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Airworthiness Directives; Turbomeca Astazou XIV B and XIV H Turboshaft Engines

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 (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Turbomeca Astazou XIV B and XIV H turboshaft engines that have operated with air intake noise suppressors. This AD requires ensuring proper installation of air intake noise suppressors, and ultrasonically inspecting 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades operated in engines with improperly installed intake noise suppressors. This AD results from several reports of failure of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades, leading to in-flight engine shutdown and autorotation landing.

DATES:

Effective December 28, 2005. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations as of December 28, 2005.

We must receive any comments on this AD by February 13, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Use one of the following addresses to comment on this AD:

  • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. Start Printed Page 73582
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Contact Turbomeca, 40220 Tarnos, France; telephone 33 05 59 74 40 00, fax 33 05 59 74 45 15, for the service information identified in this AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher Spinney, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299; telephone (781) 238-7175; fax (781) 238-7199.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Direction Generale de L'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified us that an unsafe condition might exist on Turbomeca Astazou XIV B and XIV H turboshaft engines that have operated with an air intake noise suppressor. The DGAC advises that several cases of failure of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades have occurred in service. An investigation revealed that these failures result from aerodynamic-induced stresses caused by improperly installed air intake noise suppressors. An improperly installed air intake noise suppressor has too great an angular position on the air intake casing. This in turn results in downstream airflow turbulence causing high stresses in the 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed and approved the technical contents of Turbomeca Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. A283 72 0800, dated February 5, 2004, that describes instructions for ultrasonic inspection of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades. The DGAC classified this alert service bulletin as mandatory and issued AD F-2004-029, dated February 18, 2004, in order to ensure the airworthiness of these Astazou XIV B and XIV H turboshaft engines in France.

Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement

These Astazou XIV B and XIV H turboshaft engines are manufactured in France and are 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. Under this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the DGAC kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have 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.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

The unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other Turbomeca Astazou XIV B and XIV H turboshaft engines of the same type design. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades, leading to in-flight engine shutdown and autorotation landing. This AD requires:

  • Before further flight, ensuring proper installation of air intake noise suppressors; and
  • For engines operated with improperly installed air intake noise suppressors, removing the engine and performing an ultrasonic inspection of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades, within 50 flight hours or 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, and replacing blades that fail inspection.

You must use the service information described previously to perform the removals, blade inspections, replacements, and installations required by this AD.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

Since an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD, we have found that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable, and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment; however, we invite you to send us any written relevant data, views, or arguments regarding this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “AD Docket No. FAA-2005-23004; Directorate Identifier 2005-NE-42-AD” in the subject line of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the rule that might suggest a need to modify it.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this AD. Using the search function of the DMS Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the docket that contains the AD, any comments received, and any final disposition in person at the Docket Management Facility Docket Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Department of Transportation Nassif Building at the street address stated in ADDRESSES. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, Section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701, “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We have determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD 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. Start Printed Page 73583

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the 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. 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.

We prepared a summary of the costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD Docket. You may get a copy of this summary by sending a request to us at the address listed under 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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Under 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

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. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

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2005-25-12 Turbomeca: Amendment 39-14405. Docket No. FAA-2005-23004; Directorate Identifier 2005-NE-42-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective December 28, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Turbomeca Astazou XIV B and XIV H turboshaft engines that have operated with air intake noise suppressors. These engines are installed on, but not limited to, single-engine Aerospatiale AS319B “Alouette III” and AS342J “Gazelle” helicopters.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from several reports of failure of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades, leading to in-flight engine shutdown and autorotation landing.

Compliance

(e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified unless the actions have already been done.

Ensure Proper Installation of Air Intake Noise Suppressors

(f) Before further flight, ensure proper installation of air intake noise suppressors.

(g) You can find information on doing this in aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) section 71-30-41 for Aerospatiale AS319B helicopters, and in AMM section 71-61-401 for Aerospatiale AS342J helicopters.

Engines That Operated With Improperly Installed Air Intake Noise Suppressors

(h) For engines that operated with improperly installed air intake noise suppressors:

(1) Perform an ultrasonic inspection of 2nd stage axial compressor wheel blades, within 50 flight hours or 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, and replace blades that fail inspection.

(2) Use 2.B.(1) through 2.B.(2)(b) of Turbomeca Alert Service Bulletin No. A283 72 0800, dated February 5, 2004, to do the inspection.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(i) The Manager, Engine Certification Office, has the authority to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

Related Information

(j) Direction Generale de L'Aviation Civile airworthiness directive F-2004-029, dated February 18, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(k) You must use Turbomeca Alert Service Bulletin No. A283 72 0800, dated February 5, 2004, to perform the removals, blade inspections, replacements, and installations required by this AD. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service bulletin in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact Turbomeca, 40220 Tarnos, France; telephone 33 05 59 74 40 00, fax 33 05 59 74 45 15, for a copy of this service information. You may review copies at the Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-0001, on the internet at http://dms.dot.gov;​ or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on December 5, 2005.

Carlos Pestana,

Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-23827 Filed 12-12-05; 8:45 am]

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