Lycoming Crankshaft Update
More information is trickling in about Lycoming's latest crankshaft recall. Most of the 1,100 aircraft affected are Robinson helicopters, AOPA says, as well as late-model Cessna 182s, some Piper models, and a scattering of other aircraft, including some Commander 112s. A proposed FAA Airworthiness Directive that was expected to be out by Friday so far has not been published. The crankshaft problem first surfaced in early 2002 when Lycoming recalled some 400 crankshafts used in TIO- and LTIO-540 engines. By late 2003, Lycoming broadened the recall to some 1,800 airplanes total; that recall program was concluded in 2003. It was believed at the time that only the high-horsepower versions were at risk. Note: The latest recall covers roughly 1200 crankshafts -- not 2,000, as originally reported -- some known to be installed in factory engines, some as replacement parts. Lycoming was able to complete its 2003 program ahead of schedule, and sought to appease inconvenienced owners by covering costs of alternative transportation, insurance, fees and interest. The repaired engines came with a one-year warranty. The cost of the 2003 recall to Lycoming was $35 million.