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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Turbomeca S.A. Arriel 2B, 2B1, and 2B1A 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 (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) provided by the aviation authority of France to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI states the following:

Several cases of Gas Generator Turbine (HP Turbine) blade rearward displacement have been detected during borescope inspection or in repair centre following engine disassembly. Two of them resulted in blade rubs between the rear face of the fir-tree roots and the rear bearing support cover. High HP blade rearward displacement can potentially result in blade release due to fatigue of the blade, which would cause an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown.

We are proposing this AD to prevent an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown which could result in an emergency autorotation landing or, at worst, an accident.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 8, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is the same as the Mail address provided in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher Spinney, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; e-mail: christopher.spinney@faa.gov; telephone (781) 238-7175; fax (781) 238-7199.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2007-28077; Directorate Identifier 2007-NE-27-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of the Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including, if provided, 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).

Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2007-0109, dated April 19, 2007 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The EASA AD states:

Several cases of Gas Generator Turbine (HP Turbine) blade rearward displacement have been detected during borescope inspection or in repair centre following engine disassembly. Two of them resulted in blade rubs between the rear face of the fir-tree roots and the rear bearing support cover.

High HP blade rearward displacement can potentially result in blade release due to fatigue of the blade, which would cause an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown.

The evaluation of this condition has prompted to require a periodic borescope inspection in order to detect HP blade rearward displacement. Additionally, in case displacement is found above the specified limit, removal of Module 03 is required.

You may obtain further information by examining the EASA AD in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Turbomeca S.A. has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 292 72 Start Printed Page 746622825, Original Issue, dated April 5, 2007. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the EASA AD.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of France, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA, and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. This proposed AD would require inspecting for HP blade rearward displacement.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 248 engines on helicopters of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per engine to perform the proposed actions and that the average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the proposed AD to U.S. operators to be $39,680. Our cost estimate is exclusive of possible warranty coverage.

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 determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD 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.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify 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. 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 regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

Turbomeca S.A.: Docket No. FAA-2007-28077; Directorate Identifier 2007-NE-20-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by January 8, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Turbomeca S.A. Arriel 2B, 2B1, and 2B1A turboshaft engines. These engines are installed on, but not limited to, Eurocopter AS 350 B3 and EC 130 B4 helicopters.

Reason

(d) Several cases of Gas Generator Turbine (HP Turbine) blade rearward displacement have been detected during borescope inspection or in repair centre following engine disassembly. Two of them resulted in blade rubs between the rear face of the fir-tree roots and the rear bearing support cover. High HP blade rearward displacement can potentially result in blade release due to fatigue of the blade, which would cause an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown.

We are issuing this AD to prevent an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown which could result in an emergency autorotation landing or, at worst, an accident.

Actions and Compliance

(e) Unless already done, do the following actions:

Initial Inspection

(1) Perform an initial HP turbine borescope inspection according to Turbomeca S.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 292 72 2825, dated April 5, 2007 as follows:

(i) For engines with fewer than 500 hours and 450 cycles since new or since the last HP turbine borescope inspection, inspect before reaching 600 hours or 500 cycles whichever occurs first. Replace HP turbine modules with rearward turbine blade displacement greater than 0.5 mm.

(ii) For the remaining engines, inspect within the next 100 hours. Replace HP turbine modules with rearward turbine blade displacement greater than 0.5 mm.

Repetitive Inspections

(2) Perform repetitive HP turbine borescope inspections according to Turbomeca S.A. MSB No. 292 72 2825, dated April 5, 2007:

(i) Within 600 hours or 500 cycles from the previous inspection, whichever occurs first, if the rearward displacement of the turbine blades was less than 0.2 mm. Replace HP turbine modules with rearward turbine blade displacement greater than 0.5 mm.

(ii) Within 100 hours of the previous inspection if the rearward displacement of the turbine blades was between 0.2 mm and 0.5 mm. Replace HP turbine modules with rearward turbine blade displacement greater than 0.5 mm.

(3) After each inspection, the compliance certificate must be sent to Turbomeca S.A. within 7 days, according to § 2.D(1)(c) of Turbomeca S.A. MSB No. 292 72 2825, dated April 5, 2007.

FAA AD Differences

(f) We modified the drawdown times to be more consistent with the compliance times.

Other FAA AD Provisions

(g) The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

(2) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

Related Information

(h) Refer to EASA Airworthiness Directive 2007-0109, dated April 19, 2007, and Turbomeca S.A. MSB No. 292 72 2825, dated April 5, 2007, for related information.

(i) Contact Christopher Spinney, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA Start Printed Page 7466301803; e-mail: christopher.spinney@faa.gov; telephone (781) 238-7175; fax (781) 238-7199, for more information about this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on December 2, 2008.

Peter A. White,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-29102 Filed 12-8-08; 8:45 am]

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