Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model SA330F, SA330G, SA330J, AS332C, AS332L, and AS332L1 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 the specified Eurocopter France (ECF) helicopters. This proposal would require inspecting each tail rotor blade de-icing rotating collector (collector) for radial play and rotation torque at specified intervals. If the play or torque exceeds the specified standard, this proposal would require replacing the collector with an airworthy part. This proposal is prompted by excessive play measured on the collector of an ECF Model AS332 helicopter. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to prevent wear of a collector bearing, loss of tail rotor effectiveness, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before August 6, 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-66-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:

Jim Grigg, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5490, 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-66-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-66-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

Discussion

The Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (DGAC), the airworthiness authority for France, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on ECF Model SA330 helicopters. The Start Printed Page 39315DGAC advises of excessive play measured on the collector.

ECF has issued AS 332 Service Bulletin Nos. 05.00.45, Revision 1, dated August 16, 1999, and SA 330 Alert Service Bulletin 05.88, dated June 8, 2001. The service bulletins specify checking the condition of the bearings and the collector-to-rotor attachment shaft at regular intervals, measuring the radial play, measuring the rotation torque of the collector, and state the acceptable radial and rotational tolerances. The DGAC classified the service bulletins as mandatory and issued AD No. 2001-317-082(A), dated July 25, 2001, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in France.

These helicopter models are manufactured in France 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, the DGAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the DGAC, 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 these same type designs registered in the United States. Therefore, the proposed AD would require inspecting the radial play and the rotational torque on the collector initially at 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 6 months, whichever occurs first, and repetitively at 110 hours TIS or 6 months, whichever occurs first. If the radial play or the rotational torque exceeds 0.1 millimeter or 3.5 daN, respectively, the proposed AD would also require replacing the collector with an airworthy part. The actions would be required to be accomplished in accordance with the service bulletins described previously.

The FAA estimates that 3 helicopters of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 2 work hours per helicopter to inspect and replace the collector, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $300. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $1260 to replace the collectors on the entire 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.

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:

Eurocopter France: Docket No. 2001-SW-66-AD.

Applicability: Model SA330F, SA330G, SA330J, AS332C, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters with a tail rotor blade de-icing rotating collector (collector), part number (P/N) APCL 110-265-201, 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: Within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 6 months, whichever occurs first, unless accomplished previously, and then at intervals not to exceed 110 hours TIS or 6 months, whichever occurs first.

To prevent wear of a collector bearing, loss of tail rotor effectiveness, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Inspect the radial play and the rotation torque of the collector in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 2.B., of Eurocopter France AS 332 Service Bulletin No. 05.00.45, Revision 1, dated August 16, 1999, for the Model AS 332 helicopters, or Eurocopter France SA 330 Alert Service Bulletin No. 05.88, dated June 8, 2001, for the Model SA 330 helicopters. If the radial play exceeds 0.1 millimeter (0.004 inches) or the rotational torque exceeds 3.5 daN (7.9 lbs), before further flight, replace the collector with an airworthy part.

(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 Direction General De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD No. 2001-317-082(A), dated July 25, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 28, 2002.

David A. Downey,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-14250 Filed 6-6-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P