Model 206, 407 And 427 Helis Subject To AD
A problem that first crept up during a customer delivery flight
last week led the FAA Wednesday to ground approximately 2,800
Canadian-built Bell helicopters until operators can search for
improperly installed bearings on the co-pilot cyclic controls, and
replace the suspect parts if necessary.
Emergency Airworthiness Directive 2009-7-51,
issued Wednesday, calls for immediate inspections of cyclics
installed in Bell Model 206A series, 206B series, and 206L series
helicopers with a lever assembly, part number (P/N)
206-001-401-111, 206-001-400-115, or 206-001-400-111, installed;
and Model 407 and 427 helicopters with a lever assembly, P/N
407-001-320-105 or 407-001-320-109, installed, certificated in any
Bell spokesman Greg Hubbard said the company discovered the
problem during a delivery flight last week. Hubbard did not specify
where that delivery took place, though the FAA cites a Transport
Canada directive as basis for its AD. The Canadian mandate was
issued March 12, and applies to helicopters produced in Canada.
"Transport Canada, the airworthiness authority for Canada,
notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain
helicopters with less than 50 flight hours or with a cyclic lever
assembly installed within the last 50 flight hours," reads the AD.
"Transport Canada advises that 'it is possible that an incorrectly
installed bearing could be found in any helicopter with a cyclic
control lever assembly recently installed.' Failure of the cyclic
control lever assembly could lead to loss of control of the
helicopter. Transport Canada classified the ASBs as mandatory and
issued AD No. CF-2009-10, dated March 12, 2009, to ensure the
continued airworthiness of these helicopters in Canada.
"This unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other
helicopters of the same type designs," the FAA added, explaining
the wide net cast by the agency in the initial AD.
Hubbard told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the company expects
the FAA to narrow the field considerably in coming days, down to
less than 110 newer helicopters affected by the AD.