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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and SA-366G1 Helicopters

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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 supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to Eurocopter France Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and SA-366G1 helicopters and that currently requires initial and repetitive inspections of the tail rotor blade Kevlar tie-bar (Kevlar tie-bar) for cracks or delaminations. This amendment requires the same actions required by the existing AD and corrects an incorrectly stated part number (P/N) in the existing AD. This amendment is prompted by a report of delamination of a Kevlar tie-bar. The actions specified by this AD are intended to detect cracks that could lead to delamination of the Kevlar tie-bar, loss of tail rotor control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Effective July 12, 2000. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of June 11, 1998 (63 FR 25158, May 7, 1998).

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:

Jim Grigg, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations Group, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0111; telephone (817) 222-5490, 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 98-10-04, Amendment 39-10515 (63 FR 25158, May 7, 1998), which applies to Eurocopter France Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and SA-366G1 helicopters, was published in the Federal Register on March 9, 2000 (65 FR 12489). That action proposed to require the same actions required by the existing AD and correct an incorrectly stated P/N in the existing AD.

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 47 helicopters of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 4 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 $3,000 per blade. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $152,280 to replace one blade and perform one inspection on each helicopter.

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

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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 (

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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 39-10515 (

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AD 2000-11-17 Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-11765. Docket No. 99-SW-45-AD. Supersedes AD 98-10-04, Amendment 39-10515, Docket No. 97-SW-49-AD.

Applicability: Model SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and SA-366G1 helicopters, with tail rotor blade (blade), Part Number 365A12-010-all dash numbers, 365A12-0020-00, 365A33-2131-all dash numbers, or 365A12-0020-02, 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 (c) 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 detect cracks that could lead to delamination of the tail rotor blade Kevlar tie-bar (Kevlar tie-bar), loss of tail rotor control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS), and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 250 hours TIS, inspect each Kevlar tie-bar for a crack or delamination in accordance with paragraph B, Operational Procedure, of Eurocopter France Service Bulletin 05.00.34, Revision 3, dated November 14, 1996.

(b) If any delamination or cracking is found during any of the inspections required by paragraph (a) of this AD, remove the blade and replace it with an airworthy blade before further flight.

(c) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that Start Printed Page 36060provides 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 2:

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

(d) 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.

(e) The inspection shall be done in accordance with paragraph B, Operational Procedure, of Eurocopter France Service Bulletin 05.00.34, Revision 3, dated November 14, 1996. The incorporation by reference of that document was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51, as of June 11, 1998 (63 FR 25158, May 7, 1998). 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.

(f) This amendment becomes effective on July 12, 2000.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD 92-185-33(B)R4, dated December 4, 1996.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 26, 2000.

Henry A. Armstrong,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-14193 Filed 6-6-00; 8:45 am]

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