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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Model 427 Helicopters

Action

Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (Nprm).

Summary

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as:

Tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket part number (P/N) 427-044-223-101 has been found cracked due to fatigue. It has been determined that the fatigue cracking was initiated by a tooling mark left during manufacture.

The existence of tooling marks on the bracket could lead to bracket failure, loss of tail rotor drive and, consequently, loss of control of the helicopter.

Unified Agenda

Airworthiness Directives

1 action from November 2013

  • November 2013
    • Actions Will Continue Through
 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 14, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Examining the AD Docket Back to Top

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Sharon Miles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone: (817) 222-5122; fax: (817) 222-5961.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Comments Invited Back to Top

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2010-0866; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-065-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion Back to Top

Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued AD No. CF-2010-17, dated June 2, 2010 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket part number (P/N) 427-044-223-101 has been found cracked due to fatigue. It has been determined that the fatigue cracking was initiated by a tooling mark left during manufacture.

The existence of tooling marks on the bracket could lead to bracket failure, loss of tail rotor drive and, consequently, loss of control of the helicopter.

The MCAI requires you to rework the tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information Back to Top

Bell Helicopter has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD Back to Top

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information Back to Top

We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in general, agree with their substance. But we might have found it necessary to use different words from those in the MCAI to ensure the AD is clear for U.S. operators and is enforceable. In making these changes, we do not intend to differ substantively from the information provided in the MCAI and related service information.

We might also have proposed different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a Note within the proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance Back to Top

We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 30 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $10,200, or $340 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would require parts costing $5,034, for a cost of $5,034 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

Authority for This Rulemaking Back to Top

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. “Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,” describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings Back to Top

We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and

3. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Back to Top

The Proposed Amendment Back to Top

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

begin regulatory text

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES Back to Top

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

§ 39.13 [Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited: Docket No. FAA-2010-0866; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-065-AD.

Comments Due Date Back to Top

(a) We must receive comments by October 14, 2010.

Affected ADs Back to Top

(b) None.

Applicability Back to Top

(c) This AD applies to Model 427 helicopters, all serial numbers (SNs), certificated in any category.

Subject Back to Top

(d) Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 65: Tail Rotor Drive.

Reason Back to Top

(e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states:

Tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket part number (P/N) 427-044-223-101 has been found cracked due to fatigue. It has been determined that the fatigue cracking was initiated by a tooling mark left during manufacture.

The existence of tooling marks on the bracket could lead to bracket failure, loss of tail rotor drive and, consequently, loss of control of the helicopter.

The MCAI requires you to rework the tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket.

Actions and Compliance Back to Top

(f) Unless already done, do the following actions:

(1) Applicable to SNs 56001 through 56073, and 56077: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect both sides of the hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, for cracks following Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009.

(i) If no cracks are found during the inspection required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight rework both sides of the hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, following Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009.

(ii) If cracks are found during the inspection required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight replace the hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, with a new hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, that has been reworked following Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009.

(2) Applicable to all SNs: As of the effective date of this AD, you may not install replacement tail rotor driveshaft hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, unless the bracket has been inspected and found free of cracks and has been reworked following Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009.

FAA AD Differences Back to Top

Note:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: No differences.

Other FAA AD Provisions Back to Top

(g) The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Sharon Miles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone: (817) 222-5122; fax: (817) 222-5961. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

Related Information Back to Top

(h) Refer to MCAI Transport Canada AD No. CF-2010-17, dated June 2, 2010; and Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009, for related information.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on August 19, 2010.

Mark R. Schilling,

Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2010-21582 Filed 8-27-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

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