Skip to Content


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 206A, B, L, L-1, L-3, and L-4 Helicopters

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.

Start Preamble


Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.


Final rule.


This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for the specified Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) model helicopters. The existing AD currently requires certain inspections and checks of the tail rotor blade (blade) for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed tail rotor weight (weight). Also, that AD requires, before further flight, replacing each blade with an airworthy blade if a deformation, a crack, or a bent or deformed weight is found. This action contains the same actions as the existing AD and also adds to the applicability certain serial-numbered blades inadvertently omitted from the current AD. This action also requires replacing each affected blade, which is a terminating action. This amendment is prompted by three reports of skin cracks originating near the blade trailing edge balance weight. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.


Effective February 13, 2007.


You may get the service information identified in this AD from Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4, telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023, fax (450) 433-0272.

Examining the Docket

You may examine the docket that contains this AD, any comments, and other information on the Internet at, or at the Docket Management System (DMS), U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room PL-401, on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, Washington, DC.

Start Further Info


Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Guidance Group, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0111, telephone (817) 222-5122, fax (817) 222-5961.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information


A proposal to amend 14 CFR part 39 by superseding AD 2004-24-08, Amendment 39-13884 (69 FR 69810, December 1, 2004), for the specified BHTC model helicopters was published in the Federal Register on October 17, 2005 (70 FR 60246). This action contains the same actions as the existing AD. Also, when we issued AD 2004-24-08, we intentionally did not include the long-term requirement (no later than April 27, 2007) for removing and sending the affected blades to Rotor Blades, Inc. as specified by the manufacturer. We are including a long-term requirement in this AD that the affected blades be replaced on or before April 27, 2007, as terminating action. Additionally, in AD 2004-24-08, we inadvertently omitted blade serial numbers 10102 through 10114 from the applicability. We are correcting that oversight with this action.

Since issuing AD 2004-24-08, BHTC has issued Alert Service Bulletin 206-04-100 for Bell Model 206A and B helicopters, and 206L-04-127 for Bell Model 206L series helicopters, both Revision C, both dated March 5, 2005 (ASB). These ASBs add two warnings in the compliance section specifying returning the blade for balancing to Rotor Blades, Inc., and introduce new skin damage limits that supersede the previous damage limits. The ASB also gives a new address for Rotor Blades Inc.

Transport Canada, the airworthiness authority for Canada, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on these helicopter models. Transport Canada advises of three reports of skin cracks originating near the blade trailing edge balance weight. Two of the occurrences caused a loss of the weight and a strip of material along the trailing edge leading to an imbalance, which caused the fracture of three of the four tail rotor gearbox attachments. One of these occurrences resulted in the gearbox shifting that caused failure of the drive shaft and resulting loss of yaw control. Transport Canada issued AD No. CF-2004-05R1, dated June 28, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in Canada.

These helicopter models are manufactured in Canada 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, Transport Canada has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of Transport Canada, 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.

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 for a change in paragraph (f) of the AD to add additional contact information. This change will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

The FAA estimates that this AD will:

  • Affect 2194 helicopters of U.S. registry,
  • Take about 1/4 work hour for a blade check or inspection, and
  • Take 3 work hours to replace a blade at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour.
  • Cost about $5848 per helicopter. (In its ASB, the manufacturer states it will give warranty credit based on hour usage on the blade with remaining life hours and other restrictions.)

Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators to be $19,989,973. Costs assume—200 pilot checks, 26 mechanic inspections, and one blade replacement for 90 percent of the fleet with a nonconforming blade.

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 Start Printed Page 890the 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.

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 an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD. See the DMS to examine the economic evaluation.

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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

Adoption of the Amendment

Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part Start Part


End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

End Authority
Start Amendment Part

2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing Amendment 39-13884 (

End Amendment Part

2007-01-06 Bell Helicopter Textron Canada: Amendment 39-14877. Docket No. FAA-2005-22696; Directorate Identifier 2005-SW-22-AD. Supersedes AD 2004-24-08, Amendment 39-13884, Docket No. 2004-SW-12-AD.


Model 206A, B, L, L-1, L-3, and L-4 helicopters, with a tail rotor blade (blade) with the following part number (P/N) and serial number (S/N) installed, certificated in any category.

