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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model SE 3130, SA 3180, SE 313B, SA 318B, and SA 318C Helicopters

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to Eurocopter France Model SE 3130, SA 3180, SE 313B, SA 318B, and SA 318C helicopters, that currently requires visual inspections and modification, if necessary, of the horizontal stabilizer spar tube (spar tube). This amendment requires the same actions required by the existing AD, visually inspecting the four half-shell attachment clamps for cracks, and fitting a safety wire around the attachment clamps. This amendment is prompted by an in-service report of fatigue cracks that initiated from corrosion pits. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent fatigue failure of the spar tube, separation of the horizontal stabilizer and impact with the main or tail rotor, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Effective March 21, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 21, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75053-4005, telephone (972) 641-3460, fax (972) 641-3527. This information may be examined at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard Monschke, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-5116, fax (817) 222-5961.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) by superseding AD 98-12-20, Amendment 39-10574 (63 FR 31350, June 9, 1998), which is applicable to Eurocopter France Model SE 3130, SA 3180, SE 313B, SA 318B, and SA 318C helicopters, was published in the Federal Register on November 18, 1999 (64 FR 62988). That action proposed to require visually inspecting and modifying, if necessary, the spar tube, visually inspecting the four half-shell attachment clamps for cracks, and fitting a safety wire around the attachment clamps.

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. No comments were received on the proposal or the FAA's determination of the cost to the public. The FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed.

The FAA estimates that 14 helicopters of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD. It will take approximately 0.5 work hour per helicopter to accomplish the inspection, 3 work hours per helicopter to accomplish the modification, and 1 work hour per helicopter to accomplish the attachment clamp inspection and install the safety wire. Required parts will cost approximately $1,100 per helicopter. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $19,180.

The regulations adopted herein will 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. Therefore, it is determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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. A final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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

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[Amended]
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2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing Amendment 39-10574 (

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AD 2000-03-06 Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-11563. Docket No. 98-SW-65-AD. Supersedes AD 98-12-20, Amendment 39-10574, Docket No. 98-SW-03-AD.

Applicability: Model SE 3130, SA 3180, SE 313B, SA 318B, and SA 318C helicopters with horizontal stabilizer, part number (P/N) 3130-35-60-000, 3130-35-60-000-1, 3130-35-60-000-2, 3130-35-60-000-3, 3130-35-60-000-4 or higher dash numbers, installed, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each helicopter identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been otherwise modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this Start Printed Page 7428AD. For helicopters that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (g) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent fatigue failure of the horizontal stabilizer spar tube (spar tube), separation of the horizontal stabilizer and impact with the main or tail rotor, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Before further flight:

(1) Inspect the aircraft records and the horizontal stabilizer to determine whether Modification 072214 (installing the spar tube without play) or Modification 072215 (adding two half-shells on the spar) has been accomplished.

(2) If Modification 072214 has not been installed, comply with paragraphs 2.A., 2.B.1), 2.B.2)a), and 2.B.2)b) of the Accomplishment Instructions of Eurocopter France SA3130/3180 Service Bulletin No. 55.10, Revision 3, dated May 4, 1998 (SB). If the fit and dimensions of the components specified in paragraph 2.B.2)a) exceed the tolerances in the applicable structural repair manual, replace with airworthy parts.

(3) If Modification 072215 has not been installed, first comply with paragraphs 2.A., 2.B.1), and 2.B.3), and then comply with paragraph 2.B.2)c) of the Accomplishment Instructions of the SB.

Note 2:

Modification kit P/N 315A-07-0221571 contains the necessary materials to accomplish this modification.

(b) Before the first flight of each day:

(1) Visually inspect the installation of the half-shells, the horizontal stabilizer supports, and the horizontal stabilizer for corrosion or cracks. Repair any corroded parts in accordance with the applicable maintenance manual. Replace any cracked components with airworthy parts before further flight.

(2) Confirm that there is no play in the horizontal stabilizer supports by lightly shaking the horizontal stabilizer. If play is detected, comply with paragraphs 2.A. and 2.B.2)a) of the SB. If the fit and dimensions of the components specified in paragraph 2.B.2)a) exceed the tolerances in the applicable structural repair manual, replace with airworthy parts before further flight.

(c) At intervals not to exceed 400 hours time-in-service (TIS) or four calendar months, whichever occurs first, inspect and lubricate the spar tube attachment bolts.

(d) For stabilizers, P/N 3130-35-60-000, 3130-35-60-000-1, 3130-35-60-000-2, or 3130-35-60-000-3, within 90 days and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 18 calendar months, visually inspect the inside of the horizontal spar tube in accordance with paragraph 2.A. and 2.B.1) of the SB.

(1) If corrosion is found inside the tube, other than in the half-shell area, replace the tube with an airworthy tube within the next 500 hours TIS or 24 calendar months, whichever occurs first.

(2) If corrosion is found inside the tube in the half-shell area, apply a protective treatment as described in paragraph 2.B.1)b) of the SB.

(e) For stabilizers, P/N 3130-35-60-000-4 or higher dash numbers, accomplish the following:

(1) At or before the next major inspection, 3,200 hours total TIS, or 144 calendar months total TIS, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at each major inspection, visually inspect the inside of the horizontal spar tube in accordance with paragraph 2.A. and 2.B.1) of the SB.

(2) If corrosion is found inside the tube, other than in the half-shell area, replace the tube with an airworthy tube within the next 500 hours TIS or 18 calendar months, whichever occurs first. If corrosion is found inside the tube in the half-shell area, apply a protective treatment as described in paragraph 2.B.1)b) of the SB.

(f) Within 30 calendar days, visually inspect the four attachment clamps of the half-shells and install a safety wire around the four attachment clamps in accordance with paragraph 2.B.2)d) of the SB. If any attachment clamp is found cracked, replace it with an airworthy attachment clamp and install a safety wire around the replacement attachment clamp before further flight.

(g) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, Regulations Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA. Operators shall submit their requests through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may concur or comment and then send it to the Manager, Regulations Group.

Note 3:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Regulations Group.

(h) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the helicopter to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

(i) The inspections and modifications shall be done in accordance with paragraphs 2.A, 2.B.1), 2.B.1)b), 2.B.2)a), 2.B.2)b), 2.B.2)c), 2.B.2)d), and 2.B.3) of the Accomplishment Instructions of Eurocopter France SA3130/3180 Service Bulletin No. 55.10, Revision 3, dated May 4, 1998. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75053-4005, telephone (972) 641-3460, fax (972) 641-3527. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

(j) This amendment becomes effective on March 21, 2000.

Note 4:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD 96-278-054(A)R2, dated July 29, 1998.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 7, 2000.

Henry A. Armstrong,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-3223 Filed 2-14-00; 8:45 am]

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