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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model SA330F, G, and J 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) that applies to Eurocopter France Model SA330F, G, and J helicopters and requires inspecting the tail rotor blade (blade) skin for cracks and replacing, as necessary, the blade. This amendment requires skin bonding and eddy current inspections of the blade skin for cracks and would reference a more recent service bulletin (SB). This amendment is prompted by improved inspection methods and by the manufacturer revising the SB referenced in the current AD. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent fatigue cracking of a blade, failure of a blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Effective December 19, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of December 19, 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) by superseding AD 80-12-04, Amendment 39-3790 (45 FR 37180, June 2, 1980), which applies to Eurocopter France Model SA330F, G, and J helicopters, was published in the Federal Register on August 10, 2000 (65 FR 48936). That action proposed to require skin bonding and eddy current inspections of the blade skin for cracks and referenced a more recent SB.

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 4 helicopters of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 1.5 work hours per helicopter to accomplish the required actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $360.

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 39-3790 (45 FR 37180, June 2, 1980), and by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD), Amendment 39-11967, to read as follows:

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2000-22-19 Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-11967. Docket No. 2000-SW-14-AD. Supersedes AD 80-12-04, Amendment 39-3790, Docket No. 20384.

Applicability: Model SA330F, G, and J helicopters with a tail rotor blade (blade), part number (P/N) 330A12-0000-(all dash numbers), 330A12-0000-(all dash numbers), 330A12-0006-(all 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 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.

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Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent fatigue cracking of a blade, failure of a blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Within 30 hours time-in-service (TIS), and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 15 hours TIS for blades equipped with deicing systems or 30 hours TIS for blades without deicing systems, conduct skin bonding and eddy current inspections on each affected blade for skin bonding and a crack. Inspect in accordance with paragraph 1.C of Aerospatiale Service Bulletin 05.71R4, dated December 18, 1990. Replace any blade failing the skin bonding inspection or eddy current inspection before further flight.

(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 2:

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 inspection shall be done in accordance with paragraph 1.C of Aerospatiale Service Bulletin 05.71R4, dated December 18, 1990. 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 December 19, 2000.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 30, 2000.

Mark R. Schilling,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-28722 Filed 11-13-00; 8:45 am]

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