On September 19, FAA published a direct final rule airworthiness directive (AD) requiring inspection and/or replacement of more than 1,500 Lycoming crankshafts. The AD affects crankshafts installed in turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540 engines rated at 300 horsepower or more between March 1997 and the present. The AD is intended to prevent crankshaft failure and subsequent catastrophic engine failure.
The AD, applicable to crankshafts installed in Piper Mojave, Navajo, Malibu Mirage, and Saratoga, Aerostar, and the turbocharged Cessna Stationair, requires immediate crankshaft replacement or metallurgical inspection within a prescribed time-in-service (TIS) interval depending upon date of crankshaft manufacture. FAA sources indicate that it may be more than two months before Lycoming is prepared to begin production of replacement crankshafts. Compliance with the AD’s crankshaft inspection or replacement provisions will very likely result in significant aircraft downtime.
AOPA agrees that, in this particular situation, the possibility of crankshaft failure and subsequent catastrophic engine failure warrants airworthiness action. AOPA believes it is reasonable and prudent for affected owners to comply with the provisions of AD 2002-19-03 as soon as practicable. AOPA thanks Lycoming for making efforts to minimize the negative impact of this airworthiness action by granting alternative transportation and other compensation to affected owners. The association will monitor Lycoming’s administration of its “customer care package” to our members and the manufacturer’s implementation of the AD mandated crankshaft inspections and replacements. AOPA will continue contact with Lycoming to ensure minimal aircraft downtime for affected aircraft owners.
Updated January 08, 2003