FAA Follows EASA with Stricter AW169 Emergency AD

 - November 9, 2018, 1:49 PM

The FAA has issued a more comprehensive Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD 2018-23-52) to cover Leonardo AW169 and AW189 twin-engine helicopter tail rotor servo-actuator assemblies, following the issuance of an EASA Emergency AD earlier this week. The FAA said it “determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type design.”

The FAA Emergency AD requires inspecting the nut, cotter pin, lock-wire, hinge bracket connected to the tail rotor servo-actuator feedback lever link, and each connection of the tail rotor servo-actuator feedback lever link. It also requires applying a paint stripe or torque seal on the nut and reporting certain information to Leonardo. 

The EASA AD specifies visually inspecting the nut, cotter pin, lock wire, and hinge bracket for condition and absence of damage, while the FAA Emergency AD requires inspecting those parts for correct installation and loose, broken, and missing parts. While the EASA AD specifies visually inspecting the connection elements of the tail rotor servo-actuator feedback lever link, the FAA Emergency AD requires inspecting all three connections of the tail rotor servo-actuator feedback lever link for correct installation and loose, broken, and missing parts. The inspections specified by the FAA Emergency AD are not limited to visual inspections.

The EASA AD requires contacting Leonardo for approved instructions if there is any damage or other finding, while the FAA Emergency AD requires performing any necessary repairs in accordance with FAA-approved procedures. The FAA AD covers seven helicopters on the FAA registry and estimates the cost of compliance at $255 per helicopter. Leonardo has produced approximately 70 AW169s and 55 AW189s to date.