July 10, 2005
The FAA has proposed a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Lycoming 360- and 540-series engines with ECi connecting rods installed. The FAA claims the proposed AD would affect about 2,800 engines that have been overhauled or repaired since new.
The affected engines are installed in popular airplanes such as Cessna 172s, Beech Sundowners, Grumman Tigers, and several Piper and Mooney models.
"AOPA has already been in touch with the manufacturer and aircraft owner groups to review the issues and determine the best course of action on this airworthiness issue," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. AOPA will file comments before the December 5 comment deadline.
The FAA said the proposal resulted from reports of connecting rods with excessive variation in the circularity of journal bores. The agency is concerned about connecting rod fatigue leading to engine failures.
For connecting rods with 1,500 or more hours time-in-service (TIS), owners would have to replace the parts within 50 hours after the effective date of the AD. For connecting rods with fewer than 1,500 hours TIS, owners would have to replace the parts before accumulating 1,500 hours.
The FAA estimates repairs would cost about $700. ECi has indicated that it might provide operators and repair stations credit for returned connecting rods.
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