-A1B6D, A1D6D, -A3B6D, -A3D6D, -C1E6D, -J1AD, -J1A6D, (L)TO-360-A1A6D, -C1A6D, -E1A6D, -F1A6D, TIO-360-C1A6D, (L)HIO-360-E1AD, -E1BD, -F1AD, O-540-H1A5D, -H1B5D, -H2A5D, -H2B5D, -J1A5D, -J1B5D, -J1C5D, -J1D5D, -J2A5D, -J2B5D, -J2C5D, -J2D5D, -J3A5D, -J3C5D, L3C5D, IO-540-C4D5D, -K1A5D, -K1B5D, -K1E5D, -K1F5D, -K1G5D, -K1J5D, -L1A5D, -L1B5D, -M1A5D, -M1B5D, -M2A5D, -T4A5D, -T4B5D, -T4C5D, -U1A5D, -U1B5D, -V4A5D, -W1A5D, -W3A5D, ( L)TIO-540-K1AD, -S1AD, -AA1AD, -AB1AD, -AB1BD, -F2BD, -J2BD, -N2BD, -R2AD, -T2AD, -V2AD, AEIO-540-L1B5D, TIO-541-E series, TIGO-541-D1A, -D1B, -E1A, IO-720-A1BD, -C1BD, D1BD, and -D1CD.
  • FAA sources indicated that there were several incidents and accidents since February 14, 2000, including one fatal accident, that were a result of swollen, damaged or leaking oil filter converter plate gaskets. All of the engines involved had suspect gaskets that had anywhere from 160 to 515 hours TIS.
  • The FAA estimated that approximately 3,000 engines in the US would be affected by this AD based upon Lycoming's estimate of the number of gaskets installed at the factory or shipped since April 1, 1999.
  • The AD mandates immediate replacement of the oil filter converter plate gasket before further flight for gaskets with more than 50 hours Time-In-Service (TIS) since installation of the gasket and every 50-hour interval thereafter.
  • The AD also requires immediate inspection of gaskets with fewer then 50 hours TIS and immediate replacement of the gasket if indicated, replacement at 50 hours TIS, and every 50-hour interval thereafter.
  • Based on one industry source, the cost of gasket replacement will add approximately $40 - $60 to the cost of the 50-hour interval oil change.
  • For engines that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance the AD. That request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.
  • Replacement of the oil filter plate gasket or replacement of the oil filter converter plate in accordance with Part II or Part III of Textron Lycoming Supplement 1 to MSB 543A, dated October 4, 2000, constitutes terminating action to the repetitive gasket replacement specified in this AD .

An alternative method of compliance (AMOC) or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, FAA New York Aircraft Certification Office. Operators must submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, FAA New York Aircraft Certification Office. Information concerning the existence of approved AMOCs with this airworthiness directive, if any, may be obtained from the FAA New York Aircraft Certification Office.Lycoming has instructed owners of affected aircraft to contact any factory Authorized Lycoming parts distributor to order the new part number replacement gaskets. A list of official Lycoming parts distributors is attached below.

  • Lycoming has also indicated that if the distributor you contact reports that they do not have the gasket in stock, the distributor is to immediately contact Lycoming after-market sales representatives to have the part drop-shipped directly from the Lycoming factory.
  • IMPORTANT - If you've contacted a Lycoming distributor that has no gaskets or converter plates in stock and is unwilling or unable to contact Lycoming to arrange drop-shipment of the part contact AOPA's Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA) for further assistance. When calling, please have the name, location, and telephone number of the distributor available for the technical specialist assisting you.

AOPA position:

AOPA agreed that in this particular instance the probability of in-flight oil loss and subsequent engine failure and/or fire warrants airworthiness action. However, AOPA had serious concerns regarding the availability of replacement gaskets and the widespread aircraft downtime that would likely result from a parts shortage. AOPA also maintained that the replacement of this gasket requires the working of fastener-type hardware that was not designed for such repetitive intervals. Repetitive removal of the gasket also requires scraping of the gasket material from base surface of the adapter and the accessory case (which also requires the additional handling of the chemical Methyl Ethyl Ketone or MEK).

Although the FAA had not formally requested public comments regarding AD 2000-18-53, AOPA negotiated the compliance provisions of this AD with appropriate FAA officials. AOPA continued to voice concerns regarding possible parts shortage, aircraft downtime, and repetitive field replacement of the gasket and was confident that a more reasonable solution can be reached.

Since AD 2000-18-53 essentially grounded all affected aircraft until the gasket is replaced, AOPA resolutely believed that both Textron-Lycoming and the FAA had a strong obligation to assure equal and ready access to this critical replacement part. Therefore, AOPA asked Lycoming and the FAA to take appropriate actions to assure that this new gasket became available as soon as possible and assure that all affected engine owners had equal and ready access to the replacement gasket.

AOPA is pleased that the FAA has issued superceding AD 2002-12-07 as it formally introduces much needed terminating actions to AD 2000-18-53.

Status:

  • On June 18, 2002, the FAA issued AD 2002-12-07 which formally introduces terminating actions to AD 2000-18-53.
  • On October 4, 2000, the FAA issued their official approval of an alternative means of compliance for AD-2000-18-53.
  • On September 19, 2000, the FAA stated that the installation of a new Textron-Lycoming replacement gasket with a new part number will be considered as an "ending action" to AD 2000-18-53.
  • On September 5, 2000, FAA issued Emergency AD 2000-18-53.

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