Regulatory Brief: FAA approves replacement Lycoming crankshafts

Regulatory Brief: FAA Approves Replacement Lycoming Crankshafts

The issue

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 importance to our members

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.

Significant provisions

  • AD 2002-19-03 supersedes previously issued AD 2002-17-53.
  • AD 2002-19-03 applies to LTIO-540 and TIO-540 engines rated at 300 horsepower or more with crankshafts that were manufactured between March 1997 and the present.
  • IO-540 engines with crankshafts installed between March 1997 and the present that are modified by supplemental type certificate (STC) to include a turbocharger system are also included in the AD.
  • AD compliance requirements:
    • TIO-540 and LTIO-540 engines rated at 300 horsepower or more:
      • If the engine serial number is listed in Lycoming Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 552 (see below), remove the crankshaft prior to further flight.
      • If the engine serial number is listed in table 2 of AD 2002-19-03 (crankshafts manufactured March 2002 to the present—see AD below), contact Lycoming at 570/323-6181 within 10 hours time in service (TIS) to arrange for crankshaft inspection.
        • Operation beyond 10 hours TIS after the effective date of AD 2002-19-03 or while the crankshaft material is being tested is prohibited.
        • If the crankshaft fails the test, remove it prior to further flight.
        • If the crankshaft passes the test, the crankshaft may be returned to service.
      • If the engine serial number is listed in table 3 of AD 2002-19-03 (crankshafts manufactured between March 1997 and March 1999—see AD below), contact Lycoming at 570/323-6181 within 50 hours time in service (TIS) or six months after the effective date of AD 2002-19-03 to arrange for crankshaft inspection.
        • Operation beyond 50 hours TIS or six months after the effective date of AD 2002-19-03 or while the crankshaft material is being tested is prohibited.
        • If the crankshaft fails the test, remove it prior to further flight.
        • If the crankshaft passes the test, the crankshaft may be returned to service.
    • IO-540 engines modified by STC by installing a turbocharger system, and all TIO-540 and LTIO-540 engines that have been overhauled:
      • If your engine was manufactured, overhauled, or had the crankshaft replaced after March 1, 1997, and your engine serial number is not covered in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of AD 2002-19-03:
        • Determine the serial number of your crankshaft.
        • If your crankshaft serial number is listed in Table 2 of Lycoming MSB 552 (see below):
          • Remove the crankshaft prior to further flight.
        • If your crankshaft is listed in Table 4 of AD 2002-19-03:
          • Contact Lycoming at 570/323-6181 within 10 hours time in service (TIS) to arrange for crankshaft inspection.
          • Operation beyond 10 hours TIS after the effective date of AD 2002-19-03 or while the crankshaft material is being tested is prohibited.
          • If the crankshaft fails the test, remove it prior to further flight.
          • If the crankshaft passes the test, the crankshaft may be returned to service.
        • If your crankshaft is listed in Table 5 of AD 2002-19-03:
          • Contact Lycoming at 570/323-6181 within 50 hours time in service (TIS) or six months after the effective date of AD 2002-19-03 to arrange for crankshaft inspection.
          • Operation beyond 50 hours TIS or six months after the effective date of AD 2002-19-03 or while the crankshaft material is being tested is prohibited.
          • If the crankshaft fails the test, remove it prior to further flight.
          • If the crankshaft passes the test, the crankshaft may be returned to service.
  • A crankshaft that has passed the Lycoming material testing may be returned to service.
  • Crankshafts that fail the Lycoming material testing may not be installed in any engine.
  • The FAA states that an alternative method of compliance to perform material testing on crankshafts listed in Table 2 of AD 2002-19-03 will NOT be approved.
  • The FAA will issue special flight permits to position aircraft so that service may be performed.
  • Lycoming is offering a comprehensive “customer care package” to alleviate the burden placed on customers by compliance with AD 2002-19-03. The package includes:
    • Loss of use compensation for all pre-approved business or pleasure uses.
    • Storage fees for aircraft stranded away from their home airport.
    • Extended warranty coverage—12 additional months from the date an affected aircraft is returned to service after crankshaft replacement.
  • Lycoming representatives will reportedly conduct the AD-required inspections (a small “core sample” taken from the propeller flange for examination) at locations throughout the country.
  • Owners affected by the current Lycoming crankshaft AD should contact Lycoming at 570/323-6181 to schedule crankshaft inspections or return of their engine.
  • More information regarding Lycoming’s customer care package is available on the Lycoming Web site.

AOPA position

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.

Status

  • On January 7, 2003, the FAA granted Lycoming production approval for replacement crankshafts.
  • On September 19, 2002, the FAA published direct final rule AD 2002-19-03. 2002-19-03 supersedes previously issued AD 2002-17-53.
  • On September 17, 2002, Lycoming announced its customer care package.
  • On August 16, 2002, Lycoming issued Emergency AD 2002-17-53. 2002-17-53 superseded previously issued AD 2002-04-51.

Updated January 08, 2003