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AD/R44/23 - R44 Bladder Fuel tank Retrofit

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For the reasons set out in the background section, the CASA delegate whose signature appears below issues the following Airworthiness Directive (AD) under subregulation 39.001(1) of CASR 1998.  The AD requires that the action set out in the requirement section (being action that the delegate considers necessary to correct the unsafe condition) be taken in relation to the aircraft or aeronautical product mentioned in the applicability section: (a) in the circumstances mentioned in the requirement section; and (b) in accordance with the instructions set out in the requirement section; and (c) at the time mentioned in the compliance section.
Robinson R44 Series Helicopters
R44 Bladder Fuel Tank Retrofit
All R44 helicopters referred to in the Robinson Helicopter Company Service Bulletin listed in the Requirement section below.

Comply with Service Bulletin (SB) SB-78B entitled Bladder Fuel Tank Retrofit (which incorporates SB-68) dated 28 September 2012 (the SB).
Note:  Later revisions of the above reference documents are considered as an acceptable means of compliance with this AD.

Unless already complied with, the SB must be complied with before further flight after 30 April 2013.

This Airworthiness Directive becomes effective on 30 April 2013.

This Airworthiness Directive requires R44 helicopters fitted with all-aluminium fuel tanks to be retrofitted with bladder-type tanks, to improve the R44 fuel system’s resistance to a post-accident fuel leak.  Recent post-crash fires in Australia have prompted CASA to mandate compliance with manufacturer’s service bulletin to reduce the risk of further post-crash fires and increase survivability of such an event.
Aircraft which are maintained in accordance with the Manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule are already required to comply with all Robinson Service Bulletins by regulation 42A of the CAR.

Nicholas Ward
Delegate of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority
29 April 2013