UPDATE: Continental Engine Issue Drives Grounding of Cirrus SR22s, Other Aircraft

The voluntary pause in operations continues until the specific serial number range can be determined.

[Courtesy: Cirrus Aircraft]

An urgent notification to customers and operators of Cirrus SR22 series airplanes powered by certain piston engines manufactured recently by Continental Aerospace Technologies suggests an immediate grounding would be prudent. 

On Friday, Continental Aerospace sent out its own updated recommendation, shared with FLYING, broadening the scope of the recommended grounding to encompass a wide range of powerplants and to call for a specific inspection of the crankshaft counterweight retaining ring within 5 hours for those new or rebuilt engines with less than 200 hours in operation since installation. Models include those in the 360, 470, 520, and 550 series.

Courtesy of Continental Aerospace Technologies

Cirrus Grounds Company Aircraft

A tweet from a Cirrus customer shared on Wednesday demonstrated the impact of the issue.

FLYING contacted Cirrus for more information and received the following: 

“Cirrus Aircraft has been informed by Continental Aerospace Technologies (Continental) of an issue that affects engines that power both Cirrus Aircraft’s SR22 and SR22T models,” the company said via a statement. “While we are still working with Continental to determine the scope of the issue and the specific serial number range of affected aircraft, we are proactively making the decision—out of an abundance of caution—to pause all internal Cirrus Aircraft company flight operations on SR22s and SR22Ts manufactured and issued a certificate of airworthiness from June 1, 2021, through February 7, 2023.  

“Cirrus Aircraft continues to operate without restriction all its SR20s, as well as SR22s and SR22Ts manufactured before June 1, 2021, or after February 7, 2023.  

“We anticipate Continental to issue a service bulletin in the near future, which will detail the specific range of affected aircraft, the root cause of the issue and corrective action. The Continental service bulletin will accompany a Cirrus Aircraft service advisory notification.” 

The company was not aware of any incident or accident involving a Cirrus connected to the issue. The imminent service bulletin is expected to provide more insight once it is published. FLYING will continue to report on the issue and any further impact on operators.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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