Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Items of interest regarding Brantly helicopters.

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Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby BirdDog » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:02 pm

Brantly has issued Service Bulletin 111. This bulletin supersedes Service Letter 110 and provides additional direction and procedures on inspecting the outboard main rotor blades for cracks and delaminations. The Service Bulletin has an accompanying inspection procedure (ET002). Both documents can be found on the Brantly website http://www.brantly.com. Registered Brantly owners in the U.S. and U.K. will be receiving a letter soon advising them of the bulletin.
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby Ron Spiker » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:24 am

Thank you for the notice.

For those who may have trouble finding this on the Brantly web site, here is a link to the specific page: http://www.brantly.com/service.htm.

Scroll down the page to the SERVICE PUBLICATIONS section and look for
"Service Bulletin #111, Inspection of Outboard Main Rotor Blades" and also the
"Brantly Inspection Procedure ET002"
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby bryancobb » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:02 pm

Oh Well...
Looks like 90% of the ships flying will be mounted on a bearing at airports and turned into windsocks now, unless China starts cranking out 404's.
No A.D. yet though.
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby HELISCAN » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:07 pm

Below is the link for the instrument.

Dave

http://www.testima.eu/prilohy/77/phasec2d_datasheet.pdf
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby 9121u » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:01 pm

HI every one.. has any one priced one of these units yet. or does any one own one.it looks pricey?... thanks tom
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby fixnfly » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:14 pm

Tom, I'm in the process of buying one now . They run ( used ) 800.00 & up, depending age , type & make. The probes can be expensive , about 150.00 each & up. Remember that the machine has to be calibrated so there is another cost. Hope this helps. Bill
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby bryancobb » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:42 pm

Guys, you don't need to buy one. You MUST be at least a licensed Level II NDT technician for the test to be valid. Read AC 43.13-1B, Chapter 5, Section 3.

ATS in Maeietta (http://www.atslab.com/locations.asp) has satellite units all over US. They have the machines and have Level II and Level III technicians well trained and FAA Certified. They can issue yellow tags.

An A&P mechanic cannot do these tests unless their training has been conducted and documented and redone every year if the mechanic hasn't done it regularly.

The best scenario would be to personally deliver your blade to ATS closeby (or any other FAA Certified NDT Testing lab) and pick them up a day or two later, finished with yellow tags.

Best way to look at it... a Level II or Level III is like being a licensed professional engineer. Not just anyone can use their signature to certify an NDT test.
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby fixnfly » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:43 am

Bryan, you are absolutly right, you need to be certified, and ATS would be the way to go. I may have left a wrong impression that i was purchasing one to do blades, I'm not , I've been doing scuba & scba bottles for our dive team & fire co for years and just updating. I was trying to answer Toms question as to cost. Bill
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby bryancobb » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:07 am

Thanks for clarifying, Bill.
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby 9121u » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:29 pm

I just thought it would be nice just to have a device like that so you could check your own.if it wasn't pricey.my thoughts on the service bulletin is stupid any way.. any one can see if you had a crack in a blade its not rocket science brantly started this problem any how I THINK buy allowing certain cracks in certain areas i am not no engineer and don't claim to be one ether but i never heard of allowing cracks in any thing very stupid ...i believe owners took advantage of this and flew it that way stupid again and being cheap abought it and end up with problems.. BRANTLY should of left the service bulletins the way they were...except for allowing any cracks to begin with...if there was any thing wrong my blades it would never go in the air you don't go drive a car with cracked rims. thanks tom
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby scrapper » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:01 pm

Bryan: what is the 404?
Is that the name of the planned Chinese model?

Will it be FAA approved and for sale here?

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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby fixnfly » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:11 am

Scrap, 404's are the latest model main blades out. BILL
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby 9121u » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:55 pm

Questions have been raised on how to determine if qualified personnel are performing Nondestructive Testing (NDT). Currently there is no national FAA policy to determine if personnel performing NDT are qualified. Guidance has been developed by the Production and Airworthiness Certification Division and Aircraft Maintenance Division along with the Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Nondestructive Evaluation to assure that only qualified inspectors perform NDT. This guidance discusses the generic elements of the standards considered acceptable to the FAA.

NDT personnel should receive documented vision and color blindness testing at reasonable intervals. NDT personnel can be categorized at different levels of competence (e.g. Trainee, Limited, Level 1, 2, 3) and should perform only at the level to which they have been qualified. Inspection personnel should receive documented initial and recurrent training in the standards, methods, and levels they utilize. NDT personnel should demonstrate documented proficiency, both in classroom knowledge and practical application of test methods. NDT personnel require experience in a test method to be considered qualified to perform that test method. A procedure needs to be in place to allow an organization to disqualify a NDT individual from performing inspections when the inspector doesn’t meet current standards. Sufficient documentation must be available and retained to demonstrate that only qualified personnel are engaged in the NDT process.

There are several current national and international standards acceptable to the FAA that may be used to assure that only qualified personnel perform NDT.

NAS-410 (replaces MIL-STD-410E), National Aerospace Standard, Nondestructive Testing Personnel Qualification and Certification.

ATA Specification 105, Air Transport Association, Guidelines for Training and Qualifying Personnel in Nondestructive Testing Methods.

AIA-NAS-410, Aerospace Industries Association, National Aerospace Standard, NAS Certification & Qualification of Nondestructive Test Personnel.

