AVIATION / FAA “Airworthiness Directives” to correct “unsafe conditions” in aircraft and engines – Bell helicopters, CFM International engines, Engine Alliance engines, and Rolls-Royce engines.

The FAA has issued various final or proposed “airworthiness directives” (“AD’s”) for specified models of aircraft and engines. 

Who is affected? Any party who operates or holds a property interest (owner, lessee, or security party) in the specified aircraft or engines.

What is an AD? Per 14 CFR § 39.1 the FAA issues an AD where: (a) “An unsafe condition exists in a product [aircraft, engine, propeller, or appliance]; and (b) “that condition is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design”. “No person may operate a product to which an [AD] applies except in accordance with the requirements of that [AD].” 14 CFR § 39.3.

CFM International, S.A. CFM56-3, CFM56-3B, and CFM56-3C turbofan engines.

January 28, 2013, Final rule; Request for Comments.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for CFM International, S.A. CFM56-3, CFM56-3B, and CFM56-3C turbofan engines. This AD requires removal from service of certain high-pressure turbine (HPT) disks manufactured by Global Material Solutions of Pratt & Whitney, at reduced maximum life limits. This AD was prompted by a report of a forging process error during manufacture of these HPT disks. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent uncontained release of multiple turbine blades, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

All Engine Alliance GP7270 and GP7277 turbofan engines.

January 28, 2013, Final rule; Request for Comments.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Engine Alliance GP7270 and GP7277 turbofan engines. This AD requires initial and repetitive borescope inspections and removal from service before further flight if one or more burn holes are detected, in certain high-pressure turbine (HPT) stage 2 nozzles. This AD also requires mandatory removal from service of these HPT stage 2 nozzles at the next engine shop visit. This AD was prompted by a report received of inadequate cooling of the HPT stage 2 nozzle, leading to damage to the HPT stage 2 nozzle, burn-through of the turbine case, and engine shutdown. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent HPT stage 2 nozzle failure, leading to uncontrolled fire, engine shutdown, and damage to the airplane.

All Rolls-Royce plc (RR) RB211-Trent 970-84, 970B-84, 972-84, 972B-84, 977-84, 977B-84, and 980-84 turbofan engines. 

January 24, 2013, Final rule; Request for comments. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Rolls-Royce plc (RR) RB211-Trent 970-84, 970B-84, 972-84, 972B-84, 977-84, 977B-84, and 980-84 turbofan engines. This AD requires replacement of the fuel oil heat exchanger (FOHE). This AD was prompted by a report of an in-flight increase of N2 intermediate pressure rotor vibrations resulting in an engine surge and pilot shut down of the engine. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent rotor bearing oil starvation, uncontained engine failure, and damage to the airplane.

Bell Model 206L, 206L-1, 206L-3, and 206L-4 helicopters.

January 23, 2013, Final rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Model 206L, 206L-1, 206L-3, and 206L-4 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting certain hydraulic servo actuator assemblies (servo) for a loose nut, shaft, and clevis assembly, modifying or replacing the servo as necessary, and reidentifying the servo. This AD is prompted by an investigation after an accident and the determination that there was a loose connection due to improper lock washer installation. These actions are intended to detect loose or misaligned parts of the servo to prevent failure of the servo and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

January 23, 2013, Final rule.

We are superseding four airworthiness directives related to the main rotor yoke (yoke) on the Bell Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B, and 212 helicopters, to retain certain inspections and certain life limits, to require an increased inspection frequency for certain yokes, and to expand these inspections and retirement lives to other yokes. This airworthiness directive is prompted by past reports of cracks in the yoke, another recent report of a cracked yoke, and the decision that other yokes, approved based on identicality, need to be subject to the same inspection requirements and retirement lives. The actions are intended to detect a crack in a yoke to prevent failure of the yoke, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.