European Regulators Order Safety Fixes for Airbus Helicopters

Posted on February 4, 2016 Jacob Luiz

European regulators for aviation have plans of doing inspection on many of the AS 350s and other helicopters manufactured by the Airbus Group SE. Some of the inspections are done to test whether or not a replacement for specific parts are needed due to their nature of commonly cracking.

In doing so, European regulators are able to prevent potentially lethal helicopter failures that would be related to the main gearbox or its components.

The AS 350 is a popular choice among the law enforcement, commercial operations, and air ambulance services.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has announced the issuing of the safety mandates on Friday January 22, 2016. This safety mandate covers the main gearbox casings and components in the AS 350. In doing so, it has been predicted that over 3000 Airbus rotorcrafts that will be affected by this. Of the 3000 Airbus rotorcrafts, 1,000 will be registered in the US.

The AS 350 chopper is considered a light utility helicopter which originated in France. The AS 350 was first introduced in 1975 after its first flight in June 26, 1974. On its first flight, the AS 350 was using a Lycoming LTS101 turboshaft engine. This first flight took place in Marignane, France. Today, it still uses the Lycoming LTS101 turboshaft engine. Other variants of the AS 350 use the Turbomeca Arriel powerplant. This turbomeca is mainly used in the twin-engine variant.

Since its inception, there has be over 3,500 that have been built. Its primary users include the Royal Jordanian Air Force, Australian Defense Force, and Brazilian Air Force. Its unit coast is roughly around $2 million USD.

The AS 350 can be designed in different configurations that include seating 4 to 6 passengers with sliding doors on either side of the seats.

Most of the avionics in the AS 350 are supplied by Garmin.

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