The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) to supersede an existing airworthiness directive for MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI), Model MD900 helicopters. The existing AD requires a visual inspection, and if necessary, an eddy current inspection of the main rotor lower hub assembly (lower hub) for a crack.
If a crack exists, the AD requires replacing the lower hub with an airworthy lower hub before further flight. Because that AD was immediately effective, the FAA declined to require certain long-term actions prior to public comment. This superseding AD will require the same inspections as the existing AD but will also require long-term recurring inspections and replacing the lower hub with an airworthy lower hub.
The FAA is issuing this AD to detect a crack in the lower hub and prevent failure of the lower hub and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.