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Airworthiness Directives; Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Helicopters

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky) Start Printed Page 71592Model S-92A helicopters. This AD requires altering the fire bottle inertia switch wiring and performing a cartridge functional test of the fire extinguishing system. This AD was prompted by the inadvertent tripping of inertia-switches that has led to unintentional discharging of the fire bottles, leaving the helicopter's auxiliary power unit and engines without fire protection. The actions are intended to prevent unintentional and undetected fire bottle discharges and subsequent unavailability of fire suppression in case of a fire.

DATES:

This AD is effective November 22, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of November 22, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Customer Service Engineering, 124 Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611; telephone 1-800-Winged-S or 203-416-4299; email wcs_cust_service_eng.gr-sik@lmco.com. You may review a copy of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6640.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6640; 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, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kris Greer, Aviation Safety Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781) 238-7799; email kristopher.greer@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On May 13, 2016, at 81 FR 29817, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain serial-numbered Sikorsky Model S-92A helicopters. Sikorsky has informed us that the inadvertent tripping of inertia switches has caused several engine and auxiliary power unit fire bottle discharges during taxi, flight, and landing operations. Because these discharges are undetected, the fire bottles remain unavailable in the event of a fire.

The NPRM proposed to require altering the fire bottle inertia switch wiring to disable the automatic feature of the fire extinguishing system and performing a cartridge functional test. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent an unintentional and undetected fire bottle discharge and subsequent unavailability of fire suppression in the event of a fire.

Since the NPRM was issued, the email address for Sikorsky has changed. We have revised this email address throughout this final rule.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM.

FAA's Determination

We have reviewed the relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Sikorsky Alert Service Bulletin 92-26-005A, Revision A, dated June 27, 2014 (ASB 92-26-005A). ASB 92-26-005A specifies performing a one-time alteration of the fire bottle inertia switch wiring to disable the automatic actuation feature of the fire extinguishing system. ASB 92-26-005A includes figures that depict the wiring and electrical connector pin changes.

This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Other Related Service Information

We also reviewed Sikorsky Alert Service Bulletin 92-26-005, Basic Issue, dated June 18, 2014 (ASB 92-26-005). ASB 92-26-005 contains the same procedures as ASB 92-26-005A. However, ASB 92-26-005A contains an additional figure.

Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

This AD has a compliance date within 90 days, and the service information has a calendar date, which has already passed. This AD does not require performing a cartridge functional test prior to alteration. The service information does specify performing a cartridge functional test prior to alteration.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 80 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

We estimate that operators may incur the following costs to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Altering the fire bottle switch and performing a cartridge functional test will take about 2 work-hours. No parts are needed for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $13,600 for the U.S. fleet.

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

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 that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;Start Printed Page 71593

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

(4) 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 and placed it in the AD docket.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
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:

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

2016-21-02 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation: Amendment 39-18683; Docket No. FAA-2016-6640; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-084-AD.

(a) Applicability

This AD applies to Model S-92A helicopters, serial number 920006 through 920250, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as inadvertent tripping of a fire bottle inertia-switch. This condition results in an unintentional and undetected fire bottle discharge and subsequent unavailability of fire suppression in the event of a fire.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective November 22, 2016.

(d) Compliance

You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

(e) Required Actions

Within 90 days:

(1) Alter each fire bottle inertia switch by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B., of Sikorsky Alert Service Bulletin 92-26-005A, Revision A, dated June 27, 2014.

(2) Perform a cartridge functional test.

(f) Credit for Actions Previously Completed

Compliance with Sikorsky Alert Service Bulletin 92-26-005, Basic Issue, dated June 18, 2014, before the effective date of this AD is considered acceptable for compliance with the actions specified in paragraph (e) of this AD.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Kris Greer, Aviation Safety Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, Engine & Propeller Directorate,1200 District Avenue, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781) 238-7799; email kristopher.greer@faa.gov.

(2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(h) Additional Information

Sikorsky Alert Service Bulletin 92-26-005, Basic Issue, dated June 18, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this final rule. For service information identified in this final rule, contact Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Customer Service Engineering, 124 Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611; telephone 1-800-Winged-S or 203-416-4299; email wcs_cust_service_eng.gr-sik@lmco.com. You may review a copy of this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(i) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2621 Fire Bottle, Fixed.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Sikorsky Alert Service Bulletin 92-26-005A, Revision A, dated June 27, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For Sikorsky service information identified in this final rule, contact Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Customer Service Engineering, 124 Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611; telephone 1-800-Winged-S or 203-416-4299; email wcs_cust_service_eng.gr-sik@lmco.com.

(4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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 Fort Worth, Texas, on October 3, 2016.

Lance T. Gant,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-24738 Filed 10-17-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P