Canadian: Can/CGSB-48.9712-95, Qualification and Certification of Nondestructive Testing Personnel.

British: PCN/GEN/92, General Requirements for the Certification of Personnel engaged in Nondestructive testing at levels 1, 2, and 3.

EN 473, General Principles for Qualification and Certification of NDT Personnel.

ISO 9712, Nondestructive Testing - Qualification and Certification of Personnel.
As an A&P, you must use the methods, techniques and practices in accordance with current standards and technical data acceptable to the Administrator to perform NDT. Specific examples are: (1) Airworthiness Directive (AD) 87-22-01 which requires fluorescent liquid penetrant inspection of the landing gear on certain Beechcraft airplanes stresses that only qualified personnel perform the inspections to reduce the possibility of misinterpretation of indications. (2) AD 97-18-02 which requires dye penetrant inspection and eddy current inspection of Hartzell propeller blades states that personnel shall be qualified and certified based on the requirements of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Inc. (ASNT), Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A, NAS 410, ATA 105, or ISO 9712.

ASNT Recommended Practice No. SNT-TC-1A, defines qualified as: "demonstrated skill, demonstrated knowledge, documented training, and documented experience required for personnel to properly perform the duties of a specific job" and certified is defined as: "written testimony of qualification."

EDITOR’S NOTE: CAUTION - Being in possession of an A&P does not automatically qualify you to perform NDT. This article also applies to FAA Certified Repair Stations. The intent of this article is for you to research your technical data to ensure that you are using the methods, techniques and practices in accordance with current standards and technical data acceptable to the Administrator to perform NDT.
It To me it doesn't sound like you have to certified to do the testing only if manufacturer requires it that's how i am reading this ?......thanks tom
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby bryancobb » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:51 am

You are right!
When I said "Only a Level II NDT and ABOVE CAN DO THE TEST" I was wrong.

The FAA DOES make provisions for a PROPERLY TRAINED AND CERTIFIED A&P to do it. The A&P's training must be thorough and documented. He must be well-versed in using the specific machine used, and in interpreting test results accurately.

Usually, the Society for Non-Destructive Testing or most, if not all, Quality Control Manuals require a written procedure be created for a task like this. Brantly ET-002 will suffice for this but must be followed EXACTLY.

A few years ago when The FAA issued the Airworthiness Alert on the short vertical drive shaft, it suggested Eddy-Current or Dye-Pen be used to detect cracks at the drive bolt holes. I promptly took mine to ATS with the Airworthiness Alert and a drawing of where to inspect.
ATS had some trouble finding a PUBLISHED STANDARD for Eddy-Current inspection of chromoly tubing. They found a LEAR STANDARD that was appropriate, inspected my shaft, and yellow taged it. They charged me $250.

Now a few months later, when the A.D. Came out, it specifically said to use dye-pen because an approved Eddy-Current procedure didn't exist. I had to get an A.M.O.C Letter (Alternate Method of Compliance) from the A.D.'s author, to keep me from having to redo the inspection.

This rotor-blade insection is going to be expensive. My guess is $1000 to $1500, not counting removal/reinstallation/delivery/pickup. Some people say IT IS NOT MANDATORY until it comes out as an A.D. ???
My suggestion is... If you elect to do it at this time, Make sure the person doing it, the machine used, and the interpreted results will past muster with THE FAA. You don't want to have to do it twice.

I really hate to see this issue come up. I am of the opinion that even though many folks have experienced this cracking, and some even had significant portions of the skin and foam come off IN FLIGHT, to my knowledge, NO ONE HAS BEEN INJURED OR KILLED AND NO BRANTLYS HAVE BEEN LOST BECAUSE OF IT. The fact that Nick in New Zealand succesfully landed his ship with the inner 12" of the skin and foam completely missing on one blade and severe damage on the other two, makes me more confident about the blade design.
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Re: Brantly Issues New Service Bulletin

Postby seneca2e » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:04 pm

Well this just irks me to no end. The chinese have pulled a fast one and have basicly ruined the Brantly owners. The only hope we have against financial ruin is that this onerous, ridiculous, thinly veiled attempt at grounding the old fleet of Brantlys is not made into a A/D by the FAA. At the best by removing or invalidating the maintenance manual section on allowable cracks and making any dent, minor areas of delamination, etc(really practically anything but a new blade) as grounds for turning good rotor blades into yard windmills is obscene. Removing the blades every 25 hours is beyond crazy(more would get damaged just from that procedure that any good that would ever come). At any rate they all practically have a small crack somewhere which previously was perfectly acceptable but now makes it nothing but salvage metal. Even if they produce the blades current owners cannot afford to put up half the cost of the ship (or more) for new blades. It does, for all intents and purposes, effective ground the helicopters(if made into an A/D).

This brings up the bigger question of whether something should be done to protect owners of aircraft from financial ruin on aircraft they bought when a parent company is either essentially out of business(as Brantly has been on several occasions these past several decades for certain periods) or is owned by a group that has it's customers at heart. For a foreign company to be able to buy a type certificate and essentially try to ground the current fleet by manual/service information revision is beyond sucker punching.

If they had a bunch of 404 blades ready to go at a reasonable exchange price would be one thing. That's not the case and the way this has unfolded just smells really bad.
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