On 27 March 2013, CASA stated:
CASA has highlighted to registered operators the operation of CAR 42A. At page 1.1 of the Robinson Maintenance Schedule it states Service Bulletin compliance is mandatory. Registered operators of R44 helicopters who have elected, or are otherwise required, to use the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule must comply with the abovementioned SB’s by 30 April 2013. If they do not, the aircraft cannot be flown.
CASA will also, as soon as possible, write to all operators of Robinson R44 helicopters to identify if any of them are subject to an approved system of maintenance that does not include a requirement to comply with service bulletins. If any such systems do not contain such a requirement, CASA will consider directing that the system be changed under CAR 42Q to require compliance with service bulletins.
The ATSB noted that Australian owners and operators of Robinson R44 aircraft had shown a greater rate of compliance with the manufacturer’s Service Bulletin SB-78B than had occurred on a worldwide basis. The ATSB also noted CASA’s understanding that existing regulatory requirements were such that compliance with SB-78B was already mandatory for the vast majority of R44 helicopters in Australia. However, the ATSB remained concerned that a significant number of Australian owners and operators had not yet taken steps to comply with the service bulletin and were therefore very unlikely to be able to comply by the required date of 30 April 2013.