US Navy Releases New Instructions for Helicopter Inspection

In response to a review board conducted Feb. 6 at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) regarding mitigation efforts stemming from the January 2014 MH-53E mishap in Norfolk, Virginia, the U.S. Navy released a new corrective action directive (AFB-346) to the fleet Feb. 7.

AFB-346 provides step-by-step instructions for inspecting CH-53E and MH-53E helicopter cabin fuel and hydraulic tubes, as well as hoses and electrical wiring within 18 inches of those tubes and hoses, for chafing damage. AFB-346 replaces the previous guidance, AFB-343, which had referenced standard military maintenance manuals for the steps involved.

Heavy Lift Helicopter Program Manager Col. Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps, said:

Having steps explicitly spelled out, supplemented with photos and soon, a video, will address any chafing issues during inspections. I am confident that this course of action will alleviate any concerns in the H-53 community.