Robinson Issues R-22 Safety Alert
Robinson Helicopter Co. on Dec. 1, 2004 issued a safety alert to address issues stemming from a recent accident in which a rotor blade separated from an R-22.
The company warned that exceeding manifold pressure limits can cause blade failure. The A016-2 main rotor blade failure in question occurred at only 700 hr. time in service. R-22 blades have a 2,200-hr. service life, but repeated over-stressing can substantially reduce their fatigue life.
Exceeding manifold pressure limits produces excess stress that can result in premature fatigue failure.
The company warned operators that if their R-22 has been operated above manifold pressure limits, they should replace main rotor blades.
If the helicopter is normally parked outside in humid climates, the company said, particularly in tropical or coastal areas, operators should replace the A016-2 main rotor blades before they have reached 5 years time in service. This action is necessary due to the possibility that the main rotor blades may have suffered internal corrosion.
If main rotor vibration increases during flight, pilots are advised to land immediately and determine the cause of the vibration before further flight. If cause cannot be determined, replace main rotor blades before further flight.
Robinson also advised operators to review Safety Notices SN-37 and SN-39. Those notices and the safety alert are available on Robinson's web site, www.robinsonheli.com.