Australia and New Zealand soften impact of R44 blade AD

Australia and New Zealand soften impact of R44 blade AD 24 Feb, 15, Source: HeliHub.com

Following the issue of Emergency ADs over the weekend on all Robinson R44s with C016-7 “Dash 7” blades, new documentation has been issued by Australia and New Zealand with less onerous requirements.  These helicopters are no longer grounded, but require inspection of the blades by the pilot before each and every flight.

In issuing DCA/R44/32, the New Zealand CAA said noted that “This AD mandates the requirements in Robinson Helicopter Company (RHC) R44 Safety Alert issued 23 February 2015 before every flight. The requirements of this AD are based on the recommendations provided in Continuing Airworthiness Notice (CAN) 62-003 which is now superseded. DCA/R44/31 is now cancelled. Laboratory examination has revealed that this AD is no longer required.”

They also pointed out the RHC R44 Safety Alert applicable to the C016-7 main rotor blade crack can be obtained from the RHC web site at http://www.robinsonheli.com/rhc_safety_alerts.html

Similarly Australia revised their documents, cancelling AD/R44/24 and then issuing AD/R44/25.

We can only assume that the problem is wholly detectable by a non-engineer with the naked eye.  While we realise that a pilot will have a good working knowledge of engineering aspects of the helicopter being flown, it seems likely that this sort of crack would be detectable earlier with appropriate equipment prior to the problem manifesting itself visibly with cracks such as the one publicised by the NZ CAA as in the photo below

John Burcote – HeliHub.com

150222-r44-blade

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