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FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

GA Maintenance Alert
Notice Number: NOTC4455

Safety and Security of Components

A review of recent helicopter accidents has revealed a number of improper maintenance practices and techniques.  Contributing significantly to these accidents is the improper safety and security of critical flight control systems, engine systems, and drive system components. In some cases, proper torque was not applied, safety wire or cotter pins were not installed, self-locking nuts were reused numerous times where they lost their self-locking capability, and critical components were removed and reinstalled without following the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAs).
A preliminary review as to why these improper maintenance practices and techniques were performed and were overlooked indicates that human factors and failure to follow written procedures are potential factors. Fatigue, time constraints to perform the maintenance tasks, cell phone activity, and complacency were the serious factors related to these accidents. 
Click to go to this document to review 11 safety recommendations: https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2012/Nov/GA_Maintenance_Alert_121121.pdf

The ultimate question the pilot or mechanic who performed the work should ask is, “Would I place my family in this aircraft on its first flight after maintenance?” Responding favorably to the safety recommendations in the document will help us answer that question with a resounding YES!

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