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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model AS332C, L, and L1 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 adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Eurocopter France (ECF) Model AS332C, L, and L1 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting the horizontal stabilizer spar tube (spar tube) for corrosion, hardness, cracks, and scratches, and if necessary, replacing any unairworthy spar tube and bushing with an airworthy spar tube and bushing. This amendment is prompted by the loss of a horizontal stabilizer in flight due to a spar tube failure. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent 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 November 22, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 22, 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:

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) which applied to the ECF Model AS332C, L, and L1 helicopters was published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2000 (65 FR 43720). That action proposed to require inspecting any spar tube installed on certain horizontal stabilizers for corrosion, hardness, cracks, or scratches. Replacing the spar tube and bushing, as necessary, with an airworthy spar tube and bushing was also proposed.

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 3 helicopters of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 40 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 $1,000 per helicopter. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $10,200.

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 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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2000-20-17 Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-11929. Docket No. 99-SW-35-AD.

Applicability: Model AS332C, L, and L1 helicopters with horizontal stabilizer spar tube (spar tube), part number (P/N) 330A13-2024-01, -02, -03, or -04, installed on horizontal stabilizer, P/N 332A13-1000-00, -01, -02, -03 or 332A13-1040-00, or -01, 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 prevent 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, accomplish the following:

(a) For helicopters on which the spar tube composite bushing (bushing), P/N 330A13-2024-31, has been replaced and since replacement has accumulated:

(1) Less than 1400 hours time-in-service (TIS) or less than 30 calendar months:

(i) Prior to accumulating 1600 hours TIS or 32 calendar months, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed (NTE) 3000 hours TIS or 72 calendar months, whichever occurs first, inspect the spar tube in accordance with (IAW) the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of Eurocopter France Service Bulletin No. 01.00.57, Revision 1, dated November 24, 1999 (SB).

(A) If the spar tube passes the hardness inspection of paragraph 2.B.1.1 of the SB and the scratch, corrosion, and crack inspection of paragraph 2.B.2. of the SB, replace the bushing with a new bushing, before further flight.

(B) If the spar tube fails either the hardness inspection of paragraph 2.B.1.1 of the SB or the scratch, corrosion, or crack inspection of paragraph 2.B.2. of the SB, replace the spar tube with an airworthy spar tube before further flight. Start Printed Page 62281

(ii) Before installing any replacement spar tube that has previously been installed on any helicopter, inspect it IAW the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of the SB.

(2) 1400 or more hours TIS or 30 or more calendar months:

(i) Within 200 hours TIS or 2 calendar months, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals NTE 3000 hours TIS or 72 calendar months, whichever occurs first, inspect the spar tube IAW the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of the SB.

(A) If the spar tube passes the hardness inspection of paragraph 2.B.1.1 of the SB and the scratch, corrosion, and crack inspection of paragraph 2.B.2 of the SB, replace the bushing with a new bushing before further flight.

(B) If the spar tube fails either the hardness inspection of paragraph 2.B.1.1 of the SB or the scratch, corrosion, or crack inspection of paragraph 2.B.2 of the SB, replace the spar tube with an airworthy spar tube before further flight.

(ii) Before installing any replacement spar tube that has previously been installed on any helicopter, inspect it IAW the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of the SB.

(b) For all spar tubes:

(1) With less than 7500 hours TIS or 144 calendar months since original installation:

(i) Prior to accumulating 7500 hours TIS or 144 calendar months, remove the spar tube and inspect IAW the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of the SB.

(ii) After accomplishing the requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this AD, install an airworthy spar tube before further flight. Before installing any replacement spar tube that has been previously installed in any helicopter, inspect it IAW the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of the SB.

(2) With 7500 or more hours TIS or 144 or more calendar months since original installation:

(i) Within 500 hours TIS or 12 calendar months, whichever occurs first, remove the spar tube and inspect IAW the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of the SB.

(ii) After accomplishing the requirements of paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this AD, install an airworthy spar tube before further flight. Before installing any replacement spar tube that has been previously installed in any helicopter, inspect it IAW the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of the SB.

(3) After accomplishing the requirements of either paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this AD, as applicable, thereafter, at intervals NTE 7500 hours TIS or 144 calendar months, whichever occurs first, remove the spar tube and inspect IAW the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2. of the SB.

(c) 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 a 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 inspections shall be done in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.1.1 and 2.B.2., in Eurocopter France Service Bulletin No. 01.00.57, Revision 1, dated November 24, 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.

(f) This amendment becomes effective on November 22, 2000.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD 1999-039-073(A)R1, dated December 29, 1999.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 29, 2000.

Henry A. Armstrong,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-26235 Filed 10-17-00; 8:45 am]

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