[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 109 (Tuesday, June 6, 2000)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 35819-35822]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-14194]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. 99-SW-62-AD; Amendment 39-11766; AD 2000-11-18]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model SA-365C, C1, 
C2, N, and N1; AS-365N2 and N3; and SA-366G1 Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive 
(AD) that applies to Eurocopter France Model SA-365C, C1, C2, N, and 
N1; AS-365N2, and SA-366G1 helicopters. That AD currently requires 
inspecting the tightening torque of the main rotor hub blade attach 
beam spherical thrust bearing bolts (bolts) and either applying a 
specified torque or, if necessary, inspecting for a crack in the metal 
components. That AD also requires replacing the spherical thrust 
bearing (bearing) with an airworthy bearing if a crack is found. This 
amendment requires the same actions as the existing AD, but adds the 
Eurocopter France Model AS-365N3 helicopter to the applicability. This 
amendment is prompted by reports of cracks in the metal components of 
the bearing attachment joint and the need to add the Eurocopter France 
Model AS-365N3 helicopter to the applicability. The actions specified 
by this AD are intended to prevent loosening of bearing bolts in 
flight, which may cause cracks in the metal components, failure of the 
bearing, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 11, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Madej, Aviation Safety Engineer, 
FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations Group, 2601 Meacham Blvd., 
Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-5125, fax (817) 222-5961.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal 
Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) by superseding AD 99-21-24, 
Amendment 39-11369 (64 FR 55621, October 14, 1999), which applies to 
Eurocopter France Model SA-365C, C1, C2, N, and N1; AS-365N2, and SA-
366G1 helicopters, was published in the Federal Register on February 
29, 2000 (65 FR 10727). That action proposed to require requires the 
same actions as the existing AD, but adds the Eurocopter

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France Model AS-365N3 helicopter to the applicability.
    Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate 
in the making of this amendment. No comments were received on the 
proposal or the FAA's determination of the cost to the public. The FAA 
has determined that air safety and the public interest require the 
adoption of the rule as proposed.
    The FAA estimates that 101 helicopters of U.S. registry will be 
affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 0.5 work hour per 
helicopter and approximately 3,000 inspections per helicopter over the 
life of the fleet to accomplish the required actions, and that the 
average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts will cost 
approximately $3,000 per helicopter. Based on these figures, the total 
cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $9,123,000, 
assuming 11 ship sets of bearings are replaced on the fleet.
    The regulations adopted herein 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. Therefore, it 
is determined that this final rule does not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action: (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. A final evaluation has been prepared for this action 
and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained 
from the Rules Docket at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of 
the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

    1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec. 39.13  [Amended]

    2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing Amendment 39-11369 (64 FR 
55621, October 14, 1999), and by adding a new airworthiness directive 
(AD), Amendment 39-11766, to read as follows:

2000-11-18  Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-11766. Docket No. 99-SW-
62--AD. Supersedes AD 99-21-24, Amendment 39-11369, Docket No. 98-
SW-75-AD.

    Applicability: Eurocopter France Model SA-365C, C1, C2, N, and 
N1; AS-365N2 and N3; and SA-366G1 helicopters, certificated in any 
category.

    Note 1: This AD applies to each helicopter identified in the 
preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been 
otherwise modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the 
requirements of this AD. For helicopters that have been modified, 
altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of 
this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an 
alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (b) of 
this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of 
the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition 
addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been 
eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to 
address it.

    Compliance: Required within 550 hours time-in-service (TIS), 
unless accomplished previously, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 550 hours TIS.
    To prevent loosening of the main rotor hub blade attach beam 
spherical thrust bearing bolts (bolts), cracks in the metal 
components, failure of a spherical thrust bearing (bearing), and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the 
following:
    (a) Inspect the tightening torque of the bolts as indicated by 
``A'' in Figure 1.
    (1) If tightening torque is equal to or less than 12 m.daN (88.4 
lb-ft), remove the bearing and conduct a dye penetrant inspection 
for cracks on the two contact surfaces identified as ``H'' in Figure 
1.
    (i) If a crack is detected, replace the bearing with an 
airworthy bearing.
    (ii) If no crack is detected, reinstall the bearing.

    Note 2: Eurocopter France Service Bulletins 05.22, 05.24, and 
05.00.39, all dated July 17, 1998, pertain to the subject of this 
AD.

    (2) If the tightening torque is greater than 12 m.daN (88.4 lb-
ft), then tighten the torque to 19-22 m.daN (140-162.2 lb-ft).

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    (b) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the 
compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be 
used if approved by the Manager, Regulations Group, Rotorcraft 
Directorate, FAA. Operators shall submit their requests through an 
FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may concur or comment and 
then send it to the Manager, Regulations Group.

    Note 3: Information concerning the existence of approved 
alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be 
obtained from the Regulations Group.

    (c) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with 
Secs. 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 
21.197 and 21.199) to operate the helicopter to a location where the 
requirements of this AD can be accomplished.
    (d) This amendment becomes effective on July 11, 2000.

    Note 4: The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction 
Generale De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD's 98-383-044(A) for the 
Model SA-365C, 98-382-024-(A) for the Model SA-366, and 98-384-
047(A) for the Model AS-365N helicopters. These AD's are all dated 
September 23, 1998.


    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 26, 2000.
Eric Bries,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 00-14194 Filed 6-5-00; 8:45 am]
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