Cost Of Compliance Across The Industry Would Top $82 Million
The FAA has published more details behind a proposed AD that would affect engines which incorporate ECi cylinders that could have a wide-ranging financial impact on the GA community.
In the NPRM, the FAA says they propose "to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airmotive Engineering Corp. replacement parts manufacturer approval (PMA) cylinder assemblies marketed by Engine Components International Division (ECi), used on the Continental Motors, Inc. (CMI) models 520 and 550 reciprocating engines, and all other engine models approved for the use of CMI models 520 and 550 cylinder assemblies such as the CMI model 470 when modified by supplemental type certificate (STC).
"This proposed AD was prompted by failure reports of multiple cylinder head-to-barrel separations and cracked and leaking aluminum cylinder heads. This proposed AD would require initial and repetitive inspections, replacement of cracked cylinders, and replacement of cylinder assemblies at reduced times-in-service. This proposed AD would also prohibit the installation of affected cylinder assemblies into any engine. We are proposing this AD to prevent cylinder head cracks, engine failure, and loss of the airplane."
The FAA says that knowing the likely impact that compliance with the AD will have upon the owners and operators, a detailed review was performed to consider all aspects of the information provided by Airmotive Engineering Corp. After considering all factors, which included, for example, the efforts of two Chief Scientific and Technical Advisors, data from the FAA/Airmotive Engineering Corp. meetings, and the application of the FAA Policy Statement on Risk Assessment 08/07/13 for Reciprocating Engine Airworthiness Directives (PS-ANE100-1999-00006), "we concluded that proceeding with this proposed AD to correct the unsafe condition was appropriate."
The FAA estimates that the proposed AD would affect about 6,000 Continental Motors, Inc. models IO-520, TSIO-520, IO-550, and IOF-550 reciprocating engines and all other engine models approved for the use of CMI models 520 and 550 cylinder assemblies (such as the CMI model 470 when modified by STC), installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. The agency also estimate that each affected ECi cylinder will be inspected on average four times in the first year, and that about six hours per engine would be required to perform the visual inspection, compression test, and leak check. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Finally, The FAA estimates that about 18 hours would be required to replace all six cylinder assemblies during scheduled overhaul maintenance, and that a replacement cylinder assembly would cost about $1,700. Based on these figures, "we estimate the total cost of this proposed AD to U.S. operators to change all ECi cylinders to be $82,620,000. Our cost estimate is exclusive of possible
The FAA is accepting comments on the proposed AD until October 11.