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  #1  
Old 02-13-2020, 10:17 PM
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emsvitil emsvitil is offline
 
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Default New (February 2020) FAA AD - Superior Air Parts Crank Shaft

FAA considers Superior Air Parts crankshaft assembly AD


https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...m_medium=email
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:16 AM
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I emailed Superior to enquire about the AD as I was unsure if it will affect our engine - unfortunately it does. 150TTSN engine (sad face).

Would love to know at what engine hours the failures occurred and in what applications those engines were used.

Attached is the response I got from Mr Ross from Superior. Very chuffed with the quick feedback from them, but looks like it’s a case of “let’s wait and see”.

Superior Response:

Mr. Grobler,

I received your inquiry from a member of our customer service team. Our records indicate the engine serial number you provided was equipped with crankshaft serial number SP14-0161. This serial number does fall within the affect range on the proposed AD.

However, Superior only became aware of this proposed AD during the week of Feb 3. We are still gathering information from the FAA and working to a resolution. The metallurgical examination performed by an independent laboratory on each conclude there is not a metallurgical issue with the crankshafts and cites abuse as probable reason for fracture. The FAA has performed no metallurgical testing on these or any Superior crankshafts. Experimental aircraft are not affected from a regulatory point of view. However, Superior is committed to the safety of its customers and will immediately contact each if it is determined that an unsafe condition does in fact exist.

Thank you,

Bill Ross
VP of Product Support

Last edited by JPGrobler : 02-18-2020 at 02:22 AM. Reason: Addition made
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2020, 06:47 AM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
 
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I wonder if the FAA or the NTSB has published the finding to the root cause of the fatigue cracking yet other than just issue the AD.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2020, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhatRV View Post
I wonder if the FAA or the NTSB has published the finding to the root cause of the fatigue cracking yet other....
Yes, its in the AD.

...”gaseous nitrocarburization resulted in excessive residual white layer forming on the assemblies. This white layer is brittle and can lead to spalling or fatigue cracking of the crankshaft assembly as a result of the normal mechanical loads during engine operation. ”
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Last edited by Tandem46 : 02-18-2020 at 08:11 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2020, 08:19 AM
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Default Interesting!

I also contacted Superior about the proposed AD after first checking the engine log?s parts inventory. Their representative confirmed from their records that my engine?s crank does not fall within the proposed AD. Lucky I guess!

While I don?t know Bill Ross personally, my few conversations with him at AirVenture lend me to believe Superior will try to work with their clients if the problem stems from a manufacturer?s defect. Let?s hope.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2020, 10:52 AM
Full Throttle Full Throttle is offline
 
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Maybe Superior will recall all the affected engines like they did with the XP-400
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2020, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandem46 View Post
Yes, its in the AD.

...?gaseous nitrocarburization resulted in excessive residual white layer forming on the assemblies. This white layer is brittle and can lead to spalling or fatigue cracking of the crankshaft assembly as a result of the normal mechanical loads during engine operation. ?
Does anyone know if this gaseous nitro carburization occurred during mfg, like during nitriding etc, or is it something that occurs during operation? I have never heard this term before.
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2020, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sblack View Post
Does anyone know if this gaseous nitro carburization occurred during mfg, like during nitriding etc, or is it something that occurs during operation? I have never heard this term before.
White layer formation can only happen during the manufacturing process. Nitro carburization is an intentional, surface steel hardening process used similarly to gas nitriding but at lower temperatures to minimize part distortion.

My understanding is that quench oil vapor contamination during part heating is thought to be a likely cause of white layer formation but someone with more real-world knowledge of heat treating, hardening and quenching processes could say more on the subject.

White layer formation is often hard to detect, say optically, without an actual hardness (ball) test. I know some machinists have run into the problem where high temps induced by the machining process can cause a white layer to form which kills the tool pretty fast.

It would appear to be a process control defect or oversight here to cause this issue as is usually the case where some cranks fail while the majority of them live for thousands of hours. We have seen process control issues at Lycoming also before as well as alloy recipe changes, resulting in crank failures. Nobody is immune. This stuff is all really critical to get consistently reliable cranks. A tiny change in the established and validated processes or material can cause premature failure.

I learned a bit about hardening and quenching steel decades ago from a old and wise gunsmith friend. My memory maybe isn't correct on some details here so someone with intimate knowledge of this subject, please correct any errors.
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Last edited by rv6ejguy : 02-21-2020 at 08:37 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2020, 01:43 PM
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Default New FAA AD - Superior Air Parts Crank Shaft

It looks like the FAA has finally issued itís final AD decion on IO-360/O-360 SAP manufactured crank shafts built between 2014 to 2016 in Superior and Lycoming engines. It requires removal of affected crank shafts within 25 operating hours of the effective date of the AD (January 15, 2021) at an estimated cost of $15k each. The FAA says there are 192 crank shaft assemblies sold by Superior Air Parts (SAP) with 115 installed in certificated aircraft and 77 installed in experimental aircraft.

It is my understanding that ADs do not apply to experimental aircraft but if my engine was included in this AD then I personally would want to comply. Fortunately, my engine was assembled with a crank shaft manufactured before this ADís affected dates so its easier for me to say this. I also confirmed my crank shaft as being outside this affected manufacturing date range and serial number with SAP.

However for those who have engines with crank shafts within the effective dates then all I can say is once again 2020 is proving to be a very sorry COVID year.
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2020, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tankerpilot75 View Post
It is my understanding that ADs do not apply to experimental aircraft but if my engine was included in this AD then I personally would want to comply.
The applicability of ADs to E-AB aircraft is a hot topic. Rather than reignite it I'll just say that legalities aside, an insurance company would take a justifiably hard look at paying out for an accident caused by a failure of one of these crankshafts.

But I agree with with you about complying and unfortunately I *was* affected. I'm glad you weren't!

Dave
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Last edited by Thermos : 12-11-2020 at 02:45 PM.
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