Cylinder AD Takes Effect
A controversial AD affecting certain Superior Air Parts cylinders that will likely ground some airplanes takes effect today (April 25, 2014) despite widespread opposition from the maintenance industry and the manufacturer. What's important to note is that this AD grounds any aircraft with Continental 550, 520 and 470 engines with SAP cylinders that have been in the engine for more than 12 calendar years. Beyond that, the AD sets specific inspection and replacement requirements for aircraft with the cylinders and the FAA leaves little wiggle room if any signs of cylinder cracking are present. In all, about 6,000 engines are affected.
Superior tried to talk the FAA into easing the impact on its customers but the agency was not interested. "We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed," the AD says. The FAA estimates the total cost of the AD will be more than $14 million for the affected engines.