Model 206A & B; Blade, P/N 206-016-201-133, S/N with prefix “CS” and no “V” suffixModel 206A, B, L, L-1, L-3, & L-4; Blade, P/N 206-016-201-131, S/N with prefix “CS” and no “V” suffix
1381 through 14427000 through 701810174 through 10218
1492 through 15177020 through 704310220
1520 through 15427045 through 705010232
15507052 through 713210235
15567134 through 724610237 through 10241
15607248 through 727010244
15627272 through 727710245
1564 through 15677279 through 733910248
1569 through 16067342 through 736810250 through 10264
1609778410266 through 10268
1611778610270 through 10274
1612778810276 through 10278
1614 through 16317790 through 779610280 through 10282
1633 through 16757798 through 781910284 through 10292
16777821 through 783310296
16787835 through 783910300 through 10330
1680 through 16827841 through 800110332
1684 through 17878003 through 802610333
1789 through 18038029 through 806110335 through 10347
1810 through 18128064 through 811710349
1814811910351 through 10359
18168121 through 813910363 through 10365
18208142 through 817610367
1823 through 18318178 through 826210373
1834 through 18368264 through 829410374
18388298 through 836810377 through 10385
1840 through 18448370 through 837510387 through 10408
18468378 through 841610410
1848 through 1882841910414 through 10417
1884 through 1887842110419 through 10427
1889 through 18938425 through 842810430
1896 through 18988430 through 843810432
1909 through 1912844310442 through 10445
19158445 through 844710458 through 10466
19168449 through 860610469
1919 through 19218608 through 862210470
Start Printed Page 891
19248624 through 862610474
1928 through 19318628 through 863210476 through 10478
19338635 through 865310480 through 10487
1934 through 19398655 through 868610489 through 10491
1943869010493 through 10495
19458692 through 870010497 through 10503
19478703 through 871510505 through 10588
19488717 through 872210591 through 10606
1952 through 19578724 through 874210608 through 10610
19608745 through 882810612 through 10620
1962 through 19658830 through 883510623
8838 through 884010624
8842 through 888110631 through 10655
8883 through 903210657 through 10669
9034 through 913910672
9141 through 919810673
920010676 through 10678
9202 through 930210680 through 10683
9304 through 933910685
9341 through 937110687
9373 through 941110689 through 10702
9415 through 941710712
9419 through 949610715
9498 through 958510730
9587 through 959410732 through 10734
9596 through 961810736
9621 through 962910738
9632 through 964210739
9645 through 965110746
9653 through 967310750
9675 through 970710756
9709 through 972410760
9727 through 973110761
9733 through 973510765
9737 through 973910770
9741 through 974810774 through 10776
9751 through 978510778
978810783 through 10785
9790 through 979210792
9795 through 984710794
9849 through 992810798
9930 through 993710799
9940 through 994210806 through 10808
9944 through 995210811
9955 through 997210814 through 10822
9974 through 998910824
9991 through 999510825
9997 through 1000410829
10006 through 1000910831
10013 through 1001810923
10021 through 1003010931
10036 through 1005710937
10061 through 1008210940
10090 through 1009210943
10094 through 1010010945
10102 through 1011410947
10123 through 1013410973
10136 through 1014010982
10142 through 1014410985
10146 through 1017210986


Required as indicated.

To prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, do the following:

(a) Before further flight, unless accomplished previously, and before installing any blade with a P/N and S/N listed in the applicability section of this AD, clean the blade. Using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect both sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in the area shown in Figure 1 of this AD.

Note 1:

Paint irregularities on the blade may indicate a crack.

Start Printed Page 892

(b) After doing paragraph (a) of this AD, at the following intervals, clean both sides of each blade and do either paragraph (1) or (2) as follows:

(1) At intervals not to exceed 12 hours time-in-service (TIS), using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect both sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in the area shown in Figure 1 of this AD, or

(2) Inspect and check both sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in the area shown in Figure 1 of this AD as follows:

(i) Using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect at intervals not to exceed 24 hours TIS, and

(ii) Check at intervals not to exceed 3 hours TIS between the inspections required by paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this AD. An owner/operator (pilot), holding at least a private pilot certificate, may perform this visual check and must enter compliance with this paragraph into the helicopter maintenance records by following 14 CFR sections 43.11 and 91.417(a)(2)(v).

(c) Before further flight, replace any blade that has a deformation, a crack, or a bent or deformed weight with an airworthy blade.

Note 2:

Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No. 206-04-100 for Model 206A and B and No. 206L-04-127 for Model 206L series, both Revision C, both dated March 5, 2005, pertain to the subject of this AD.

(d) On or before April 27, 2007, for any affected part-numbered blade with a S/N listed in the applicability section of this AD:

(1) Replace the blade with a blade that has a S/N other than one listed in the applicability section of this AD, or

(2) Replace the blade with a blade that has a S/N listed in the applicability section of this AD and also has a “V” suffix.

(e) Replacing each blade with an airworthy blade as required by paragraph (d) of this AD constitutes terminating action for the requirements of this AD.

(f) 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, ATTN: Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Guidance Group, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0111, telephone (817) 222-5122, fax (817) 222-5961, for information about previously approved alternative methods of compliance.

(g) This amendment becomes effective on February 13, 2007.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada (Canada) AD No. CF-2004-05R1, dated June 28, 2004.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 26, 2006.

David A. Downey,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-39 Filed 1-8-07; 8:45 am]