[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 169 (Thursday, August 30, 2001)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 45753-45754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-21748]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. 2001-SW-22-AD; Amendment 39-12425; AD 2001-17-33]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Agusta Model AB412 Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
Agusta Model AB412 helicopters. This action prohibits use of the hoist 
until certain modifications are accomplished. This amendment is 
prompted by the loss of a hoist hook during flight due to an 
uncommanded firing of the cable cutter cartridge caused by wire 
chafing. The actions specified in this AD are intended to prevent wire 
chafing, inadvertent firing of the cable cutter cartridge, loss of a 
hoist hook and section of cable, impact with the main or tail rotor, 
and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES: Effective September 14, 2001.
    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in 
the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as 
of September 14, 2001.
    Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or 
before October 29, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA), Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 
Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-SW-22-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 
663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. You may also send comments electronically 
to the Rules Docket at the following address: 9-asw-adcomments@faa.gov.
    The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from 
Agusta, 21017 Cascina Costa di Samarate (VA) Italy, Via Giovanni Agusta 
520, telephone 39 (0331) 229111, fax 39 (0331) 229605-222595. This 
information may be examined at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or 
at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., 
suite 700, Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert McCallister, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Fort 
Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5121, fax (817) 222-5961.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile 
(ENAC), the airworthiness authority for Italy, notified the FAA that an 
unsafe condition may exist on Agusta Model AB412 helicopters. ENAC 
advises that they have issued an AD that requires compliance with 
Agusta Alert Bollettino Tecnico 412-83, Revision A, dated December 29, 
2000 (ABT). The ABT specifies, before further flight, removing the 
hoist cable cutter cartridge and subsequently inspecting/modifying the 
hoist cable cut harness. ENAC classified this ABT as mandatory and 
issued AD 2001-001, dated January 2, 2001, to ensure the continued 
airworthiness of these helicopters in Italy.
    This helicopter model is manufactured in Italy and is type 
certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of 
14 CFR 21.29 and the applicable bilateral agreement. Pursuant to this 
bilateral agreement, the ENAC has kept the FAA informed of the 
situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the 
ENAC, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action 
is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for 
operation in the United States.
    We have identified an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or 
develop on other Agusta Model AB412 helicopters of the same type design 
registered in the United States. Therefore, this AD is being issued to 
prevent wire chafing, inadvertent firing of the cable cutter cartridge, 
loss of a hoist hook and section of cable, cable impact with the main 
or tail rotor, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. The 
actions must be accomplished in accordance with the ABT described 
previously.
    None of the Model AB412 helicopters affected by this action are on 
the U.S. Register. All helicopters included in the applicability of 
this rule are currently operated by non-U.S. operators under foreign 
registry; therefore, they are not directly affected by this AD action. 
However, the FAA considers that this rule is necessary to ensure that 
the unsafe condition is addressed in the event that any of these 
helicopters are imported and placed on the U.S. Register in the future.
    Should an affected helicopter be imported and placed on the U.S. 
Register in the future, it would require approximately 2 work hours to 
accomplish the required actions, at an average labor rate of $60 per 
work hour.

[[Page 45754]]

Required parts would be negligible because the materials are common 
stock. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this AD would be $120 
per helicopter.
    Since this AD action does not affect any helicopter that is 
currently on the U.S. register, it has no adverse economic impact and 
imposes no additional burden on any person. Therefore, notice and 
public procedures hereon are unnecessary and the amendment may be made 
effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal 
Register.

Comments Invited

    Although this action is in the form of a final rule that involves 
requirements affecting flight safety and, thus, was not preceded by 
notice and an opportunity for public comment, comments are invited on 
this rule. Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by 
submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. 
Communications should identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted 
in triplicate to the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. All 
communications received on or before the closing date for comments will 
be considered, and this rule may be amended in light of the comments 
received. Factual information that supports the commenter's ideas and 
suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the 
AD action and determining whether additional rulemaking action would be 
needed.
    Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the rule that might 
suggest a need to modify the rule. All comments submitted will be 
available in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A 
report that summarizes each FAA-public contact concerned with the 
substance of this AD will be filed in the Rules Docket.
    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their mailed 
comments submitted in response to this rule must submit a self-
addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: 
``Comments to Docket No. 2001-SW-22-AD.'' The postcard will be date 
stamped and returned to the commenter.
    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.
    The FAA has determined that notice and prior public comment are 
unnecessary in promulgating this regulation; therefore, it can be 
issued immediately to correct an unsafe condition in aircraft since 
none of these model helicopters are registered in the United States. 
The FAA has also determined that this regulation is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866. It has been determined 
further that this action involves an emergency regulation under DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). If 
it is determined that this emergency regulation otherwise would be 
significant under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures, a final 
regulatory evaluation will be prepared and placed in the Rules Docket. 
A copy of it, if filed, may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the 
location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 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 adding a new airworthiness directive 
to read as follows:

2001-17-33  Agusta: Amendment 39-12425. Docket No. 2001-SW-22-AD.

    Applicability: Model AB412 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 as indicated, unless accomplished 
previously.
    To prevent wire chafing, inadvertent firing of the cable cutter 
cartridge, loss of a hoist hook and section of cable, impact with 
the main or tail rotor, and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter, accomplish the following:
    (a) Before operating the hoist or within 60 days, whichever 
occurs first, inspect and modify the wire harness in accordance with 
the Accomplishment Instructions of Agusta Alert Bollettino Tecnico 
412-83, Revision A, dated December 29, 2000, which constitutes 
terminating action for the requirements of this AD. Hoist operations 
allowed by the note in the Accomplishment Instructions utilizing a 
manual cable cutter are not authorized.
    (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 2: 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 14 
CFR 21.197 and 21.199 to operate the helicopter without any hoist 
operation to a location where the requirements of this AD can be 
accomplished.
    (d) The inspection and modification shall be done in accordance 
with the Accomplishment Instructions (except the note is not 
required by this AD) of Alert Bollettino Technico 412-83, Revision 
A, dated December 29, 2000. This incorporation by reference was 
approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 
5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from 
Agusta, 21017 Cascina Costa di Samarate (VA) Italy, Via Giovanni 
Agusta 520, telephone 39 (0331) 229111, fax 39 (0331) 229605-222595. 
Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; 
or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, 
NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.
    (e) This amendment becomes effective September 14, 2001.

    Note 3: The subject of this AD is addressed in Ente Nazionale 
per l'Aviazione Civile (Italy) AD 2001-001, dated January 2, 2001.


    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on August 17, 2001.
Eric Bries,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 01-21748 Filed 8-29-01; 8:45 am]
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