Tailboom AD Issued for AW139

 - February 22, 2010, 8:28 AM

The collapse of a Gulf Helicopters AgustaWestland AW139 tailboom while the helicopter was taxiing last year has prompted issuance of an airworthiness directive (2009-SW-50-AD) for a special repetitive inspection every 50 hours time-in-service to check for delamination on the boom’s composite skins. The helicopter with the failed boom had sustained a boom strike some months before the incident. The tap inspection is to be conducted using a special aluminum hammer. Debonded areas must be repaired before further flight, depending on size and location. Special flight permits will not be issued. (See article on page 48.)