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Airworthiness Directives; Turbomeca Turmo IV A and IV C 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), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as:

During a maintenance inspection before the first flight of the day, an oil leak was found on an engine deck. A circumferential crack on the intermediate bearing return flexible pipe union (pipe part number 9 560 17 606 0) was identified as the origin of the leak. A similar oil pipe union crack was then reported at the same location on another engine, on the same pipe part number. This pipe part number was approved as Modification TU 233 in 2008.

Although such cracks have been detected and did not lead to an in-service event, the possibility exists that some additional cracks could occur and may not be detected before the potential complete rupture of the union.

We are issuing this AD to prevent a helicopter engine in-flight shutdown resulting in an emergency auto-rotation landing or accident.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective February 3, 2010.

We must receive comments on this AD by February 18, 2010.

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: 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.

Contact Turbomeca S.A., 40220 Tarnos, France; e-mail: noria-dallas@turbomeca.com; telephone 33 05 59 74 40 00, fax 33 05 59 74 45 15, or go to: http://www.turbomeca-support.com, for a copy of the service information identified in this AD.

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 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:

Kevin Dickert, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; e-mail: kevin.dickert@faa.gov; telephone (781) 238-7117; fax (781) 238-7199.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 2009-0261-E, dated December 18, 2009 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

During a maintenance inspection before the first flight of the day, an oil leak was found on an engine deck. A circumferential crack on the intermediate bearing return flexible pipe union (pipe part number 9 560 17 606 0) was identified as the origin of the leak. A similar oil pipe union crack was then reported at the same location on another engine, on the same pipe part number. This pipe part number was approved as Modification TU 233 in 2008.

Although such cracks have been detected and did not lead to an in-service event, the possibility exists that some additional cracks could occur and may not be detected before the potential complete rupture of the union.

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

Relevant Service Information

Turbomeca has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. A249 72 0809, Version A, dated December 15, 2009. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of EASA and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with EASA, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing 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 AD requires, for Turmo IV A and Turmo IV C engines that have incorporated Turbomeca Modification TU 233, initial and repetitive visual inspections for the absence of oil leakage or seepage from the unions of the intermediate bearing return flexible pipes.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because failures of the flexible pipe unions, which if not corrected, could lead to an in-flight engine shutdown and a forced autorotation landing or accident. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

Interim Actions

These actions are interim actions and we may take further rulemaking actions in the future.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2010-0009; Directorate Identifier 2010-NE-01-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of 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 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).

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 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.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify this AD:

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 AD and placed it in the AD docket.

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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, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends

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

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2010-02-08 Turbomeca: Amendment 39-16178; Docket No. FAA-2010-0009; Directorate Identifier 2010-NE-01-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective February 3, 2010.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Turbomeca Turmo IV A and IV C turboshaft engines that have incorporated Turbomeca Modification TU 233. These engines are installed on, but not limited to, Eurocopter SA 330F, G, or J PUMA helicopters.

Reason

(d) During a maintenance inspection before the first flight of the day, an oil leak was found on an engine deck. A circumferential crack on the intermediate bearing return flexible pipe union (pipe part number 9 560 17 606 0) was identified as the origin of the leak. A similar oil pipe union crack was then reported at the same location on another engine, on the same pipe part number. This pipe part number was approved as Modification TU 233 in 2008.

Although such cracks have been detected and did not lead to an in-service event, the possibility exists that some additional cracks could occur and may not be detected before the potential complete rupture of the union.

This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. We are issuing this AD to prevent a helicopter engine in-flight shutdown resulting in an emergency auto-rotation landing or accident.Start Printed Page 2789

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Before the next flight after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter daily after the last flight of the day until further notice, visually inspect for absence of oil leakage or seepage from both unions of the intermediate bearing return flexible pipes, part number 9 560 17 606 0.

(2) If any oil leakage or seepage is found, disassemble the pipe and visually inspect the unions.

(3) If no crack is found, re-install the pipe.

(4) If any crack is found, remove the pipe from service and replace it.

(5) The actions required by paragraph (e)(1) of this AD may be performed by the owner/operator holding at least a private pilot certificate, and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9 and 91.417(a)(2)(v).

FAA AD Differences

(f) None.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g) 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.

Related Information

(h) Refer to MCAI Airworthiness Directive 2009-0261-E, dated December 18, 2009, and Turbomeca Alert Mandatory Service Bulletin No. A249 72 0809, Version A, dated December 15, 2009, for related information. Contact Turbomeca S.A., 40220 Tarnos, France; e-mail: noria-dallas@turbomeca.com; telephone 33 05 59 74 40 00, fax 33 05 59 74 45 15, or go to: http://www.turbomeca-support.com, for a copy of this service information.

(i) Contact Kevin Dickert, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; e-mail: kevin.dickert@faa.gov; telephone (781) 238-7117; fax (781) 238-7199, for more information about this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(j) None.

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Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on January 12, 2010.

Peter A. White,

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

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[FR Doc. 2010-758 Filed 1-15-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P