Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
03 February 2012


For further information contact:

Senior Communications Adviser, Emma Peel
Tel: 04 560 9646, or 027 272 3545


Mandatory blade replacement for some Bell helicopters

Mandatory blade replacement for some Bell helicopters

The Director of Civil Aviation has today issued a directive that could require rotor blade replacement for up to eight New Zealand helicopters.

The Airworthiness Directive issued today requires certain Bell 206L helicopters, known as Jet rangers and Long rangers, to replace rotor blades with certain part numbers that have been in service for 1400 hours or more. Blades that have been in service for less than 1400 hours may remain in operation until they reach 1400 hours, and must then be replaced.

The concern is that air pockets in the adhesive used inside the blades could lead to cracking, and failure.

The safety directive follows an investigation by Transport Canada of a Bell 206L-1 accident.

The CAA has notified all owners of New Zealand-registered Bell 206L helicopters, who must now arrange with their maintenance provider to check the part numbers of their aircraft rotor blades, and their length of time in service, in order to make any required replacements.

Read the directive on the CAA web site.

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