The FAA has issued a request for comments on a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain models of Lycoming engines.
The AD, which requires an inspection of connecting rods and replacement of affected connecting rod small end bushings, was prompted by several reports of connecting rod failures resulting in uncontained engine failure and in-flight shutdowns (IFSDs), according to FAA officials.
While the AD became effective Aug. 15, 2017, the FAA still wants to hear from the general aviation community.
Comments must be received by Sept. 25, 2017.According to FAA officials, the agency has received five reports of uncontained engine failures and IFSDs due to failed connecting rods on various models of Lycoming Engines reciprocating engines.
FAA officials warn that “this condition, if not corrected, could result in uncontained engine failure, total engine power loss, IFSD, and possible loss of the airplane. We are issuing this AD to prevent connecting rod failure.”
Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 632B, dated Aug. 4, 2017, describes the procedures for inspecting connecting rods and replacing connecting rod small end bushings. It also provides a list of engines that may be affected.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates 778 engines in the U.S. are affected by the AD.
Estimated costs to comply with the AD includes 15 hours to inspect the engine at $85 an hour, plus $150 in parts, totaling $1,275 per inspection.
If parts need to be replaced, the FAA estimates that total cost for a four-cylinder engine is $2,170, which includes 12 work hours at $85 an hour and $1,150 in parts. The cost goes up to $6,680 for a six-cylinder engine, which includes 18 work hours and $5,150 in parts. Total costs for an eight-cylinder engine is estimated at $6,850, which includes 20 work hours and $5,150 in parts.
The AD became a Final Rule without comment because, according to agency officials, “the FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because compliance is required within 10 operating hours.”
While it is a final rule, FAA officials said they invite the general aviation community to send “any written data, views, or arguments” about the rule.
“We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this final rule. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this final rule because of those comments.”
Comments can be made online or through the mail. Include the docket number FAA-2017-0788 and Product Identifier 2017-NE-27-AD at the beginning of your comments.
The FAA notes it will post all comments it receives, without change, to Regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide.
“We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this final rule,” officials add.
Submit your comments by Sept. 25, 2017, to:
- The Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Search for docket number FAA-2017-0788.
- Fax: 202-493-2251. Include the docket number FAA-2017-0788 and Product Identifier 2017-NE-27-AD at the beginning of your comments.
- Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Include the docket number FAA-2017-0788 and Product Identifier 2017-NE-27-AD at the beginning of your comments.