The new AD requires operators of certain Airbus Helicopters models to inspect the slide door assembly mechanism and repair it if necessary. (Airbus Helicopters image)

FAA Issues Directive on Some Airbus Helicopters' Sliding Door Assembly

The airworthiness directive for certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters requires replacing parts of the sliding door star support attachment assembly, depending on the outcome of required inspections.

The Federal Aviation Administration on June 30 issued Airworthiness Directive 2014-12-12, requiring operators of certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters to replacing parts of the sliding door star support attachment assembly if a required inspection shows there are cracks. This AD will be effective Aug. 4; it was "prompted by a report that passengers in a helicopter were forced to exit through the pilot door after landing because they could not open the sliding door from the inside. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent failure of the sliding door star support attachment, which could inhibit operation of a sliding door from inside, delaying the evacuation of passengers during an emergency," the document states.

It says EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, advised that an investigation of the incident revealed a failure of the sliding door star axle support.

For service information required by the AD, operators should contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75052; phone 972-641-0000 or 800-232-0323; fax 972-641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub.

The AD calls for a visual inspection of the upper and lower locking pin control rod end fittings and replacing the control end fitting before further flight if it is bent, twisted, or broken, as well cleaning and dye penetrant inspecting the star support pin for a crack and replacing the star support pin before further flight if there is a crack. The addition of three carbon fabric piles will reinforce the sliding door star support stringer, according to the AD.

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