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Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 407 Helicopters

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Start Preamble


Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.


Final rule.


This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) Start Printed Page 39845Model 407 helicopters that requires visually inspecting the forward hanger bearing bracket (bracket) for a crack. This amendment is prompted by reports of cracks in the bracket. The actions specified by this AD are intended to detect a crack in the bracket, to prevent loss of tail rotor drive or control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.


Effective July 16, 2002.

Start Further Info


Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations Group, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0111, telephone (817) 222-5122, fax (817) 222-5961.

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A proposal to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD for BHTC Model 407 helicopters was published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2002 (67 FR 2146). That action proposed initial and repetitive inspections for a crack in certain brackets and removing any bracket found with a crack before further flight.

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 adopting the rule as proposed.

The FAA estimates that 442 helicopters of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 1/4 work hour 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 $6630 assuming no crack is detected in a bracket.

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 FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Safety
End List of Subjects

Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

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

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2002-11-09 Bell Helicopter Textron Canada: Amendment 39-12770. Docket No. 2001-SW-54-AD.

Applicability: Model 407 helicopters, serial number 53000 through 53442, with flywheel, part number (P/N) 407-040-316-101, 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 as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To detect a crack in the forward bearing hanger bracket (bracket) and to prevent loss of tail rotor drive or tail rotor control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, visually inspect each bracket, P/N 407-040-321-101 or -103, for a crack in the shaded area shown in Figure 1 of this AD. Remove any cracked bracket from service.

Note 2:

Dismantling of the bearing hanger and the support is not required to accomplish the requirements of this AD.

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Note 3:

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Alert Service Bulletin No. 407-01-39, Revision A, dated May 30, 2001, pertains to the subject of this AD.

(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 4:

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.

(d) This amendment becomes effective on July 16, 2002.

Note 5:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada (Canada) AD No. CF-2001-32, dated August 13, 2001.

Start Signature

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

Mark R. Schilling,

Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-14566 Filed 6-10-02; 8:45 am]