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NZ CAA Grounds 21 Heli

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NZ CAA Grounds 21 Heli

Old 12th Mar 2020, 08:16
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NZ CAA Grounds 21 Heli

RNZ News

Twenty-one helicopters across New Zealand have been grounded due to safety concerns about their engines.
A Hughes 500 series helicopter. Rolls Royce 250 engines were primarily fitted in them, the CAA said. Photo: 123rf

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) director Graeme Harris said: "This action results from recent CAA inspection and monitoring visits to a maintenance organisation that conducts repair and overhaul of Rolls Royce/Allison 250 series turbine engines.

"The visits revealed departures from Rolls Royce approved engine maintenance instructions that adversely affect the airworthiness of the engines. The primary issue relates to unauthorised drilling and grinding work done on safety-critical components within the engine compressor section."

Rolls Royce 250 series engines were primarily fitted to Bell Jet Ranger and Hughes 500 series helicopters but did have some other applications, the CAA said.

Other affected engines were found in Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

The CAA said it had been "working closely with the maintenance organisation and the engine manufacturer Rolls Royce to determine the safest means of ensuring all affected engines are returned to an airworthy state, while minimising the effects on the aviation sector".

The maintenance organisation had co-operated fully, CAA said.

Harris said: "The CAA is also currently conducting a more thorough review of all of the maintenance organisation's engine maintenance practices. This review commenced today. Further safety action may be necessary in due course but that is unknown at present.

"I have also taken action today to the maintenance organisation from conducting any further RR 250 series engine maintenance works until a detailed safety review can be completed."
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Old 12th Mar 2020, 18:03
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A few more details here.
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Old 12th Mar 2020, 21:47
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"unauthorised drilling and grinding work" done on key components...

Would really like to know exactly what this is.

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Old 12th Mar 2020, 22:54
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Originally Posted by krypton_john View Post
"unauthorised drilling and grinding work" done on key components...

Would really like to know exactly what this is.
I believe it might be something to do with how they do machining work for balancing.
I also heard that it was a disgruntled ex-employee..
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Old 19th Mar 2020, 04:58
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Mountain, molehill, CAA.

I don't know the exact details so take what I say with judicious amounts of salt.

From what I have heard, a standard repair procedure that's been carried out in other overhaul facilities in various parts of the world. Something along the lines that not documented in their manuals, ergo in CAA's eyes not a kosher repair.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 02:13
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I also heard that it was a disgruntled ex-employee..
Anyone raising questions as to a company method of operation is always going to be declared a "disgruntled employee", be it true or not.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 05:36
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The question is not the motive for the complaint but rather the validity of the complaint.

Was improper work done or not....that is what matters.

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Old 20th Mar 2020, 07:05
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
The question is not the motive for the complaint but rather the validity of the complaint.

Was improper work done or not....that is what matters.
I think the question is was it improper work or work not properly documented? There is quite a difference. Unfortunately documentation can be more important in some eyes than the question of whether or not the job was done properly.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 10:13
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Originally Posted by 27/09 View Post
I think the question is was it improper work or work not properly documented? There is quite a difference. Unfortunately documentation can be more important in some eyes than the question of whether or not the job was done properly.
Correct work documented incorrectly, or incorrect work documented correctly, its a documentation minefield in todays over audited, overseen, regulatory age, that is if the regulators ever bother to come and visit you. And if they do they only look at paperwork procedures and trails, never the end product like they used to many years ago.

From apprentice to Technical Director, I have been there so many times over the last 40 years, and nowadays documentation is 75% of the task.

The trouble is that the documentation can be "audited" a year after the work was carried out, and since work was carried out months ago new technical or "guidance" information could have been produced or surfaced.

If when completing paperwork you expect it to be critically audited in months to come, you would probably have to take a photo of every stage of the work you carried out, and thats what I did for the last 3 years of my career, literally thousands and thousands of photos to document engineering work.

It came in useful many many times.

Sorry enough ranting whilst stuck indoors...........................stay safe everybody.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 16:19
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Oceania is not a Rolls Royce M250 authorised facility and therefore do not get current repair or modification processes from the OEM. Many modifications (CEB's) no longer publish how to carry out the work required and this is only distributed to the authorised facilities. As with any form of maintenance, cheap repairs are cheap for a reason.
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Old 21st Mar 2020, 01:02
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Oceania is not a Rolls Royce M250 authorised facility
This would suggest they are, "factory-trained, specialist support for the overhaul and repair of the Rolls-Royce M250 Series engine modules from the C18 through to the C47 and B17".

https://www.oceania-aviation.com/ser...rbine-engines/
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Old 21st Mar 2020, 16:46
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CPB is correct. Just having access to the overhaul manual does not make one a service centre.

Megan, I think you might find there is more to it than just having a few folk that may have worked in part of an overhaul facility before.

I am "factory trained" by PWC, Safran and RR but that does make me an overhaul facilty.

Possibly this was the view taken by a disgruntled employee?

CASA AD/AL 250/91 now in place strangely as applicable from the 24th of March.

The primary safety concern with C18, C28, C30 and C47 series compressor modules relates to unauthorised drilling of compressor impellers for balancing.

The primary safety concern with C20B and C20R series compressor modules relates to blending repairs on compressor rotor wheels with the lack of shot peening.
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 02:05
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Just having access to the overhaul manual does not make one a service centre
True, but to be doing the work they advertise they need regulatory approval. Are you saying they didn't/don't have regulatory approval?
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 09:20
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They are/were a CAA approved Part 145 Over Haul Facility for numerous aircraft components and engines.

It is no difference to some Maintenance Organisations being approved by CAA/FAA/CASA/EASA to maintain/repair/overhaul Bell helicopters. That doesn't make them a Bell CSF, but they are still authorised and approved to do whatever their Airworthiness authority allows them to do.

They may not have been a factory approved facility, but they are a CAA approved facility.
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Old 23rd Mar 2020, 05:08
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"Approved service centres" can carry out "approved" factory repair schemes and/or modifications as well which may be the crux of the matter.

These schemes are sometimes under the manufacturers Part 21 approval as an RDAS.

Part 21 and Part 145 do not actually mix that well and in some cases are not permitted to or can be extremely difficult.

Who knows, but at least someone is on to it.
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