July 3, 2008
The FAA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive affecting some 3,000 Lycoming engines. AD 2000-18-53 requires inspection or replacement of the oil filter converter plate gasket on specific versions of Lycoming 320-, 360-, 540-, 541-, and 720-series engines manufactured or overhauled after April 1, 1999. Any gaskets with more than 50 hours time in service must be replaced before further flight. The AD also calls for an immediate inspection of gaskets with fewer than 50 hours, as well as replacement at 50 hours and at every 50-hour interval thereafter. There have been several accidents since February 14 attributed to loss of oil because of a gasket failure. AOPA has expressed concern to the FAA that many aircraft may be unnecessarily grounded because of a shortage of replacement gaskets and pointed out that the converter plate was not designed for repetitive removal. AOPA is working with the FAA to find more effective and cost-efficient means to solve the problem. [See also AOPA's regulatory brief.]
September 14, 2000
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