Agency Calls For Replacing Shafts In Some 360 and 540
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive calling for
crankshaft replacement in certain 360 and 540 engines built or with
crankshafts replaced after March 1, 1999. As AOPA first told you in
July, this AD affects some 1,100 aircraft, in models ranging from
Aero Commanders and Aerostars to Socata Trinidads. Many of the
affected aircraft are Robinson helicopters and late-model Cessna
You'll need to know your engine model, engine serial number,
date of manufacture, and horsepower rating to determine if your
engine is affected (see Lycoming's service bulletin).
"Lycoming tells AOPA that some 238 engines have already been
sent to the factory in response to the earlier service bulletin,
and the company has completed repairs on about half of them
already," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and
certification policy. "The company has been in direct contact with
the owners of more than 660 of the affected aircraft."
This is a continuation of the problem that affected
high-powered, large-bore turbocharged Lycomings three years ago.
Those crankshafts weren't strong enough (why is still a matter
under litigation between Lycoming and the crankshaft supplier), and
now Lycoming has determined that crankshafts made with the same
process used in lower-powered engines could also have problems.
Lycoming will pay for replacing the crankshaft and shipping the
engine to and from Lycoming's Williamsport, Pennsylvania, factory
to accomplish the work. The company will also pay a reasonable
amount for the labor involved to remove and reinstall the
"Lycoming officials told us that they have enough new
crankshafts on hand to repair all affected engines," said
Gutierrez. "They expect to complete up to 15 engines a day with a
10-day turnaround from the time the engine arrives on their
The AD becomes effective October 21 and calls for compliance
within the next 50 hours or 6 months, whichever comes first. See
the Lycoming service bulletin, which lists the affected engines and