So Far, Crank-Replacement Not Mandatory
As things stand, Service Bulletin 569A is not mandatory for Part 91 owners who don't use their aircraft in commercial service, AOPA said. But Lycoming has made clear it would like the FAA to issue an Airworthiness Directive based on the SB, as often happens, and then it would be mandatory for all owners. AOPA has asked the FAA to utilize its airworthiness-concern process and solicit input from mechanics and owners before going along with Lycoming on this one. "How does Lycoming or the FAA know with any certainty that this particular group of crankshafts suffers from the same manufacturing defects as those already covered by ADs?" questioned Gutierrez. "There have been no failures, no service difficulty reports." The common thread is a prior Lycoming contractor, which did produce other-batch crankshafts that failed in service, and with which Lycoming will meet again in court on appeal. AOPA suggested that instead of issuing an AD, the FAA could work with Lycoming to develop an inspection procedure to determine if each crankshaft is indeed defective. That would be much less costly for owners both in terms of dollars and downtime, Gutierrez said.