Robinson Mandates Tail Rotor Inspections, Replacements
On December 22, Robinson Helicopter issued a triad of service bulletins (SB-41, 112, and 120) mandating recurrent flight-day inspections of tail rotor blades on all of its models beginning within 10 flight hours or Jan. 15, 2023, whichever comes first, and replacement of these blades for helicopters stored outdoors in corrosive environments by Dec. 31, 2024.
Robinson said the SBs were prompted by reports of “tail rotor blade tips coming loose due to corrosion at the bond. Helicopters operating near salt water are particularly susceptible to corrosion, especially if stored outdoors. A debonded tip can cause severe vibration and possible failure of the tail rotor gearbox housing.” Robinson noted that F029-1 revision I blades have tip caps with “an alternative alloy to reduce the likelihood of corrosion.”
Helicopters or parts under factory warranty will have affected blades exchanged without charge and blades beyond the warranty period can be replaced at a substantial discount provided the aircraft is airworthy, has not exceeded its 12-year calendar life limit, or is not within 100 hours of its life limit. The discount only applies to blades replaced by Dec. 31, 2024, and normal service center discounts do not apply.