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The FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) to alert owners and operators of Eurocopter AS350 B, B1, B2 and BA helicopters regarding a risk of in-flight engine shutdown due to restricted fuel flow thru the optional “oil to fuel heater.”

Background
A recent helicopter accident occurred after an in-flight engine shutdown. Investigation revealed that debris was present within the “oil to fuel heater” and the fuel flow from the heater was reduced below limits. It was determined that an abnormal pressure drop was present across the heater and this restricted the fuel flow causing the engine to shutdown.

Recommendations
The FAA recommends that owners/operators continue to maintain the helicopter fuel system in accordance with the applicable maintenance manual and to follow the Eurocopter published Information Notices for preventing fuel contamination to ensure fuel quality. Maintaining the fuel system in accordance with the OEM maintenance manuals in addition to following the Eurocopter Information Notices for the prevention of fuel contamination will prevent future occurrences of this problem.

References
Eurocopter Service Bulletin, Optional, No. 28.00.09, Subject: Fuel - “Fuel Anti-Icing” system, Rev 2, dated March 24, 1998; Eurocopter Information Notice, No. 2145-I-28, Subject: Fuel Quality, dated February 18, 2010; Eurocopter Information Notice, No. 2376-I-28, Subject: Fuel, Contamination of Fuel System - Prevention, detection, eradication, and maintenance actions, dated December 12, 2011.

For Further Information Contact:
Ed Cuevas, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA Safety Management Group, ASW-112, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas, 76137; phone: 817-222-5355; email: ed.cuevas@faa.gov

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