[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 210 (Monday, October 31, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67051-67054]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-27769]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2011-1041; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-109-AD; 
Amendment 39-16821; AD 2010-26-52]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. Model 
204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B, 210, 212, 412, 412CF, 412EP Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are publishing in the Federal Register an amendment which 
was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators that 
supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for the specified 
Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHT) Model helicopters with certain tail 
rotor blades (blades). The superseded AD requires, before further 
flight, replacing certain blades with airworthy blades. This AD retains 
the requirements of the superseded AD but adds new blade part numbers 
(P/Ns) and serial numbers (S/Ns) to the applicability. This AD was 
prompted by another incident in which the blade tip weight separated 
from a blade during flight, causing vibration. This incident led to the 
determination that additional blades could be affected, and should be 
added to the applicability. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of 
the blade tip weight, loss of a blade, and subsequent loss of control 
of the helicopter.

DATES: This AD is effective November 15, 2011 to all persons except 
those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 
2010-26-52, issued on December 10, 2010, which contained the 
requirements of this amendment.
    We must receive comments on this AD by December 30, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://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 above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell 
Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101, telephone 
(817) 280-3391, fax (817) 280-6466, or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov, 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, the regulatory evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
the Docket Operations Office (telephone: 1 (800) 647-5527) is in the

[[Page 67052]]

ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly 
after receipt.
    You may review copies of the referenced service information at the 
FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham 
Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas during normal business hours.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin R. Crane, Aerospace Engineer, 
FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 
Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5170; fax 
(817) 222-5783; email: 7-AVS-ASW-170@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    We are publishing in the Federal Register an amendment adopting 
Emergency AD 2010-26-52, issued December 10, 2010 (EAD 2010-26-52), 
which was sent to all known owners and operators of BHT Model 204B, 
205A, 205A-1, 205B, 210, 212, 412, 412CF, and 412EP helicopters with 
certain blades installed. EAD 2010-26-52 supersedes AD 2007-19-53, 
Amendment 39-15265 (72 FR 65224, November 20, 2007) issued October 31, 
2007 (AD 2007-19-53). AD 2007-19-53 required, before further flight, 
replacing certain blades with airworthy blades. That action was 
prompted by three reports of blade tip weights being slung from the 
blades during flights, causing significant vibration. We issued AD 
2007-19-53 on a limited number of blades to address this unsafe 
condition, which could result in the loss of the blade tip weight, loss 
of a blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Actions Since AD was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2007-19-53, another incident occurred in which 
the blade tip weight separated from a blade during flight, causing 
vibration. This incident led to the determination that additional 
blades could be affected and these blade numbers should be added to the 
applicability section of the AD. We issued superseding EAD 2010-26-52 
which retains the same requirements of AD 2007-19-53, but adds new 
blade P/Ns and S/Ns to the applicability.

Relevant Service Information

    We have reviewed the following revised BHT Alert Service Bulletins 
(ASBs), all dated November 22, 2010 except for ASB No. 204-07-61. Each 
ASB contains a Rotor Blades Inc. (RBI) letter that adds blade P/Ns and 
S/Ns to the RBI list.
     No. 204-07-61, Revision A, dated September 19, 2007, for 
Model 204 helicopters;
     No. 205-07-95, Revision B, for Model 205 helicopters;
     No. 205B-07-46, Revision B, for Model 205B helicopters;
     No. 212-07-125, Revision B, for Model 212 helicopters;
     No. 412CF-07-30, Revision B, for Model 412CF helicopters;
     No. 412-07-123, Revision B, for Model 412 and 412EP 
helicopters.

FAA's Determination

    We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all relevant 
information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is 
likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type 
designs. We have also determined that Emergency AD 2010-26-52 contained 
an incorrect Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) number for the Model 412CF 
helicopters in the preamble discussion. Therefore, we are making a 
change to this AD to correct the ASB number. We have also made other 
minor editorial changes to this AD, including reorganizing the 
Applicability table. We have determined that these changes do not 
increase the economic burden on any AD operator nor do they increase 
the scope of the AD.

AD Requirements

    This AD requires, before further flight, unless already 
accomplished, replacing any affected blade with an airworthy blade. An 
airworthy blade is one that has a P/N and S/N not included in the 
Applicability section of this AD. Affected blades are those having a P/
N and S/N as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Part No.                            Serial No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
204-011-702-015...........................  AFS-12703, AFS-12893, AFS-
                                             23525, or AFS-23573.
204-011-702-121...........................  A-22020.
212-010-750-105...........................  *A-11923.
212-010-750-105FM.........................  A-10090, A-10836, *A-10857,
                                             A-11207, A-11332, *A-11617,
                                             *A-11828, *A-12043, or *A-
                                             12091.
212-010-750-113...........................  A-14953, A-15090, or CS-
                                             12702.
212-010-750-113FM.........................  A-12240, *A-12286, A-12296,
                                             *A-12398, A-12640, A-12670,
                                             A-12789, A-13033, *A-13088,
                                             A-13096, *A-13106, A-13134,
                                             A-13199, A-13264, A-13366,
                                             or *A-13539.
212-010-750-133...........................  A-15602.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The * indicates the newly added serial-numbered blades.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD. The short compliance time of before further flight justifies 
waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because the 
unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on 
other helicopters of the same type designs. Therefore, we find that 
notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and 
that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 
30 days.

Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight 
safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public 
comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or 
arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under 
the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2011-1041 and 
Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-109-AD at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will 
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this 
AD because of those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We 
will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we 
receive about this AD.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 265 helicopters of U.S. registry. 
We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

[[Page 67053]]



                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Cost per      Cost on U.S.
                Action                         Labor cost           Parts cost      helicopter       operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspect for S/N affectivity...........  2.0 hrs x $85 hr = $170.             $ 0            $170         $45,050
Remove and replace blade..............  6.0 hrs x $85 hr = $510.          38,000          38,510       1,347,850
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This cost estimate is based on the assumption that all affected 
helicopters will be inspected, and 35 helicopters will have a blade 
replaced. The manufacturer has indicated that some of the costs 
associated with this AD may be covered under a warranty program, but 
this AD has not considered this warranty program when calculating total 
costs on U.S. operators.

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,
    (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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR Part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
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]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2010-26-52 Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.: Amendment 39-16821; Docket 
No. FAA-2011-1041; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-109-AD; Supersedes 
AD 2007-19-53, Amendment 39-15265, Docket No. FAA-2007-0180, 
Directorate Identifier 2007-SW-37-AD.

Effective Date

    (a) This AD is effective November 15, 2011 to all persons except 
those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency 
AD 2010-26-52, issued on December 10, 2010, which contained the 
requirements of this amendment.

Other Affected ADs

    (b) This AD supersedes AD 2007-19-53 (72 FR 65224, November 20, 
2007).

Applicability

    (c) Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B, 210, 212, 412, 412CF, and 
412EP helicopters, certificated in any category, with a tail rotor 
blade (blade) having a part number and serial number, as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Part No.                            Serial No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
204-011-702-015...........................  AFS-12703, AFS-12893, AFS-
                                             23525, or AFS-23573.
204-011-702-121...........................  A-22020.
212-010-750-105...........................  *A-11923.
212-010-750-105FM.........................  A-10090, A-10836, *A-10857,
                                             A-11207, A-11332, *A-11617,
                                             *A-11828, *A-12043, or *A-
                                             12091.
212-010-750-113...........................  A-14953, A-15090, or CS-
                                             12702.
212-010-750-113FM.........................  A-12240, *A-12286, A-12296,
                                             *A-12398, A-12640, A-12670,
                                             A-12789, A-13033, *A-13088,
                                             A-13096, *A-13106, A-13134,
                                             A-13199, A-13264, A-13366,
                                             or *A-13539.
212-010-750-133...........................  A-15602.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note 1: The * indicates the newly added serial-numbered blades.

.Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD was prompted by another incident in which the blade 
tip weight separated from a blade during flight, causing vibration. 
This incident led to the determination that additional blades could 
be affected and should be added to the applicability. The actions 
specified by this AD are intended to prevent loss of the blade tip 
weight, loss of a blade, and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

Compliance

    (e) Before further flight, unless accomplished previously.
    (f) Replace any affected blade with an airworthy blade. An 
airworthy blade is one that has a part number and a serial number 
that is not listed in the Applicability section of this AD.
    Note 2: Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No. 204-
07-61, Revision A, dated September 19, 2007, contains additional 
information about the subject of this AD. Bell Alert Service 
Bulletin No. 205-07-95, No. 205B-07-46, No. 212-07-125, No. 412CF-
07-30, and No. 412-07-123, all Revision B and all dated November 22, 
2010, also contain additional information about the subject of this 
AD. These Alert Service Bulletins are not incorporated by reference.

Special Flight Permit

    (g) Special flight permits will not be issued.

[[Page 67054]]

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (h) The Manager, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 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 Rotorcraft Certification Office, send 
it to the attention of the person identified in the Additional 
Information section of this AD.
    Note 3: Before using any approved AMOC, we request that you 
notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal 
inspector, your local Flight Standards District Office.

Additional Information

    (i)(1) For more information about this AD, contact: Martin R. 
Crane, Aerospace Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft 
Certification Office, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 
76137; telephone (817) 222-5170; fax (817) 222-5783; email: 7-AVS-ASW-170@faa.gov.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact: Bell 
Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101, 
telephone (817) 280-3391, fax (817) 280-6466, or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/.
    (3) You may review copies of the service information at the FAA, 
Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham 
Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas during normal business hours.

Subject

    (j) The Joint Aircraft System Component Code is: 6410 Tail Rotor 
Blade.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 21, 2011.
Kim Smith,
Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-27769 Filed 10-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P