asctty
Topic Author
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:23 am

UK Eurocopter EC135 Grounding

Tue May 08, 2012 7:46 pm

This article suggests a major impact on the UK Air Ambulance and Police helicopter fleet as a result of a voluntary grounding of aircraft operated by Bond. Sounds very serious?

http://tinyurl.com/cfgr9k3

What is the history behind this and the way ahead?
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: UK Eurocopter EC135 Grounding

Tue May 08, 2012 8:15 pm

Hm, I think I have seen an EC135 just today, or perhaps it was an EC145, but don't they have the same rotor hub?
I support the right to arm bears
 
HAL9k
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:30 pm

RE: UK Eurocopter EC135 Grounding

Tue May 08, 2012 8:19 pm

The helicopters have been grounded voluntary by Bond after finding of cracks on the main rotor blades. Bond claims to have found similar cracks last February.

Quoting asctty (Thread starter):
What is the history behind this and the way ahead?

The grounding is voluntary, so far. Very responsible move from Bond. The grounding is mandatory if dictated by the Agency (EASA)

The way ahead is that after the report of Bond to Eurocopter and the UK CAA on the finding (mandatory) Eurocopter will investigate and come out shortly with a document to all operators: if Eucocopter has reason to belive that the problem can be present on other helicopter (and not only of that helicopter s/n) will come out with an inspection program/temporary repair (normally through a Service Bulletin or an Alert Service Bulleting, depending on severity). In case of Alert Service Bulletin is quite normal that EASA will follow with an Airworthiness Directive (AD) shortly after.

Depending on hazard of the cracks the inspection on other aircraft can be within a certain period (as on blades i would say Flight Hours) or, in worst cases, before next flight. A temorary repair can be proposed by the manufacturer, or a subsequent inspection schedule, if possible, to permit the helicopter flying.
Eurocopter at the same time, or later (in a revision to the Bulletin), will propose a terminating action to solve the problem.