Airworthiness Directive 2012-19-01 has been issued by the FAA in September of 2012 for certain O540 and IO-540 engines installed in Robinson R44 helicopters. RotorCorp has arranged for priority pricing on Lycoming factory overhauled and rebuilt zero time engines that renders this new AD a non-issue for R44 helicopter owners around the world. The AD requires mandatory replacement of engine crankshaft at overhaul on those Lycoming engines specified in Lycoming Service Bulletin 569A and Supplement 569A-1.
The engines affected by this service bulletin would have been manufactured before August of 2005, however, the affected Lycoming engines could have been installed in your R44 helicopter any time in 2006 by the Robinson Helicopter Company. A thorough check of the Lycoming Service Bulletin for your specific serial number is mandatorily for compliance with the New AD. Please call or email RotorCorp if you need assistance indentifying if your serial number engine is affected by AD 2012-19-01.
This new AD 2012-19-01 has obviously been escalated by the FAA and Lycoming due to crankshaft failures in flight, although none have been reported in the R44 helicopter. The problems for R44 owners started with several Lycoming service bulletin in the past, originating with SB 566 in July of 2005. At that time, Lycoming offered a recall of affected crankshafts and offered a reasonably priced crankshaft replacement kit to remedy the problem for only $2000. Those days of reasonably priced crankshaft kits are long gone.
The biggest issue facing R44 owners is the replacement of the engine crankshaft when the engine 2200 overhaul is due. At Rotorcorp, we are seeing so many older R44 Astro, Raven I, and Raven II helicopters reaching 2200 hour of flight time, and the owners are facing sky-high engine overhaul costs. Typically in the past, an engine would go to a local Lycoming-Approved engine overhaul facility for a “reasonably” priced overhaul. The crankshaft from the engine would be dimensionally measured for wear, magnetic particle inspected for any hidden cracks, then re-installed in the overhauled engine for another 2200 hours of service. Since the issuance of SB 566 and AD 2012-19-01, certain R44 owners are required to purchase a new crankshaft, this adds $20,000 in addition to the engine overhaul price, making the engine overhaul cost sky rocket.
Rotorcorp has solved this financial problem for many R44 owners already. We have developed a 6 month program to exchange your timed-out engine with an affected crankshaft, with a newly overhauled or rebuilt engine direct from the Lycoming factory. Through this limited time offer, Lycoming is absorbing the cost of the crankshaft replacement, the customer is responsible for the standard factory overhaul price or factory rebuilt engine price only. The Lycoming factory engines include a full warranty. Call or email Rotorcorp for details on this great offer that expire June 31st.