The FAA has announced it will be issuing a final Airworthiness Directive (AD) Thursday (Feb. 23) on potentially improperly installed crankshaft components of certain Continental Aerospace Technology engines. The AD, which the FAA said will become effective immediately upon issue, is a follow-on to a Continental-issued mandatory service bulletin (SB) issued last week, but with stricter inspection requirements.

The FAA said the AD will apply to approximately 1,632 Continental GTSIO-520, IO-360, IO-470, IO-520, IO-550, LTSIO-360, LTSIO-520, O-470, TSIO-360, TSIO-520, TSIO-550, TSIOF-550, and TSIOL-550 model engines manufactured between June 1, 2021, and Feb. 7, 2023. “Owners must inspect these engines before further flight to verify that the crankshaft counterweight retention ring is properly installed and take corrective actions if necessary,” according to the FAA announcement.

The issue involves possibly improperly installed snap rings that hold pins in place to support crankshaft counterbalance weights. Continental said improperly installed snap rings may not have seated fully in the groove designed to retain them. Continental said the problem is one of assembly and not the integrity of the snap rings themselves.

Earlier this month, Cirrus announced it was grounding its company fleet of SR22s and SR22Ts with engines manufactured during the specified time period out of an “abundance of caution.” For its part, Continental informed customers in early February it was “proactively making the decision to encourage all flights powered by a Continental 360, 470, 520, 550 engine manufactured between June 1, 2021 through February 7, 2023, to pause flight until further information is available.”

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