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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Model HH-1K, TH-1F, TH-1L, UH-1A, UH-1B, UH-1E, UH-1F, UH-1H, UH-1L, and UH-1P; and Southwest Florida Aviation Model SW204, SW204HP, SW205, and SW205A-1 Helicopters, Manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. for the Armed Forces of the United States

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for specified restricted category helicopters. The proposed AD would require updating the product identification, extending the application of the AD to other models, continuing the existing retirement time for certain main rotor tension-torsion (TT) straps, and adding the TT strap part numbers to the applicability. This proposal is prompted by the need to expand the applicability to additional restricted category helicopters and to add two part numbers to the applicability. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent failure of a TT strap, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before June 10, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-SW-41-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. 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 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael Kohner, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Certification Office, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0170, telephone (817) 222-5447, fax (817) 222-5783.

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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 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. 2001-SW-41-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. 2001-SW-41-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

Discussion

On July 31, 1980, the FAA issued AD 80-17-09, Amendment 39-3876 (45 FR 54014, August 14, 1980), Docket No. 80-ASW-25, for BHTI Model 204B, 205A-1, 212, 214B, and 214B-1 helicopters and for Model UH-1 series helicopters. AD 80-17-09 reduced the retirement time of the TT straps, part number (P/N) 204-012-122-1 and -5 from 2,400 hours to 1,200 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 24 months for the affected model helicopters.

The FAA has decided to propose that the current requirements of AD 80-17-09 and the expanded requirements proposed in this AD be separated into two proposals. The FAA intends to propose superseding AD 80-17-09 when it next proposes changes to that AD for “nonmilitary surplus” Start Printed Page 17306helicopters. The intent of this action is to propose replacing the requirements of AD 80-17-09 for the “military UH-1 series” helicopters, certificated in all categories, with the proposed requirements in this document. This document proposes continuing the existing retirement time for the TT straps, expanding the applicability to additional model helicopters, and adding two part numbers to the applicability.

This proposal is prompted by the need to expand the applicability to additional restricted category helicopters and to add two part numbers to the applicability. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent failure of a TT strap, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

This unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these type designs. Therefore, the FAA has determined that a reduced retirement life for certain TT straps of 1,200 hours TIS or 24 months since the initial installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first, is required for these restricted category helicopters.

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 75 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA also estimates that it would take 8 work hours to replace the TT straps and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. The TT straps would cost approximately $10,484 per helicopter. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $822,300.

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.

Start List of Subjects

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.

End Authority
[Amended]

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

Arrow Falcon Exporters, Inc. (previously Utah State University); Firefly Aviation Helicopter Services (previously Erickson Air-Crane Co.); Garlick Helicopters, Inc.; Global Helicopter Technology, Inc.; Hagglund Helicopters, Llc (previously Western International Aviation, Inc.; Hawkins and Powers Aviation, Inc.; International Helicopters, Inc.; Robinson Air Crane, Inc.; Smith Helicopters; Southern Helicopter, Inc.; Southwest Florida Aviation; Tamarack Helicopters, Inc. (previously Ranger Helicopter Services, Inc.); U.S. Helicopter, Inc.; and Williams Helicopter Corporation (previously Scott Paper Co.): Docket No. 2001-SW-41-AD.

Applicability: Model HH-1K, TH-1F, TH-1L, UH-1A, UH-1B, UH-1E, UH-1F, UH-1H, UH-1L, and UH-1P; and Southwest Florida Aviation Model SW204, SW204HP, SW205, and SW205A-1 helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI) for the Armed Forces of the United States, with main rotor tension-torsion (TT) strap, part number (P/N) 204-012-122-1, 204-012-122-5, 2601399, or 2606650, 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.

Compliance: Required before further flight, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent failure of a TT strap, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Remove and replace any TT strap with 1,200 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 24 months since the initial installation, whichever occurs first.

(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 Certification Office, 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 Certification Office.

Note 2:

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

(c) Special flight permits will not be issued.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 2, 2002.

Eric Bries,

Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-8597 Filed 4-9-02; 8:45 am]

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