What does a cracked cylinder look like?

The flurry of news reporting related to the NPRM and recently proposed AD on TITAN 520/550 style cylinder heads has created a case of “Crack Confusion,” according to officials at Engine Components International (ECi). That’s why they put together a page with photos of the most common cracks. Officials note that a “picture speaks a thousand words…and words can be confusing.” Check it out here.



  1. Dietrich Fecht says

    Is that really true,

    that about of 75% of all cylinders at engine overhaul contain cracks that require welding, as stated on the ECI page http://www.eci.aero/pages/cracked.aspx ? What means that 75 % of all cylinders are flown with cracks some time before overhaul ?

    I didn`t know before that such a high number of cracks in cylinders are such a serious issue. That gives me some thinking. A crack in the cylinder or cylinder head is mostly often the beginning of a capital engine defect. With all possible dangers and risks which result from flying with defect engines. Imagine flying at night to the Bahamas, Haiti, to Key West or across the Great Lakes in a SE airplane and the engine quits running, spills oil over the windshield or perhaps gets burning because of very hot combustion gases blow through a crack.

    I remember cracks in cylinders have often seen with VW Bus 1600 engines in the former century. It was common to weld the heads for overhaul. Especially the companies in Southern California had much practise in that. But when I remember how a VW Beatle engine runs with a cracked cylinder head or a burned valve, I feel the wishes not to experience that in an airplane.

    May be the technology of simple air cooled engines is not up to date any more and requires some more modern design with a minimum of water cooled heads, and perhaps cylinders, in combination with electronic ignition and computerised fuel injection.

  2. Tom Burke says

    If they are looking for sympathy, go elsewhere. I already had to buy my cylinders twice due to the last fiasco with ECI.

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