No Flight in Known Ice for AW139s

 - November 4, 2013, 2:20 AM

The FAA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring the 73 U.S.-based AgustaWestland AW139s to refrain from flying into known icing and to leave the helicopter’s electrothermal rotorcraft icing protection system (Rips) switched off. The limitation stems from a fire on one AW139 believed to have started with a malfunction caused by improper insulation on a rotor electrical cable. The system was certified by Goodrich (now United Technologies Aerospace Services) in 2010. The AD became effective on October 16. The FAA notes that this is an interim action while AgustaWestland and its supplier fashion and receive approval for a solution. The FAA AD exceeds a related one from EASA that merely requires a one-time inspection and corrective action.