[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 233 (Monday, December 5, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 75772-75774]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30939]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2011-0448; Directorate Identifier 2007-SW-51-AD; 
Amendment 39-16841; AD 2011-21-18]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model EC 120B 
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
the Eurocopter France Model EC 120B helicopters. This AD requires 
modifying the pilot cyclic control friction device by replacing a 
certain thrust washer with two thrust washers. This AD is prompted by 
an incident in which the pilot encountered a sudden restriction of the 
cyclic control movement during flight. The actions specified by this AD 
are intended to prevent jamming of a pilot cyclic control stick and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES: Effective December 20, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may get the service information identified in this AD 
from American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, 
Texas 75053-4005, telephone (972) 641-3460, fax (972) 641-3527.
    Examining the Docket: You may examine the docket that contains this 
AD, any comments, and other information on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Docket Operations office, West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, 
Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham 
Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-5130, fax (817) 
222-5961.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 75773]]

Discussion

    On April 27, 2011, we issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) 
to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to Eurocopter 
France Model EC 120B helicopters. That NPRM was published in the 
Federal Register on May 13, 2011 (76 FR 27952). That NPRM proposed to 
modify the pilot cyclic control friction device by replacing a certain 
thrust washer with two thrust washers. The proposed AD was prompted by 
an incident in which the pilot encountered a sudden restriction of the 
cyclic control movement during flight.
    The Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile France (DGAC), which is 
the aviation authority for France, has issued French AD No. F-2005-175, 
dated October 26, 2005, on behalf of the European Aviation Safety 
Agency (EASA), the Airworthiness Authority of the State of Design for 
the affected helicopters, to correct an unsafe condition for the 
Eurocopter France Model EC 120B helicopters.

Related Service Information

    Eurocopter has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. 67A011, Revision 
1, dated October 24, 2005 (ASB), which specifies a modification to 
preclude the risk that the pilot cyclic control stick will jam. The 
modification consists of replacing the existing single-piece thrust 
washer, part number (P/N) C671A1006201, with two thrust washers, P/N 
C671A1018201 and P/N C671A1019201. The DGAC classified this alert 
service bulletin as mandatory and issued AD No. F-2005-175, dated 
October 26, 2005, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these 
helicopters.

FAA's Evaluation and Unsafe Condition Determination

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of France 
and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our 
bilateral agreement with France, the DGAC, on behalf of the EASA, their 
technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition 
described in the DGAC AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated 
all information provided by the DGAC and determined the unsafe 
condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of 
the same type design. This AD requires replacing a single-piece thrust 
washer, P/N C671A1006201, with two thrust washers, P/N C671A1018201 and 
P/N C671A1019201, to prevent the jamming of the pilot cyclic control 
stick.

Differences Between This AD and the DGAC AD

    The DGAC AD requires compliance with the ASB no later than December 
31, 2005. Our AD requires compliance within 30 days after the effective 
date of the AD.

Comments

    By publishing the NPRM (76 FR 27952, May 13, 2011), we gave the 
public an opportunity to participate in developing this AD. However, we 
received no comment on the NPRM or on our determination of the cost to 
the public. Therefore, based on our review and evaluation of the 
available data, we have determined that air safety and the public 
interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 114 helicopters of U.S. registry 
and the required actions will take approximately 3 work hours per 
helicopter to accomplish at an average labor rate of $85 per work hour. 
Required parts cost approximately $50 per helicopter. Based on these 
figures, we estimate the total cost impact of this AD on U.S. operators 
to be $34,770 for the entire fleet, or $305 per helicopter, to replace 
the single thrust washer with two thrust washers.

Regulatory Findings

    We have determined that 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 the regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866;
    2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and
    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. See the AD docket to 
examine the economic evaluation.

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.

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 part 39 of 
the Federal Aviation Regulations (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. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive to 
read as follows:

2011-21-18 Eurocopter France: Amendment 39-16841; Docket No. FAA-
2011-0448; Directorate Identifier 2007-SW-51-AD.

    Applicability: Model EC 120B helicopters, serial numbers up to 
and including 1385, with a thrust washer, part number (P/N) 
C671A1006201, installed on the pilot cyclic control stick friction 
device; and a pilot cyclic stick, P/N C671A1007101, P/N 
C671A1007102, or C671A1003102, installed, certificated in any 
category.
    Compliance: Required within 30 days, unless accomplished 
previously.
    To prevent jamming of a pilot cyclic control stick and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the 
following:
    (a) Remove the pilot cyclic control stick; replace the thrust 
washer, P/N C671A1006201, with two thrust washers, P/N C671A1018201 
and P/N C671A1019201; reinstall the pilot cyclic control stick; and 
perform a functional test of the cyclic control.
    (b) To request a different method of compliance or a different 
compliance time

[[Page 75774]]

for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Contact the 
Manager, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, ATTN: 
Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, 
ASW-111, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone 
(817) 222-5130, fax (817) 222-5961, for information about previously 
approved alternative methods of compliance.
    (c) The Joint Aircraft System/Component (JASC) Code is 2700: 
Flight Control System.
    (d) This amendment becomes effective on December 20, 2011.

    Note:  The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale 
de l'Aviation Civile (France) AD No. F-2005-175, dated October 26, 
2005, and Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 67A011, Revision 1, 
dated October 24, 2005.


    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 5, 2011.
Kim Smith,
Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-30939 Filed 12-2-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P