Teledyne Continental Motors

Aircraft engine manufacturers recommend that owners overhaul their engines when the engines have accumulated a set number of flight hours. Depending on the make and model, the "Time Between Overhaul" ranges from 1200 to 2400 hours. No regulation requires the general aviation aircraft owner to comply with the manufacturer’s recommended TBO. As far as the

Bonanza N7472N crashed in December 2008 after its engine failed in flight. The engine failed because the crankshaft broke. The 25 year-old pilot was killed in the forced landing attempt. The pilot’s widow sued Continental Motors, alleging that the crankshaft, which was only 58 hours old, was defective. This week, the jury sided with Continental.Beech Bonanza After Crankshaft Failure

The plaintiff brought

The NTSB has released its preliminary report of the off-airport landing of Lancair IV-P N9JE at Hilton Head.  The accident killed a jogger but left the plane’s two occupants uninjured. According to the preliminary report

Further examination of the airplane revealed that the propeller assembly separated from the crankshaft flange and was missing.

In

Aircraft engine manufacturers recommend that owners overhaul their engines when they accumulate a certain amount of operating time, usually between 1200 and 2400 hours depending on the engine’s make and model. For example, Teledyne Continental Motors suggests that owners overhaul its IO-550 model engine at 2000 hours. Textron LycLycoming Engine - photo by wirelizardoming suggests that owners overhaul its O-235 engine, like the one pictured, at 2400 hours.

Overhauls are expensive.  Some can cost $40,000 or more.  An increasing number of owners opt to run their engines 200, 400 or more hours past the manufacturer’s recommended "time between overhauls," or TBO.  Once past TBO, they may take extra precautions by, for example, regularly sending out engine oil samples for spectrographic analysis, checking the engine’s compression, and looking inside certain parts of the engine with a boroscope to insure that  things look good. They feel the manufacturer’s TBO recommendations are somewhat arbitrary. By running their engines past TBO they are squeezing more life out of them, and that just makes good economic sense.

The FAA does not require private owners to comply with the manufacturer’s stated TBO interval. The manufacturer’s TBO is therefore advisory only.  As long as a properly certified mechanic has


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Burdett v. Teledyne Continental Motors involved the forced landing of a Beech Bonanza after the Teledyne Continental IO-550 engine installed in the aircraft came apart in cruise flight. The passenger was severely injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board blamed the engine failure on the mechanic who last worked on the engine, and cleared the engine

Bonanza N618MW, a Beechcraft like the one pictured below, was doing "touch & goes" at Jack Northrop field in Hawthorne.  "Touch and goes" are practice landings where the pilot does not stop on the runway.  Instead, after the wheels touch down, the pilot advances the throttle, takes off again, and then circles around for another landing.  Everything appeared to be fine until, on one of


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