NTSB Cites Additional Cylinder-Head Issues

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The FAA hasn't done enough to address fatigue problems with Engine Components Inc. (ECi) cylinder assemblies in some general aviation aircraft with TCM engines, the NTSB said (PDF) on Monday. Several airworthiness directives were issued to deal with ECi problems between 2000 and 2009. However, the NTSB said ECi has shown that at least eight cylinder-head fatigue failures occurred in a group of cylinder assemblies produced for installation on TCM engines between October 2005 and October 2009, which are not covered by any corrective bulletin or directive. ECi presented its evidence to the FAA and NTSB in January 2011, but the FAA has not taken any action.

The NTSB wants the FAA to require repetitive inspection of ECi cylinder assemblies produced between May 2003 and October 2009 (serial numbers 7709 through 52884) installed on Teledyne Continental Motors model 520 and 550 engines. Those cylinder assemblies should be removed once they reach the engine manufacturer's recommended normal time (hours) in service between overhauls, the NTSB said.