FAA Issues AD for Bell 206 Rotor Blade

 - April 25, 2012, 2:50 PM

The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for the Bell 206L, 206L-1, 206L-3 and 206L-4 prompted by two accidents in which investigations revealed a main rotor blade failed because of fatigue cracking. Transport Canada advises there is no reliable inspection method to detect the cracks before blade failure and has reduced the life limit from 3,600 to 1,400 hours’ time-in-service. Bell traced the fatigue cracks to a Bell supplier’s use of unapproved manufacturing processes, which have since been corrected, and the company says the defects are limited to a specific range of part numbers and serial numbers.