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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model EC120B Helicopters

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for specified Eurocopter France (ECF) model helicopters that requires installing front and side covers to protect the yaw control. This amendment is prompted by a report of a mobile phone falling between the windshield canopy (canopy) and the cabin floor jamming the yaw control pedal. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent an object from sliding between the canopy and the cabin floor, loss of yaw control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Effective August 13, 2002.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 13, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75053-4005, telephone (972) 641-3460, fax (972) 641-3527. This information may be examined at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard Monschke, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5116, fax (817) 222-5961.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD for ECF Model EC120B helicopters was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2002 (67 FR 6886). That action proposed to require installing front and side covers to protect the yaw control.

The Direction General De L'Aviation Civile (DGAC), the airworthiness authority for France, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on this model helicopter. The DGAC advises of a yaw control jamming caused by an object that slid between the canopy and the cabin floor.

ECF has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. 67A005, dated July 30, 2001 (ASB), which specifies installing a front and side protection on the cabin floor to protect the yaw control. The DGAC classified this ASB as mandatory and issued AD No. 2001-386-007(A), dated September 5, 2001, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in France.

This helicopter model is manufactured in France and is 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 this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

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 the adoption of the rule as proposed except that we have corrected the date of the DGAC AD in Note 4 from September 15, 2001 to September 5, 2001 and added “Eurocopter” to paragraph (a) of the AD. These changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

The FAA estimates that this AD will affect 44 helicopters of U.S. registry and will take 2 work hours per helicopter to accomplish the required actions. The average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $851 per helicopter. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost impact of this AD on U.S. operators to be $42,724.

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 location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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2002-13-11 Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-12799. Docket No. 2001-SW-68-AD.

Applicability: Model EC120B helicopters, serial numbers 1001 through 1278, inclusive, 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 days, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent an object from sliding between the canopy and the cabin floor, loss of yaw control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Install front and side covers (protections) to protect the yaw control in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 2.B., Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 67A005, dated July 30, 2001 (ASB), except the correct reference to the Aircraft Maintenance Manual in subparagraph 2.B.2 of the ASB is 20-10-00, 3-8. If the helicopter has flight controls at both the pilot and co-pilot stations, front and side protections are required at both stations.

Note 2:

Figure 1 of the ASB depicts the right-hand side of the cockpit.

(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 3:

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) Installing the front and side covers (protections) to protect the yaw control shall be done in accordance with Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 2.B., Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 67A005, dated July 30, 2001 (ASB). This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75053-4005, telephone (972) 641-3460, fax (972) 641-3527. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

(e) This amendment becomes effective on August 13, 2002.

Note 4:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD 2001-386-007(A), dated September 5, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 25, 2002.

David A. Downey,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-16678 Filed 7-8-02; 8:45 am]

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