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Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Model 427 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

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

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:

Tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket part number (P/N) 427-044-223-101 has been found cracked due to fatigue. It has been determined that the fatigue cracking was initiated by a tooling mark left during manufacture.

The existence of tooling marks on the bracket could lead to bracket failure, loss of tail rotor drive and, consequently, loss of control of the helicopter.

We are issuing this AD to require actions to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective April 14, 2011.

On April 14, 2011, the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone: (817) 280-2011; fax: (817) 280-2321; or at http://www.bellhelicopter.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sharon Miles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone: (817) 222-5122; fax: (817) 222-5961.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 30, 2010 (75 FR 52912). That NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

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Tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket part number (P/N) 427-044-223-101 has been found cracked due to fatigue. It has been determined that the fatigue cracking was initiated by a tooling mark left during manufacture.

The existence of tooling marks on the bracket could lead to bracket failure, loss of tail rotor drive and, consequently, loss of control of the helicopter.

The MCAI requires you to rework the tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI or Service Information

We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in general, agree with their substance. But we might have found it necessary to use different words from those in the MCAI to ensure the AD is clear for U.S. operators and is enforceable. In making these changes, we do not intend to differ substantively from the information provided in the MCAI and related service information.

We might also have required different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a Note within the AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 30 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD to the U.S. operators to be $10,200 or $340 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would require parts costing $5,034, for a cost of $5,034 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

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 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.

Examining the AD Docket

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

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

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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.

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

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

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2011-03-03 Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited: Amendment 39-16586; Docket No. FAA-2010-0866; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-065-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective April 14, 2011.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Model 427 helicopters, all serial numbers (SNs), certificated in any category.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 65: Tail Rotor Drive.

Reason

(e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states:

Tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket part number (P/N) 427-044-223-101 has been found cracked due to fatigue. It has been determined that the fatigue cracking was initiated by a tooling mark left during manufacture.

The existence of tooling marks on the bracket could lead to bracket failure, loss of tail rotor drive and, consequently, loss of control of the helicopter.

The MCAI requires you to rework the tail rotor driveshaft hanger bearing bracket.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Applicable to SNs 56001 through 56073, and 56077: Within 30 days after April 14, 2011 (the effective date of this AD), inspect both sides of the hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, for cracks following Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009.

(i) If no cracks are found during the inspection required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight, rework both sides of the hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, following Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009.

(ii) If cracks are found during the inspection required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight, replace the hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, with a new hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, that has been reworked following Bell Helicopter Start Printed Page 13063Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009.

(2) Applicable to all SNs: As of April 14, 2011 (the effective date of this AD), you may not install replacement tail rotor driveshaft hanger bracket, P/N 427-044-223-101, unless the bracket has been inspected and found free of cracks and has been reworked following Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009.

FAA AD Differences

Note:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: No differences.

Other FAA AD Provisions

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

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Sharon Miles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone: (817) 222-5122; fax: (817) 222-5961. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, a federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

Related Information

(h) Refer to MCAI Transport Canada AD No. CF-2010-17, dated June 2, 2010; and Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009, for related information.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(i) You must use Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-09-29, REV A, dated November 17, 2009, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone: (817) 280-2011; fax: (817) 280-2321; or at http://www.bellhelicopter.com.

(3) You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816-329-4148.

(4) You may also review copies of the service information incorporated by reference for this AD 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/​code_​of_​federal_​regulations/​ibr_​locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 13, 2011.

Kim Smith,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-4468 Filed 3-9-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P