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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited Helicopters

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 505 helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by three occurrences of metallic debris in the engine oil lubrication system causing the 12 volts direct current (VDC) reference voltage to be shorted to ground and loss of important flight information to the pilot. This proposed AD would require replacing a certain part-numbered relay panel assembly. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2021.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bell Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4, Canada; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may view this service information at the 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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0377; 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 NPRM, the Transport Canada AD, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; email hal.jensen@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2021-0377; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00380-R” at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposal because of those comments.

Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM.

Confidential Business Information

CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as “PROPIN.” The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this Start Printed Page 28039NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; email hal.jensen@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Background

Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian AD CF-2017-36, dated December 15, 2017 (Canadian AD CF-2017-36), to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (BHTCL) (now Bell Textron Canada Limited) Model 505 helicopters serial numbers 65011 through 65023, 65025 through 65028, 65030 through 65032, 65034, and 65036. Transport Canada advises of three occurrences of metallic debris in the engine oil lubrication system of the Model 505 helicopter causing the Garmin Engine Airframe (GEA) 12 VDC reference voltage to be shorted to ground. This short to ground results in loss of display of important flight information including the main rotor rotations per minute (Nr), fuel quantity, and transmission oil pressure and temperature, and the generator voltage and ammeter parameters are marked invalid with a red “X” on the primary flight display (PFD) and the multi-function display (MFD). This condition, if not addressed, could result in loss of caution, advisory, and system performance indications for multiple helicopter systems, particularly when the initiating event may be the activation of the engine chip detector.

Accordingly, Canadian AD CF-2017-36 requires replacing relay panel assembly part number (P/N) SLS-075-002-107 with relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-109.

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 the FAA's bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its technical representative, has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type design.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 505-17-04, dated December 6, 2017 (ASB 505-17-04). ASB 505-17-04 specifies procedures for replacing relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-107 with relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-109. ASB 505-17-04 also specifies procedures for accomplishing a functional test of the two engine electrical magnetic plugs and provides a notice to ensure 505-FM-1 (TR-2) is inserted into the flight manual.

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.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would require replacing relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-107 with relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-109.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD

Canadian AD CF-2017-36 requires replacing the relay panel assembly within 25 hours air time or 30 days, whichever occurs first, whereas this proposed AD would require that replacement within 25 hours time-in-service instead. Canadian AD CF-2017-36 applies to certain serial-numbered Model 505 helicopters, where as this proposed AD would apply to certain serial-numbered Model 505 helicopters with relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-107 installed instead.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 3 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour.

Replacing each relay panel assembly would take about 3 work-hours and parts would cost $7,079 for an estimated cost of $7,334 per helicopter and $22,002 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.

The FAA is 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

The FAA 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, I certify this proposed regulation:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

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

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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

Bell Textron Canada Limited: Docket No. FAA-2021-0377; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00380-R.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by July 9, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

None.Start Printed Page 28040

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 505 helicopters, certificated in any category, with serial numbers 65011 through 65023 inclusive, 65025 through 65028 inclusive, 65030 through 65032 inclusive, 65034, and 65036 with relay panel assembly part number (P/N) SLS-075-002-107 installed.

Note 1 to paragraph (c):

Helicopters with serial numbers (S/Ns) 65011 through 65023 inclusive, 65025 through 65028 inclusive, 65030 through 65032 inclusive, 65034, and 65036 are known to have had relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-107 installed during production.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 3110, Instrument Panel.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by three occurrences of metallic debris in the engine oil lubrication system causing a short to ground within the engine chip detector. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the 12 volts direct current (VDC) reference voltage, loss of display of important flight information to the pilot including the main rotor rotations per minute (Nr), fuel quantity, and transmission oil pressure and temperature, and the generator voltage and ammeter parameters as marked invalid with a red “X” on the primary flight display (PFD) and the multi-function display (MFD). The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in simultaneous loss of caution, advisory, and system performance indicators for multiple systems.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Required Actions

(1) Within 25 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD, replace relay panel assembly part number P/N SLS-075-002-107 with relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-109 by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 1.a. through 3, of Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 505-17-04, dated December 6, 2017.

(2) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install relay panel assembly P/N SLS-075-002-107 on any helicopter.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(i) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; email hal.jensen@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4, Canada; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may view this referenced service information at the 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.

(3) The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada AD CF-2017-36, dated December 15, 2017. You may view the Transport Canada AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2021-0377;.

Start Signature

Issued on May 19, 2021.

Gaetano A. Sciortino,

Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-10909 Filed 5-24-21; 8:45 am]

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