The EASA has approved Eurocopter’s fix for the tail-rotor problems that have affected the AS350B3e AStar/Ecureuil light single helicopter. Operators will have to perform the modification–essentially removing an additional chin weight and installing a load compensator–within five months, per a recently issued AD. It will “restore the tail rotor dynamic load level,” down to the level found on previous models, such as the B3.
Several helicopter EMS accidents occurred over the last couple of months in the U.S.
Preliminary Report: Brazilian Jet Overruns Runway
Cessna Citation CJ3, São Paulo (SBSP), Brazil, Nov. 11, 2012–The captain of a Cessna Citation CJ3 was seriously injured as the aircraft ran off the end of 4,700-foot-long Runway 35R at São Paulo Congonhas Airport. The first officer and lone passenger sustained only minor injuries. Witnesses said the aircraft bounced high into the air a number of times before coming to rest against an airport fence, reportedly after the brakes failed. There was no post-crash fire.
Eurocopter’s ubiquitous light single, the AS350B3e Ecureuil/AStar, is subject to airspeed limits and repetitive inspections as a result of an early-October emergency service bulletin and accompanying airworthiness directive (AD). The helicopter is now limited to 100 knots airspeed at sea level to reduce dynamic loads on the tail rotor. In addition, repetitive inspections must be conducted, with maximum intervals of three flight hours, on the laminated half-bearings.
Operations of the latest version of Eurocopter’s ubiquitous light single, the AS350B3e Ecureuil/AStar, have been affected by an emergency service bulletin and accompanying emergency airworthiness directive (AD).
Under the restrictions, the helicopter’s true airspeed is limited to 100 knots to reduce dynamic loads on the tail rotor. In addition, repetitive inspections must be conducted, with maximum intervals of three flight hours, on the laminated half-bearings.
The Z-10 and Z-19 helicopters both made their public debuts at Airshow China in Zhuhai last week. The Changhe-built Z-10 performed daily during the show, while the Harbin-built Z-19 appeared twice. Neither was available for close inspection in the static park. Both are tandem-seat machines with nose-mounted gyro-stabilized sensor/targeting “ball”-style turret, and stubby wings with weapons pylons.
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive for the Eurocopter EC155B, EC155B1, SA365N1, AS365N2 and AS365N3 requiring visual inspection of the tail-rotor hub for a crack and removal if one is found. The AD is prompted by reports of cracks on two tail-rotor hubs. These actions are intended to prevent the tail rotor from jamming, which could lead to reduced control or loss of control of the helicopter.
Preliminary Report: Turboprop Crashes in Brazil
BLR Aerospace announced at LABACE 2012 that it has won certification from the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) of Brazil for its FastFin tail rotor enhancement and stability system for installation and flight on Bell Helicopter Models 204, 205 and 212.
A test aircraft assigned to Bell Helicopter’s XworX research-and-development division crashed Tuesday morning 10 miles from Avalon, Texas. The two-pilot crew was uninjured.
Wreckage video taken by a Dallas television station shows that the twin-engine Bell 214ST was flying a main-rotor system that had five blades when pilots made an emergency landing in a field and then gently rolled onto its right side. The video does not show any remains of the tail rotor.