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Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) Model 222, 222B, 222U, and 230 Helicopters

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Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.


Final rule.


This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for BHTC Model 222, 222B, 222U, and 230 helicopters that requires inspecting each flapping bearing to yoke attachment bolt (bolt) and replacing each bolt that shows thread damage, shank wear, or corrosion pitting with an airworthy bolt. This amendment is prompted by the discovery of a fractured bolt during a post-flight inspection. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent a fracture of a bolt, failure of the bearing and yoke interface, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.


June 26, 2000.

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Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0111, telephone (817) 222-5122, fax (817) 222-5961.

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A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an AD for BHTC Model 222, 222B, 222U, and 230 helicopters was published in the Federal Register on March 1, 2000 (65 FR 11006). That action proposed to require inspecting the bolts and replacing each bolt that shows thread damage, shank wear, or corrosion with an airworthy bolt.

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 101 helicopters of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 3 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 $20 per bolt. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $20,200.

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 FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Safety
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Adoption of the Amendment

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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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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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2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive to read as follows:

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AD 2000-10-14 Bell Helicopter Textron Canada: Amendment 39-11738. Docket No. 99-SW-43-AD.

Applicability: Model 222 helicopters, serial number (S/N) 47006 through 47089; Model 222B helicopters, S/N 47131 through 47156; Model 222U helicopters, S/N 47501 through 47574; and Model 230 helicopters, S/N 23001 through 23038 inclusive, 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 150 hours time-in-service, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent the fracture of a flapping bearing to yoke attachment bolt (bolt), failure of the bearing and yoke interface, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Remove one bolt at a time and inspect each bolt located as shown in Figure 1.

Note 2:

For main rotor hubs installed on rotorcraft, the bolts may be removed, inspected, and installed one at a time.

Note 3:

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Alert Service Bulletins 230-98-15, 222-98-83, and 222U-98-54, all dated October 12, 1998, pertain to the subject of this AD.

(i) Clean each bolt with a cloth dampened with methyl ethyl ketone, RHO SOLV756, Desoto 110, or equivalent. Start Printed Page 32022

(ii) Visually inspect each bolt and discard those that have thread damage, shank wear, or corrosion.

(iii) Apply corrosion preventative compound MIL-C-16173 GR2, or equivalent, to the shank of the bolt only.

(iv) Install, torque, and lockwire each bolt.

(v) Coat each bolt head and nut with corrosion preventative compound MIL-C-16173 GR1 or equivalent.

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(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 4:

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) This amendment becomes effective on June 26, 2000.

Note 5:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada (Canada) AD's CF-99-12 and CF-99-13, both dated April 21, 1999.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 15, 2000.

Henry A. Armstrong,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-12818 Filed 5-19-00; 8:45 am]