Another Lycoming Crankshaft Lawsuit Filed

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A separate legal complaint recently filed in Illinois against Lycoming carries similar wording, and may be added to, original suits filed this September (see AVweb's prior coverage) seeking class action status representing owners ill-affected by a series of Lycoming Service Bulletins (SBs) ultimately calling for "early retirement" of nearly 4,000 Lycoming crankshafts within three years. Attorney Robert Mills, who filed the initial suits (two in Philadelphia covering 49 states, and one in California), this weekend told AVweb that six law firms are already working cooperatively on the case and the new filing may seek inclusion, or lead to wrangling for lead attorney status. The case has been stayed and awaits review -- either in January, or more likely March -- by a multi-district litigation panel that will determine its class certification and assignment, or throw it out altogether, Mills said.

If the case moves forward, Mills said lawyers will seek to determine, among other things, if allegations formally presented by the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) hold water. In its comments to the FAA, the CPA openly questioned Lycoming's chronologically staggered Service Bulletins as "a ploy on Lycoming’s part with the FAA’s assistance to spread out the cost and time to Lycoming and to get a significant portion of the fleet with flawed crankshafts beyond warranty." Following Lycoming's issuance of the SBs, the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive dictating replacement of affected crankshafts at the "first opportunity," and within 12 years from the time the crankshaft entered service. Owners are currently expected to share in replacement costs and cover all labor costs associated with replacement of the crankshafts.