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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland GMBH Model MBB-BK 117 A-1, A-3, A-4, B-1, B-2, and C-1 Helicopters

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to Eurocopter Deutschland GMBH (ECD) Model MBB-BK 117 A-1, A-3, A-4, B-1, B-2, and C-1 helicopters. This AD requires modifying the engine and transmission cowling doors (cowling doors). This amendment is prompted by an emergency landing of an ECD Model MBB-BK 117 helicopter after the No. 1 engine cowling opened, separated from the helicopter, and struck the main and tail rotor blades resulting in a tail rotor imbalance and subsequent departure of the tail rotor gear box from the helicopter. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent the cowling doors opening during flight, separating from the helicopter and impacting the main or tail rotor blades, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Effective June 2, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of June 2, 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 A. Monschke, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, 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) to include an AD that is applicable to ECD Model MBB-BK 117 A-1, A-3, A-4, B-1, B-2, and C-1 helicopters was published in the Federal Register on February 4, 2000 (65 FR 5453). That action proposed to require modifying the cowling doors to prevent the cowling doors from opening during flight.

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 140 helicopters of U.S. registry will be Start Printed Page 24873affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 28 work hours per helicopter to accomplish the required actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $1,620 per helicopter. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $462,000.

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 adding a new airworthiness directive to read as follows:

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AD 2000-08-16 Eurocopter Deutschland GMBH: Amendment 39-11702. Docket No. 99-SW-73-AD.

Applicability: Model MBB-BK 117 A-1, A-3, A-4, B-1, B-2, and C-1 helicopters, serial numbers 7001 through 7253 and 7500 through 7523, with transmission door cowling, left hand, part number (P/N) 117-23206-51 or 117-233731, right hand, P/N 117-23206-52 or 117-233741, and engine door cowling left hand, P/N 117-23303-51 or 117-23303-53, right hand, P/N 117-23303-52 or 117-23303-54, 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 AD. 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 (b) 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 within 6 calendar months, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent the engine and transmission cowling doors (cowling doors) opening during flight, separating from the helicopter and impacting the main or tail rotor blades, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Modify the cowling doors in accordance with paragraph 2.B., Work Procedure, and 2.C., Conclusions, of Eurocopter Deutschland GMBH Service Bulletin SB-MBB-BK 117-20-109, Revision 2, dated April 30, 1999 (SB).

Note 2:

Adjustment and functional testing of the hook system in accordance with paragraph 2.B.8 of the SB is critical after installation.

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

(d) The modification shall be done in accordance with paragraph 2.B., Work Procedure, and 2.C., Conclusions, of Eurocopter Deutschland GMBH Service Bulletin SB-MBB-BK 117-20-109, Revision 2, dated April 30, 1999. 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.

(e) This amendment becomes effective on June 2, 2000.

Note 4:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (the Federal Republic of Germany) AD No. 1999-302, dated September 23, 1999.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 19, 2000.

Mark R. Schilling,

Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-10290 Filed 4-27-00; 8:45 am]

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