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FAA wants feedback on whether fixes for Continental 500-series engines worked

The FAA is again seeking feedback from the public in regard to an Airworthiness Directive (AD) that was issued in August 2020 regarding the fracture of cross-flow cylinder assemblies in some Continental 500-series engines. A new airworthiness concern sheet states that the agency is concerned that the corrective action in the initial AD is not fixing the issue. "The FAA has received multiple reports from the field of cracked cylinders despite prior compliance" with the AD, the new bulletin states. The impacted engines include variants of the 520 and 550-series Continental engines with cylinder heads produced on or after Nov. 1, 2014, with serial numbers before AC18KB277.A complete list of impacted engines can be found in the airworthiness concern sheet here.Aircraft models to have used the 500-series engine over the years include Beechcraft Barons and Bonanzas, the Mooney Ovation M20R and the Cirrus SR22T among many others. The recently announced Tecnam P2021 STOL will use the Continental 520.RELATED STORY: Tecnam P2012 STOL delivery dates, bookings, price announced during NBAA-BACE The FAA is seeking feedback within 30 days of its Oct. 25 issuance from those who complied with AD 2020-16-11.It requires cylinder head inspection and removal of the casting material build-up on the radius edge of identified cross-flow cylinder heads to reduce the potential for fracture initiation. "The FAA needs additional input from the field in order to better understand whether any additional actions are necessary at this time," the airworthiness concern sheet states. The original AD was issued after reports of in-flight engine failures due to fractured cross-flow cylinder assemblies in the Continental engines. "The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the engine, in-flight shutdown, and forced landing," the original AD states. GlobalAir.com reached out to a Continental representative by phone and email but did not immediately receive a response.
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