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Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited 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 certain serial numbered Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (BHTC) Model 429 helicopters. This AD requires marking a serial number on life-limited forward spars and actuator fitting assemblies. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 16, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of August 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/​files/​. You may review 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-2017-0757.

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-2017-0757; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the Transport Canada Civil Aviation (Transport Canada) AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Helene Gandy, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations & Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5413; email helene.gandy@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On January 26, 2018, at 83 FR 3628, 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 Bell Model 429 helicopters, serial number (S/N) 57150, 57168, 57176, 57210 through 57216, 57265, 57266, 57267, and 57287, with a forward spar part number (P/N) 429-031-213-103 or 429-031-213-104 or actuator fitting assembly P/N 429-031-222-101 or 429-031-222-102 installed.

The NPRM proposed to require marking a serial number on life-limited forward spars and actuator fitting assemblies. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent the forward spar or actuator fitting assembly from remaining in service after reaching its life limit. This condition could result in failure of a forward spar or actuator fitting assembly and subsequent collapse of the landing gear.

The NPRM was prompted by AD No. CF-2017-02, dated January 16, 2017, issued by Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Model 429 helicopters, S/N 57150, 57168, 57176, 57210, 57211 through 57216, 57265, 57266, 57267, and 57287. Transport Canada advises that forward spars P/N 429-031-213-103 and 429-031-213-104 and actuator fitting assembly P/N 429-031-222-101 and 429-031-222-102 have life limits of 30,000 and 19,000 Retirement Index Numbers, respectively. However, Transport Canada states these parts are not serialized, and therefore their accumulated usage is difficult to track, which creates a risk that these parts could remain in service beyond their life limits. This condition could result in failure of the part.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM.

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Canada and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the Transport Canada AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by Transport Canada and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Differences Between This AD and the Transport Canada AD

The Transport Canada AD requires compliance within 12 months from its effective date, unless already accomplished. This AD requires compliance within 800 hours time-in-service.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429-16-34, dated November 10, 2016, which specifies Start Printed Page 32202procedures for permanently marking each forward spar and actuator fitting assembly with the serial number of the helicopter.

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 Bell Helicopter Model 429 Maintenance Manual BHT-429-MM-1, Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations Schedule, Revision 26, dated September 9, 2016, which specifies airworthiness life limits and inspection intervals for parts installed on Model 429 helicopters.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 6 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. We estimate that marking the forward spars and actuator fitting assemblies requires 1 work-hour, and no parts are needed. Based on these estimates, we expect a total cost of $85 per helicopter and $510 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 helicopters 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;

(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:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

End Part Start Amendment Part

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 airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

2018-14-07 Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited: Amendment 39-19327; Docket No. FAA-2017-0757; Product Identifier 2017-SW-022-AD.

(a) Applicability

This AD applies to Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Model 429 helicopters, serial number (S/N) 57150, 57168, 57176, 57210 through 57216, 57265, 57266, 57267, and 57287, with a forward spar part number (P/N) 429-031-213-103 or 429-031-213-104 or actuator fitting assembly P/N 429-031-222-101 or 429-031-222-102 installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as a forward spar or actuator fitting assembly remaining in service after reaching its life limit. This condition could result in failure of a forward spar or actuator fitting assembly and subsequent collapse of the landing gear.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective August 16, 2018.

(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

(1) Within 800 hours time-in-service, clean and identify each forward spar and actuator fitting assembly with the helicopter serial number in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 3 through 5 and with reference to Figure 1 of Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429-16-34, dated November 10, 2016.

(2) After the effective date of this AD, do not install a forward spar P/N 429-031-213-103 or 429-031-213-104 or actuator fitting assembly P/N 429-031-222-101 or 429-031-222-102 on any helicopter unless it has been marked with a serial number in accordance with paragraph (e)(1) of this AD.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Helene Gandy, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations & Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5413; email 9-ASW-FTW-AMOC-Requests@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.

(g) Additional Information

(1) Bell Helicopter Model 429 Maintenance Manual BHT-429-MM-1, Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations Schedule, Revision 26, dated September 9, 2016, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/​files/​. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada AD No. CF-2017-02, dated January 16, 2017. You may view the Transport Canada AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2017-0757.

(h) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 1100, Placards and Markings.

(i) 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) Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429-16-34, dated November 10, 2016.Start Printed Page 32203

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/​files/​.

(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 June 1, 2018.

James A. Grigg,

Acting Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-14701 Filed 7-11-18; 8:45 am]

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