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AD for Robinson MR Blades


rodrop
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I have read a couple articles the last few days on this rule making proposal. Was wondering what Robinson owners think of this possible updated AD/SB. I also read a bit about AeroWolf who created some tape that may help delay the problem. But, painting is also an option? Curious as to whether anyone paid for new blades? Tried the tape etc?

 

"The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to supersede existing airworthiness directives (ADs) for certain Robinson R22 and R44 and Agusta A109E helicopters.

The FAA published a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register to supersede an existing AD for Robinson Helicopter Company Model R22, R22 Alpha, R22 Beta, R22 Mariner, R44, and R44 II helicopters with certain main rotor blades (blade) installed. The existing AD currently requires inspecting each blade at the skin-to-spar line for debonding, corrosion, a separation, a gap, or a dent and replacing any damaged blade with an airworthy blade. Since the FAA issued that AD, a terminating action for the inspection requirements of that AD has been developed. The proposed actions are intended to detect debonding of the blade skin, which could result in blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, and to correct the unsafe condition by replacing the main rotor blades with new blades that do not require the AD inspection."

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At my school they paint the blades when it is needed. It is said that due to the laws in California we cannot use a more durable paint and the paint we use gets worn off pretty quick.

 

As a result we cannot fly in the rain.

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I don't have a link to the latest AD, but it will require replacement of certain older blade designs and a timeframe to do it in. I read it a few weeks ago but didn't think it was a big deal, unless you have an older ship that you rarely ever fly....I'm sure somebody with time to kill could find it.

Edited by Goldy
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2011-12-10.pdf

 

Somewhere in the replies to comments they do mention making it a requirement to replace blades, with no indication of WHEN they would do such a thing.

 

Also worth noting, tape is actually mentioned in the comments of the AD as well. Just search the PDF to find it.

 

One commenter suggests that Robinson send out kits for abrasion resistant tape to fix the erosion problem.

We do not agree that blade tape will resolve the unsafe condition even though tape is designed to provide longer resistance to erosion than paint. The same unsafe condition exists with both.

 

The problem doesn't lie entirely with the paint. It's just a protective measure, much like the tape would be. Metal corrodes. It's just the way of the world. Some metal is more resistant to corrosion, but eventually, it will corrode as well. Same thing with the glue, or whatever it is holding the spar to the blade. It breaks down over time. Part of helping prevent that, though, is ensuring there is a buffer between the expensive bits and the elements.

 

I think the tape would help, but only as another layer of defense. Not as a cure-all by any means.

 

Estimated costs of replacing the blades are also covered in that AD. Page 7 of the pdf. Pretty hefty numbers for the life of the blade. A lot of those costs would be incurred regardless of the blade that is on the bird though.

 

 

Also, anyone looking to find out what AD's have been put out for our beloved little robbies, Robinson ADs

 

Not all are recurring or even affect the entire fleet, but knowledge is power, right?

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https://www.federalr...ha-r22-beta-r22

 

Here's the federal register site on the AD.

 

What I saw last month was not any of these, but a newer AD that will REQUIRE replacement of all blades made before a certain date before the next overhaul. I'll try to dig it up as it was fairly recent. I think it was still in the "proposed" status, making its way thru the process to become published.

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Rodrop had it right, you guys just all jumped to the old AD's and not the new proposed one. Here it is:

 

 

This proposed AD would add a

requirement, within five years of the

effective date, to replace both main rotor

blades with the new part-numbered

aluminum blades. Replacing the blades

with the new part-numbered blades

would constitute terminating action of

the recurring inspection requirements.

 

http://www.gpo.gov/f.../2013-04217.pdf

Edited by Goldy
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Rodrop had it right, you guys just all jumped to the old AD's and not the new proposed one. Here it is:

 

 

This proposed AD would add a

requirement, within five years of the

effective date, to replace both main rotor

blades with the new part-numbered

aluminum blades. Replacing the blades

with the new part-numbered blades

would constitute terminating action of

the recurring inspection requirements.

 

http://www.gpo.gov/f.../2013-04217.pdf

 

 

Just curious... How did you stumble on this?

 

 

And of course we jumped to the "old" AD. It's not the old one yet! :D

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Just curious... How did you stumble on this?

And of course we jumped to the "old" AD. It's not the old one yet! :D

 

Hmmm, I don't usually stumble on stuff! I was at the factory 3 weeks ago, and at Pat Cox's R22/R44 A&P review at Heli-Expo two weeks ago...pretty sure that's where I saw it first..

 

We've been expecting it for years now, and any ship flying commercially really won't be affected. But private ships that only fly 100 hours a year or less could be spending some money!

 

The only really bad part is....how do we know the new blade is better than the last "new" blade? I know from a performance standpoint most pilots love the new -6 blade, and putting the new Raven 2 -7 blade on the Raven 1 is bound to have similar results....but only time and hours will tell about it's longevity.

Edited by Goldy
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Just curious... How did you stumble on this?

 

And of course we jumped to the "old" AD. It's not the old one yet! :D

 

Best way to stumble over this information:

 

ADs like newly proposed CFRs must go through the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process. These new ADs/CFRs must be posted and open for public comments before they can be finalized, as part of the process. This proposed R22 AD was posted for comments February 25, 2013 and is currently open for public comments thru April 26, 2013. So, anyone can send in their options or comments for modifications of the proposed AD.

 

You can checkout all the new AD NPRM, CFR NPRM, and Final Rulemaking via the FAA Regulatory and Guidance Library.

 

Links to FAA Orders, Notices, Exemptions, etc. can also be found there.

AD/CFR NPRMs are easier to find and read (formatted) on the FAA Library. You can also go direct to the Federal Register, which maybe required if you’re looking up older information.

Edited by iChris
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