INFORMATION LETTER #2006-1
So You Think You Found a Good Deal on a Rotor Blade?
We keep running into people who have made these special deals on rotor blades, especially for the S-58. They buy the blade based on some “it looks good to me” or “I been in the business for 30 years and I say it’s OK” kind of certification. The S-58 blades have been around a long time without much attention to rust or corrosion issues. They believe if the BIM is still yellow it must be a good blade.
Have a look at the pictures below. By looking at the outside of the blade you have absolutely no possible idea of what the condition of the inside of the spar is like.
Most of the blades on the market today have not had a shop visit for approx. 30 years. They were quite likely repaired in the early to mid 70’s. Some blades go back even further. I know shop visits can be an expensive thing to do, but explain just how you can tell the condition of the blade by looking at the outside only. I don’t care who signs a release statement regarding the blade if they haven’t opened it up to inspect it, they are playing with your life. This is serious business.
ABS has been and will be continuing to remove the cuffs from the spar on almost all
S-55, S-58, S-64 main rotor blades in order to be sure that corrosion and rust are not hidden from sight. This is not an isolated instance of corrosion on a blade. We see this all the time.
If someone is selling you a blade that has not had the spar opened up for some inspections, you better get it very cheap, because they are not completeing the proper repairs to the blade.