Lycoming Tightens Quality Control

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Former FAA official Michael J. Dreikorn will head up a panel, which Lycoming says is part of its overall plan to address "component reliability issues" like the faulty crankshafts that led to the recall of more than 1,200 turbocharged, 300-plus horsepower engines last year. The Independent Advisory Panel will keep an eye on "safety, quality and compliance systems and processes" at Lycoming's engine plants. "Safety is paramount and we want experienced, world-class experts to bring an objective and critical perspective to our ongoing efforts to further ensure the integrity of our product and processes," said Steve Loranger, CEO of Textron, Lycoming's parent company. Lycoming is on schedule repairing the recalled engines. Spokeswoman Sue Bishop said 350 of 950 engines requiring new crankshafts under Service Bulletin 552 have been shipped to customers. Service Bulletin 553 required core sampling and testing of 736 crankshafts. Of the more than 400 tested so far, about 70 percent were returned to service, said Bishop. A total of 1,100 new crankshafts have been forged. "We're clearly on target to get everyone back in the air in the second quarter as we'd planned," said Bishop.