The FAA this week confirmed that Lycoming has received production approval for replacement crankshafts for engines affected by a series of recent crankshaft ADs. The FAA also has ordered the replacement of certain Hartzell two-blade aluminum constant-speed propeller hubs.
The current Lycoming crankshaft AD (AD 2002-19-03) mandates replacement of more than 1,500 crankshafts prior to further flight and is intended to prevent catastrophic failures stemming from a manufacturing defect. The manufacturer promises it will continue to offer compensation to affected owners until installation of their replacement crankshaft is completed. Lycoming indicated that it will install new cranks in 20-30 engines per day, and that it aims to complete all replacements by early second quarter this year. For more information, see AOPA's issue brief.
The FAA this week also issued a direct final rule mandating replacement of certain Hartzell aluminum constant-speed propeller hubs installed on American Champion, Beech, Cessna, Maule, Mooney, Piper, Socata, and other airplanes. Hartzell will extend full parts and labor warranty coverage for the mandatory parts replacements. The AD, intended to prevent fatigue cracks caused by a manufacturing defect, affects more than 200 hub assemblies sent out as spares or installed in aircraft.
"Sources at Hartzell indicate that more than 75 percent of the suspect propeller hubs have already been replaced and that plenty of replacements are in stock and ready to ship," said AOPA Associate Director Andy Werking. "Hartzell's comprehensive approach to rectifying this potential problem is a model that all manufacturers should emulate." See AOPA's issue brief for a copy of the AD and related service information.