Robinson helicopter AD needs modification, AOPA says

January 17, 2008

Robinson helicopter AD needs modification, AOPA says

By AOPA ePublishing staff

A Robinson Helicopter airworthiness directive (AD) that went into effect Jan. 18 is redundant and places a burden on pilots, AOPA has written the FAA.

The AD affects various Robinson R22 and R44 models—nearly 2,300 helicopters. It requires a one-time visual inspection and “tap test” of the rotor skin blade along with a visual inspection of the rotor blades before each flight, with a record of each inspection logged in the helicopter’s maintenance records.

This mandate is the result of 11 reported incidents of blade debonding, which can lead to a loss of control while in flight.

Robinson’s updated flight manual calls for pilots to visually inspect the rotor blades before each flight. AOPA told the FAA that the portion of the AD requiring the same action should be removed to eliminate redundancy. The association also said the requirement to note each visual inspection in the maintenance records should be removed because it is an undue burden on pilots that does not enhance safety.

January 17, 2008