Streamlined Calendar Life Inspection Process Marks Milestone for the Popular Airframe
With its original FAA type certificate approval in November 2010 and production commencing in 2011, the first wave of Robinson R66 helicopters are now reaching their 12-year calendar limit in 2023. In 2022, Robinsons turbine R66 surpassed the company’s flagship Raven II in sales, a trend that is expected to continue. With nearly 1400 of the incredibly successful helicopters now in operation, the number reaching 12 year limits will scale up rapidly going forward.
Improved Inspection Process
In contrast to the R44 12-year inspection, Robinson has introduced a streamlined and simplified 12-year service process for the R66 which provides operators with enhanced control over their helicopter’s maintenance schedule and budget. Under this improved inspection, helicopters reaching the 12-year calendar limit prior to crossing the 2000-hour TBO have only three components that require return to Robinson for inspection. A substantial reduction from the R44.
Despite the stated inspection instructions, in Rotorcorp’s experience, the option of returning items to Robinson is both time consuming and almost always ends with Robinson recommending the purchase of a replacement part.
The other noteworthy finding is the vast majority of the 12 year inspection items (nineteen) are a simple “remove and replace”, with the remaining eleven components requiring a specified inspection and can be returned to service “on condition”. Additionally, the Main Rotor and Tail Rotor assemblies listed on the Maintenance “life limited components” table must be replaced at 12 years.
The Rotorcorp 12-Year Kit Solution & Pricing
With these facts and requirements it seemed logical and beneficial to create a 12-Year R66 Inspection Kit. This kit is composed of:
- all the mandatory, “replace with new” components,
- the three, “submit to RHC” parts,
- the “FAA service limited parts”, and
- the peripheral items (bolts, washers, etc…) associated with removal and installation.
Will this kit contain all the parts you need when your R66 hits its 12-year birthday? In short, no. In developing this kit, Rotorocorp considered all “on condition” components requiring inspection to be airworthy and thus, able to be returned to service. It is possible, in your case, these items will be found defective and require replacement. That said, we’ve done the bulk of the hard work for you by compiling the rest of the parts necessary for this milestone task under one kit number (RC-6612Y) and had it vetted by a trusted A&P mechanic who specializes in the Robinson helicopter.
Have a question about this kit or other parts to support your Robinson helicopter? Feel free to call our parts experts.
The Continued Airworthiness Instructions for the R66 12 Year Service can be located in the R66 Continued Airworthiness Instructions/Maintenance Manual (Sept 2023) § 1-92, A “12 Years” with additional procedures detailed in § 5-50 “2000-Hour/12-Year Inspection”. RHC-manufactured parts not listed in § 1-92 as requiring additional component maintenance, or replacement per § 4-30 are “on condition”. On Condition parts are inspected for unusual wear, overall condition, and defects as outlined in the manufacturer and FAA acceptable standards.