So You Think You Found a Good Deal on a Rotor Blade?
We have met operators who have made ‘special deals’ on the purchase of 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 having been given to rust or corrosion issues. Operators may believe if the BIM is still yellow it must be a good blade.
By simply looking at the outside of the blade one has 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 approximately 30 years and were likely repaired in the early to mid 1970’s. Some blades go back even further. Shop visits can be costly, but it is not correct that the condition of a blade may be determined by only viewing the exterior. It cannot be stressed enough that without a thorough internal inspection lives will be at risk.
Aviation Blade Services 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 ensure that corrosion and rust are not hidden from sight.