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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) Model 407 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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to BHTC Model 407 helicopters. This proposal would require replacing certain cockpit warning horns. This proposal is prompted by reports that pilots have had difficulty in distinguishing between the FADEC Fail horn, the Engine Out horn, and the Low Rotor RPM horn. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to assist the pilot in properly identifying a specific cockpit warning horn (horn) and prevent an inappropriate pilot response to a horn, which could cause an engine overspeed and subsequent uncommanded reduction to flight-idle engine power.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before May 14, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, Attention: Rules Docket No. 99-SW-06-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas. You may also send comments electronically to the Rules Docket at the following address: 9-asw-adcomments@faa.gov. Comments may be inspected at the Office of the Regional Counsel between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec JON1LO, telephone (800) 363-8023, fax (450) 433-0272. This information may be examined at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the proposed rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications should identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this document may be changed in light of the comments received.

Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule. All comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report summarizing each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this proposal will be filed in the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their mailed comments submitted in response to this proposal must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. 99-SW-06-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, Attention: Rules Docket No. 99-SW-06-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

Discussion

Transport Canada, which is the airworthiness authority for Canada, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on BHTC Model 407 helicopters. Transport Canada advises that there is a need for the sound of the FADEC Fail horn to be distinct, and for the Engine Out and Low Rotor RPM horns to be louder.

BHTC has issued Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No. 407-97-12, dated October 7, 1997, which specifies replacing the horns. Transport Canada classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued AD No. CF-98-13, effective August 7, 1998, in order to assure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in Canada.

This helicopter model is manufactured in Canada and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of § 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, Transport Canada has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the Transport Canada, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other BHTC Model 407 helicopters of the same type design registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require replacing the FADEC Fail horn, the Engine Out horn, and the Low Rotor RPM horn. The actions would be required to be accomplished in accordance with the service bulletin described previously.

The FAA estimates that 200 helicopters of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 2.5 work hours per helicopter to replace the horns, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $154. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $60,800 to replace the horns in all the fleet.

The regulations proposed herein would 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 proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed regulation (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) if promulgated, 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 copy of the draft regulatory evaluation prepared for this action is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained by contacting 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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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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]

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

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada: Docket No. 99-SW-06-AD.

Applicability: Model 407 helicopters, serial numbers 53000 through 53194, 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 90 calendar days, unless accomplished previously.

To assist the pilot in properly identifying a specific warning horn (horn) and prevent an inappropriate pilot response to a horn, which could cause an engine overspeed and subsequent uncommanded reduction to flight-idle engine power, accomplish the following:

(a) Remove and replace the following horns and install the specified terminal junctions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions in Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No. 407-97-12, dated October 7, 1997:Start Printed Page 14867

Part NameCurrent Part NumberReplacement Part Number
FADEC Fail HornSC648SVSB628CP
Low Rotor RPM HornSC628SC628N
Engine Out HornSC628PSC628NP
Terminal Junction (2)M81714/65-22-11

(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, Rotorcraft 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, Rotorcraft Regulations Group.

Note 2:

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

(c) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with §§ 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.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada (Canada) AD No. CF-98-13, effective August 7, 1998.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 5, 2001.

Eric Bries,

Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-6287 Filed 3-13-01; 8:45 am]

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