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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model SA330F, G, and J; AS332C, L, and L1; SA341G; SA342J; AS350B, BA, B1, B2, B3, and D; AS355E, F, F1, F2 and N; SA-365C, C1, and C2; SA-365N and N1; and AS-365N2 and N3 Helicopters

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the specified Eurocopter France (ECF) model helicopters that requires determining whether specified main or tail rotor (rotor) parts are installed and, if so, updating and recording the correct hours time-in-service (TIS) or cycles of each part. If the hours TIS or cycles of any rotor part exceed its life limit, this AD also requires replacing that part with an airworthy part within 50 hours TIS. This amendment is prompted by the need to correct the Equipment Log Card (FME) to accurately reflect the total hours TIS and cycles of certain repaired or overhauled rotor parts. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent failure of a life limited rotor part, loss of a rotor, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Effective August 25, 2003.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 25, 2003.

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:

Uday Garadi, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5123, fax (817) 222-5961.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD for the specified model helicopters was published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2003 (68 FR 12318). That action proposed to require determining whether specified rotor parts are installed and, if so, updating and recording the correct hours TIS or cycles of each part. If the hours TIS or cycles of any rotor part exceed its life limit, this AD would also require replacing that part with an airworthy part within 50 hours TIS.

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 SA330F, G, and J; AS332C, L, and L1; SA341G; SA342J; AS350B, BA, B1, B2, B3, and D; AS355E, F, F1, F2 and N; SA-365C, C1, and C2; SA-365N and N1; and AS-365 N2 and N3 helicopters. The DGAC advises of the discovery of a discrepancy in the computer program used to carry over the number of operating hours of parts following repair or overhaul, which is the cause of incorrect completion of FMEs.

ECF has issued the following Alert Telexes for the helicopter model series specified: Nos. 65.110 for SA330, 62.00.58 for AS332, 65.60 for SA341 and SA342, 62.00.25 for AS350, 62.00.27 for AS355, 65.41 for SA-365C, and 62.00.19 for AS-365N, all dated August 13, 2002. These alert telexes specify correcting the FME to list the correct total number of operating hours and cycles for specified parts installed on dynamic components. After correcting the FME, if the parts have exceeded their life limit, the alert telexes specify removing or monitoring the parts. The DGAC classified these alert telexes as mandatory and issued AD No. 2002-452(A), dated September 4, 2002, 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 helicopters of the same type designs registered in the United States. Therefore, the AD requires, within 10 hours TIS, determining whether the specified rotor part and serial numbers are installed by reference to the FME and, if installed, correcting the hours TIS and cycles. If a part exceeds its life limit, the AD requires replacing the part within 50 hours TIS. The actions would be required for the parts listed in the appendix of the alert telexes described previously.

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.

On July 10, 2002, the FAA issued a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67 FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs the FAA's AD system. The regulation now includes material that relates to altered products, special flight permits, and alternative methods of compliance. However, for clarity and consistency in this final rule, we have retained the language of the NPRM regarding that material.

The FAA estimates that this AD will affect 760 helicopters of U.S. registry, and the required actions will take approximately 1 work hour to determine the part and serial number and 8 hours to replace each affected part on 38 helicopters (5 percent of the total affected helicopters). The average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $64,560 depending on which part will be replaced. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators will be $2,517,120.

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.Start Printed Page 42958

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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2003-14-12 Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-13231. Docket No. 2002-SW-56-AD.

Applicability: Model SA330F, G, and J; AS332C, L, and L1; SA341G; SA342J; AS350B, BA, B1, B2, B3, and D; AS355E, F, F1, F2, and N; SA-365C, C1, and C2; SA-365N and N1; and AS-365N2 and N3 helicopters, 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 prevent failure of a life-limited, main or tail rotor (rotor) part, loss of a rotor, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS), determine by reference to the equipment log card (FME) whether any rotor part and serial number specified in Table 1, paragraph 3, of the Appendix of each of the following Eurocopter France (ECF) Alert Telexes for the specified helicopter model series is installed: Nos. 65.110 for SA330, 62.00.58 for AS332, 65.60 for SA341 and SA342, 62.00.25 for AS350, 62.00.27 for AS355, 65.41 for SA-365C, and 62.00.19 for SA365N and AS-365, all dated August 13, 2002.

(1) If none of the parts are installed, no further action is required.

(2) For each affected part listed in Table 1, paragraph 3, of the Appendix of each applicable ECF Alert Telex specified in paragraph (a) of this AD, add the hours TIS and cycles to the hours TIS and cycles recorded on the FME. If a part exceeds its life limit in TIS or cycles, replace the part with an airworthy part within 50 hours TIS.

(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, Safety Management 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, Safety Management Group.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Safety Management 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) Determine the rotor part and serial number for the specified helicopter model series in accordance with Table 1, paragraph 3, of the Appendix of the applicable Eurocopter Alert Telex No. 65.110 for SA330, 62.00.58 for AS332, 65.60 for SA341 and SA342, 62.00.25 for AS350, 62.00.27 for AS355, 65.41 for SA-365C, and 62.00.19 for SA365N and AS-365, all dated August 13, 2002. The Director of the Federal Register approved this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from 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 25, 2003.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD No. 2002-452(A), dated September 4, 2002.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 1, 2003.

David A. Downey,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-17948 Filed 7-18-03; 8:45 am]

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