Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 222, 222B, 222U, 230, and 430 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) Model 222, 222B, 222U, 230, and 430 helicopters. This proposal would require removing sealant from the forward tooling hole in the right-hand upper fuel enclosure area. This proposal is prompted by the determination that fuel or water could accumulate in the right-hand upper fuel enclosure. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to prevent accumulation of fuel in the right-hand upper fuel enclosure area, a fire, and a subsequent forced landing.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 1, 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-73-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:

Paul Madej, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Start Printed Page 21186Standards Staff, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5125, fax (817) 222-5961.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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-73-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-73-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

Discussion

Transport Canada, the airworthiness authority for Canada, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on BHTC Model 222, 222B, 222U, 230, and 430 helicopters. Transport Canada advises that a condition exists that can result in an accumulation of fuel in the right-hand upper fuel enclosure area.

BHTC has issued:

  • Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 222-01-89, for Model 222 helicopters, serial numbers (S/N) 47006 through 47089, and Model 222B helicopters, S/N 47131 through 47156;
  • ASB No. 222U-01-60, for Model 222U helicopters, S/N 47501 through 47574;
  • ASB No. 230-01-20, for Model 230 helicopters, S/N 23001 through 23038; and
  • ASB No. 430-01-21, for Model 430 helicopters, S/N 49001 through 49079.

All of the ASB's are dated February 7, 2001. All of these ASB's specify procedures for removing the sealant from the existing forward tooling hole located in the panel assembly to provide enclosure drainage. Transport Canada classified these alert service bulletins as mandatory and issued AD No. CF-2001-22, dated May 24, 2001, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in Canada.

These helicopter models are manufactured in Canada and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.29 and the applicable bilateral agreement. Pursuant to the applicable bilateral agreement, Transport Canada has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of Transport Canada, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of these type designs that are certificated for operation in the United States.

This unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopter models of the same type designs registered in the United States. Therefore, the proposed AD would require removing sealant from the forward tooling hole in the right-hand upper fuel enclosure area. The actions would be required to be accomplished in accordance with the alert service bulletins described previously.

The FAA estimates that 151 helicopters of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 5 work hours per helicopter to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $45,300.

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

End List of Subjects

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:

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

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:

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada: Docket No. 2001-SW-73-AD.

Applicability: Model 222 helicopters, serial numbers (S/N) 47006 through 47089; Model 222B helicopters, S/N 47131 through 47156; Model 222U helicopters, S/N 47501 through 47574; Model 230 helicopters, S/N 23001 through 23038; and Model 430 helicopters, S/N 49001 through 49079, 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 at the next annual or 100-hour inspection, whichever occurs first, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent accumulation of fuel in the right-hand upper fuel enclosure area, a fire, and a subsequent forced landing, accomplish the following: Start Printed Page 21187

(a) Remove the sealant from the forward tooling hole in the right-hand upper fuel enclosure area in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions in Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 222-01-89, for the Model 222 helicopters and Model 222B helicopters; ASB No. 222U-01-60, for the Model 222U helicopters; ASB No. 230-01-20, for the Model 230 helicopters; and ASB No. 430-01-21, for the Model 430 helicopters, all dated February 7, 2001.

(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 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 CF-2001-22, dated May 24, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 18, 2002.

Eric Bries,

Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-10533 Filed 4-29-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P