The FAA issued a proposed airworthiness directive (AD) on Thursday that would require the replacement of certain crankshafts in some 3,800 Lycoming 360- and 540-series reciprocating engines in popular Piper, Cessna, Mooney, and Beechcraft aircraft, among others. The FAA would permit the replacement to be done during overhaul or during maintenance on the existing crankshaft.
But AOPA opposes the way Lycoming proposes to charge owners for the parts required to comply with the proposed AD.
"If aircraft owners buy a replacement kit before February 21, 2009, Lycoming would charge $2,000, but after that, it would charge $16,000," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. "That is ridiculous. Lycoming should not put this cost burden on aircraft owners.
"This could put our members in the position of having to pay the labor for two major jobs - one to replace the crank and the other for a separate overhaul perhaps a few years later. But if they wait to do both at the same time to save labor costs, they could have to pay eight times as much for the kit."
Gutierrez further explained, "The FAA has agreed with AOPA that it is safe for pilots to wait to replace the crankshaft at their next overhaul or crankshaft maintenance, whichever comes first. AOPA will work to ensure that our members do not bear this cost burden."
May 25, 2006