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Sat, Mar 02, 2019

Superior Air Parts Grounds/Buys Back XP-382/400 Engines

Some 115 Engines Reportedly Affected In Massive Effort To Take Powerplants Out Of Service

In a far-reaching decision that affects over 100 engine owners and operators, Scott Hayes, VP, Sales and Marketing for Superior Air Parts, Inc., has confirmed that the company is implementing an immediate and mandatory buy-back of all the Superior Air Parts XP-382 and XP-400 series experimental aircraft engines in the field.

"This is not something we want to do, but the safety of our customers is our utmost priority. Because of that we are contacting every Superior XP-382 and XP-400 engine owner to arrange to buy-back their engine," Hayes stated. "We know it is a considerable inconvenience but again, safety of flight is paramount in everything we do."

"We have already contacted a number of our owners and while it's no surprise that they are not happy with the situation, they understand that we are doing this because it is the right thing to do," he said. "In fact, the typical response has been them thanking us for keeping their safety as our top priority."

Bill Ross, A&P I/A and Superior Air Parts' VP Product Support explained that the company's decision to take all of the XP-382 and XP-400 engines out of the market comes after a lengthy evaluation and testing process.

"When we first learned of the breadth of the detonation problem, we contacted XP-400 engine owners and paid to have them ship their engines to our facility for evaluation," Ross said. "We disassembled, inspected and tested the key components in each engine."

"The good news was the majority of the engines were absolutely clean, with no signs of stress wear or damage," he said. "The bad news is of the few we found with issues, neither our engineering team or our metallurgy specialists were able to define a consistent root cause of the issues."

Ross added that even after the company took all the available steps to adjust the engine's ignition timing to reduce internal stress, the results were still unsatisfactory. So to eliminate the possibility of any future occurrences, the company is grounding all XP-382 and XP-400 engines immediately.

While the detonation problems are currently confined to the XP-400 engines, Hayes said that because the XP-382 shares so many of the same internal components, that the decision was made to include that model in the program as well.

"I want to be 100-percent clear that the grounding and buy-back mandate does not include any XP-320 or XP-360 engines," he said.

"Throughout Superior Air Parts' 50-plus year history, we have stood behind the quality and safety of our products," Hayes said.

"While the financial burden of this buy-back is significant, it is not as stressful as thinking that we have failed, in any way, to do what we could to protect the safety of our customers and their passengers."

FMI: www.superiorairparts.com

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