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AD: Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters

AD NUMBER: 2017-18-13

PRODUCT: Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model A109A and A109A II helicopters.

ACTION: Final Rule, request for comments

SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-22-51 for  the aircraft listed above.

AD 2015-22-51 required pre-flight checking and inspecting each main rotor blade (blade) for a crack and replacing any cracked blade.

This new AD removes the check and requires inspecting each blade more frequently. This AD is prompted by a crack that was not detected during any of the pre-flight checks.

DATES: This AD becomes effective September 25, 2017. Comments on this AD must be received by November 7, 2017.

COST: The FAA estimates this AD affects 33 helicopters of U.S. Registry. They estimate that operators may
incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD:

Labor costs are estimated at $85 per workhour. An estimated 8 work-hours will be required to inspect a set of four blades at a cost of $680 per helicopter and $22,440 for the fleet per inspection cycle.
They estimate 4 work-hours to replace a blade and the required parts will cost $124,000, for a replacement cost of $124,340 per blade.

According to Leonardo Helicopter's service information, some of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals.

FMI: AD

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