NEWS | Aug. 25, 2021

Lakota: Having Flight Control Rod Issues?

Soldiers assigned to the Nebraska Army National Guard's 1-376th Aviation Regiment (Security and Support) move the blades of three Nebraska UH-72 Lakota helicopters in together to make more space for other aircraft.
Photo by Spc. Lisa Crawford
 
Heads up, Lakota operators. The Light Helicopter Product Office (LHPO) has received reports from units that have discovered cracked swaged collars on the flight control rods.
 
Cracks not a safety problem
Cracks not a safety problem
 
LHPO and Airbus conducted an investigation and identified several contributing factors that may increase the likelihood of these cracks occurring. One factor is corrosion; another is the possibility of an improper amount of torque applied to the control rod jam nuts.

The Lakota System Safety Working Group (SSWG) reviewed the results of the investigation and the design of the threaded section of the control rods and determined that the cracked sleeves are not a safety hazard.
 
Threaded section of rods not a safety hazard
Threaded section of rods not a safety hazard
 
The current control rod design has been in use worldwide without a single failure in more than 100 million flight hours. The SSWG did determine that the sleeve cracks are a reliability maintenance issue. As a result, the LHPO will issue an aviation maintenance action message (AMAM) requiring all Lakota operators to inspect all control rods. So be on the lookout for an AMAM in the very near future.

Got questions? Contact Gary Graham by email: