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Thu, Sep 21, 2023

FAA Issues Safety Alert for Bell 206B Parts

"Resurrected" Mystery Meat Helo Could Pollute the Market with Garbage Parts

An interesting investigation by the Miami FSDO unveiled a little bit of hoodwinkery when a Bell 206B, number N536T, turned out to be the spitting image of an existing N536T - the only difference? The real one was in pieces in Texas, while the newly registered one was imported from Venezuela.

The skullduggery took place when a hotline complaint tipped off the office as to a Foreign registered aircraft being re-badged and mocked up to become a domestic salvage aircraft. N536T had been lying in pieces in Texas for years, with part of the wreckage purchased in 2018. The donor aircraft's data plate, airworthiness certificate, and registration all ended up applied to the Venezuelan helo, suspected to have been registered as YV2100 before its stateside surgery. 

When called out for the apparent violation, the attempted registrant surrendered the plate, certificate, and registration, though maintenance records remained at large for the mystery meat bird. Who bought it, when, or why remains a bit of a whodunnit. What the FAA does find important in issuing a SAFO, however, is the possibility that parts from the aborted registration end up on the wider market of Bell 206 equipment. Given the suspect provenance - those willing to drill out the rivets on a data plate probably aren't the best stewards of aircraft parts in the Venezuelan climate, after all - the FAA is encouraging B206 operators to comb their parts collection for anything related to N536T.

Aircraft owners, operators, air agencies, parts suppliers and maintenance technicians are encouraged to accomplish a thorough review of their aircraft, aircraft records, and parts inventories for any article traceable to N536T. Any affected articles identified should be quarantined to prevent installation until eligibility for installation can be determined.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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