Maintenance Alert — Debonding Tail Rotor Blades

The October 2010  FAA Maintenance Alerts (AC 43-16A) included an alert for Bell 430 tail rotor blades.  A chief inspector for a repair station states, “This aircraft was flown to our facility and the operator reported ‘...debonding of the tail rotor blade leading edge—at the tip of the blade.’  Upon further investigation of the blade, it was discovered that the root end of the blade had cracked and the skin was separated from the blade end.  Photographs are included with this report.  Information has also been submitted to Bell Helicopter Textron, product support engineering.  Probable cause is unknown at this time.  This aircraft is operated under Part 135 compliance.”  (Tail rotor blade P/N:  222-016-001-131.  Tail rotor hub and blade P/N:  222-012-701-125).