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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model AS332C, C1, L, L1, AS350B, BA, B1, B2, B3 and D, and AS355E, F, F1, F2 and N 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 (Eurocopter) model helicopters with a Breeze 300-pound electric hoist (hoist) installed that requires modifying and re-identifying the hoist operator control unit and replacing certain fuses. This amendment is prompted by a test of a hoist that revealed an anomaly in the electrical control circuit. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent failure of the hoist pyrotechnic squib electrical control unit, lack of adequate current to activate the hoist pyrotechnic squib, an inability of the pilot to cut the rescue hoist cable in the event of cable entanglement or other emergency, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Effective January 20, 2004.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of January 20, 2004.

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:

Carroll Wright, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Guidance Group, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0111, telephone (817) 222-5120, 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 August 22, 2003 (68 FR 50731). That action proposed to require, within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 2 months, whichever comes first, modifying and re-identifying the hoist operator control unit and replacing certain fuses.

The Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (DGAC), the airworthiness authority for France, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on Eurocopter Model AS332C, C1, L, L1, Model AS350B, BA, BB, B1, B2, B3 and D, and Model AS355E, F, F1, F2 and N helicopters. The DGAC advises of the discovery of a case of failure of a rescue hoist emergency release control system to operate due to an anomaly in the electrical control circuit.

Eurocopter has issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 25.00.71, for Model AS355E, F, F1, F2, and N helicopters; and ASB No. 25.00.79, for Model AS350B, BA, BB, B1, B2, B3, and D helicopters. Both ASBs are dated November 12, 2002, and specify embodiment of MOD 07 3190 on helicopters equipped with the fixed parts for the hoist. MOD 07 3190 consists of (1) eliminating resistor 27M in the hoist operator's control unit 26M and (2) replacing the 25A quick-response fuses on the Honeywell unit at 31 alpha or 21 delta for the Model AS350 or on the distribution panel 10 alpha for the Model 355 helicopters. Eurocopter has also issued Alert Service Bulletin No. 25.01.18, dated November 12, 2002, for Model AS332C, C1, L, and L1 helicopters. Modification 332PCS 78 288 consists of eliminating resistor 81M in hoist box 91M and re-identifying the hoist box as 332P67-2894-01, -02, -03, or -04, depending on which electrical wiring assembly is installed in the helicopter. The DGAC has classified these ASBs as mandatory and issued AD 2002-585(A) and AD 2002-584(A), both dated November 27, 2002, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in France.

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 Start Printed Page 69597public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed.

The FAA estimates that this AD will affect 58 helicopters of U.S. registry (50 Model AS350 helicopters and 8 Model AS355 helicopters, and no Model AS332 helicopters) and the required actions will take approximately 3.5 work hours per helicopter to accomplish at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $10 for a time-delay fuse for Model AS350 series helicopters, or $20 for two time-delay fuses for Model AS355 series helicopters. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators will be $12,840 to modify each hoist in the entire fleet.

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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2003-25-01 Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-13384. Docket No. 2003-SW-15-AD.

Applicability: Model AS332C, C1, L, and L1, AS350B, BA, B1, B2, B3 and D, and AS355E, F, F1, F2 and N helicopters with a Breeze 300-pound electric hoist (hoist) and hoist operator control unit 26M, part number (P/N) 350A63-1136-00 or 350A63-1136-01, and hoist electric box 91M, P/N 332A67-2875-00, installed, certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required within 100 hours time-in-service or within 2 months, whichever occurs first, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent failure of the hoist pyrotechnic squib electrical control unit, lack of adequate current to activate the hoist pyrotechnic squib, an inability of the pilot to cut the rescue hoist cable in the event of cable entanglement or other emergency, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Modify and re-identify the hoist operator control unit; replace the fuses; and functionally test the hoist operation and the emergency jettison controls in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 2B, Operational Procedure, of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 25.00.71 for Model AS355E, F, F1, F2, and N helicopters; ASB No. 25.00.79 for Model AS350B, BA, B1, B2, B3, and D helicopters; and ASB No. 25.01.18 for Model AS332 C, C1, L, and L1 helicopters, all dated November 12, 2002, as applicable.

(b) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Contact the Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, for information about previously approved alternative methods of compliance.

(c) The actions required by this AD shall be done using Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 25.00.71 for Model AS355E, F, F1, F2, and N helicopters; ASB No. 25.00.79 for Model AS350B, BA, B1, B2, B3, and D helicopters; and ASB No. 25.01.18 for Model AS332 C, C1, L, and L1 helicopters, all dated November 12, 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.

(d) This amendment becomes effective on January 20, 2004.

Note:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD 2002-584(A) and AD 2002-585(A), both dated November 27, 2002.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 4, 2003.

David A. Downey,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-30688 Filed 12-12-03; 8:45 am]

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