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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Turbomeca S.A. Arriel -1B, -1D, and -1D1 Series Turboshaft Engines

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.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to Turbomeca S.A. Arriel -1B, -1D, and -1D1 series turboshaft engines. This proposal would require replacement of modules M03 modified to TU 204 standard with modules M03 not modified to TU 204 standard. This proposal is prompted by several reports of 2nd stage gas generator turbine blade failures. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent 2nd stage gas generator turbine blade failure resulting in uncommanded engine in-flight shutdown.

DATES:

Comments must be received by April 8, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NE-38-AD, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299. Comments may be inspected at this location, by appointment, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: “9-ane-adcomment@faa.gov ”. Comments sent via the Internet must contain the docket number in the subject line.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Turbomeca S.A., 64511 Bordes Cedex, France; telephone 33 05 59 64 40 00, fax 33 05 59 64 60 80. This information may be examined, by appointment, at the FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Antonio Cancelliere, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299; telephone (781) 238-7751; fax (781) 238-7199.

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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, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this action 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 comments submitted in response to this action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2002-NE-38-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRM's

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NE-38-AD, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299.

Discussion

The Direction Generale de L'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, recently notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on Turbomeca S.A. Arriel -1B, -1D, and -1D1 series turboshaft engines. The DGAC advises that at least five incidents of 2nd stage gas generator turbine blade failure have occurred since the introduction of the TU 204 standard to modules M03. Although the TU 204 standard was introduced to provide improved gas generator turbine blade thermal protection, the manufacturer has determined that due to the increased mass of the 2nd stage gas generator turbine blades introduced by the TU 204 standard, the blade root stress level is too high and can lead to blade failure. Start Printed Page 6381

Manufacturer's Service Information

Turbomeca S.A. has issued Service Bulletin (SB) No. 292 72 0258, Update No. 1, dated April 4, 2002, for Arriel -1B engines, and SB No. 292 72 0265, Update No. 1, dated August 18, 2000, for Arriel -1D and -1D1 engines, that specify the cancellation of Modification TU 204 by replacing modules M03 modified to TU 204 standard with modules M03 not modified to TU 204 standard. The DGAC has issued AD 2002-258(A), dated May 15, 2002, in order to ensure the airworthiness of these Turbomeca S.A. engines in France.

Bilateral Agreement Information

This engine model is manufactured in France and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of Section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness 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.

Proposed Requirements of This AD

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other Turbomeca S.A. Arriel -1B, -1D, and -1D1 series turboshaft engines of the same type design that are used on helicopters registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require replacing modules M03 modified to TU 204 standard with modules M03 not modified to TU 204 standard at the next engine shop visit, but no later than August 31, 2003. The actions would be required to be done in accordance with the service bulletins described previously.

Economic Analysis

There are approximately 1,319 engines of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 48 engines installed on helicopters of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD. The FAA also estimates that it would take approximately 12 work hours per engine to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $160,000 per engine. Based on these figures, the total cost of the proposed AD to U.S. operators is estimated to be $7,714,560. Turbomeca has advised the FAA that material and tooling may be provided at no cost to the operator, thereby substantially reducing the cost of the proposed rule.

Regulatory Analysis

This proposed rule does not have federalism implications, as defined in Executive Order 13132, because it 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. Accordingly, the FAA has not consulted with state authorities prior to publication of this proposed rule.

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.

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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.

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[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Turbomeca S.A.: Docket No. 2002-NE-38-AD.

Applicability: This airworthiness directive (AD) is applicable to Turbomeca S.A. Arriel -1B, -1D, and -1D1 series turboshaft engines. These engines are installed on, but not limited to Eurocopter AS-350B “Astar” helicopters.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each engine identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For engines 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 (c) 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: Compliance with this AD is required at the next engine shop visit, but no later than August 31, 2003, unless already done.

To prevent 2nd stage gas generator turbine blade failure resulting in uncommanded engine in-flight shutdown, do the following:

(a) For Arriel -1B engines, replace TU 204 Standard modules M03 with modules M03 not modified to TU 204 standard, in accordance with Paragraphs 2.A. through 2.C. of Turbomeca S.A. Service Bulletin (SB) No. 292 72 0258, Update No. 1, dated April 4, 2002.

(b) For Arriel -1D and -1D1 engines, replace TU 204 Standard modules M03 with modules M03 not modified to TU 204 standard, in accordance with Paragraphs 2.A. through 2.C. of Turbomeca S.A. SB No. 292 72 0265, Update No. 1, dated August 18, 2000.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(c) 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, Engine Certification Office (ECO). Operators must submit their request through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, ECO.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this airworthiness directive, if any, may be obtained from the ECO.

Special Flight Permits

(d) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with §§ 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the helicopter to a location where the requirements of this AD can be done.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale de L'Aviation Civile airworthiness directive 2002-258(A), dated May 15, 2002.

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Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on January 31, 2003.

Jay J. Pardee,

Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-2996 Filed 2-6-03; 8:45 am]

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