FAA To Amend Connecting Rod NPRM

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The FAA has said it will revise its Proposed Airworthiness Directiveregarding ECi connecting rods found in about 2,800 Lycoming engines, ECi President Ed Salmeron said on Friday. The revision will allow owners to wait until their next scheduled engine overhaul to remove the connecting rods, instead of the "within 50 hours time-in-service" originally proposed. The FAA also said it is open to a discussion about inspecting and reworking the rods after they are removed. The original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued on Oct. 5, drew immediate protest from ECi. "We strongly feel that no safety of flight concerns exist," the company wrote to the FAA. AOPA also objected to the NPRM, saying the FAA "blindsided AOPA, ECi, and the general aviation community" by forging ahead with a proposed rule without first consulting industry stakeholders. The NPRM was issued in response to a single engine failure that both AOPA and the manufacturer claim may have been caused or contributed to by an oil-system blockage. AOPA said it found no evidence that shows the engine connecting rods fail to meet safe, FAA-approved limits. "ECi will be working with the FAA to agree on an inspection and rework procedure at TBO," Salmeron said last week.