[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 102 (Friday, May 25, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 31172-31174]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12399]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0084; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-089-AD; 
Amendment 39-17050; AD 2012-10-01]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited 
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell 
Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (BHTC) Model 427 helicopters which 
requires replacing certain tailboom attachment hardware and at certain 
intervals thereafter, determining the torque of that tailboom 
attachment hardware. This AD was prompted by a review of the tailboom 
attachment installation, which revealed that the torque value of the 
bolts specified in the BHTC Model 427 Maintenance Manual and applied 
during manufacturing was incorrect and exceeded the torque range 
recommended for the bolts. The actions are intended to prevent an over-
torque of the tailboom attachment bolt (bolt), bolt failure, loss of 
the tailboom, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES: This AD is effective June 29, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of June 29, 2012.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell 
Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, 
Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 
433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review the 
referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, 
Texas 76137.
    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, any 
incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 
2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; 
email sharon.y.miles@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    On February 3, 2012, at 77 FR 5425, the Federal Register published 
our Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 
CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to BHTC Model 427 
helicopters, serial numbers 56001 through 56084. That NPRM proposed to 
require within 150 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 90 days, whichever 
occurs first, the following actions:
     Remove the left upper bolt, washers, and nut. Install the 
new bolt, part number (P/N) NAS627-27; washers, P/N 140-007-29S25E6 and 
P/N NAS1149G0732P; and new nut, P/N 42FLW-720. Run the nut onto the 
threads of the mating bolt with a torque wrench and measure the 
existing tare torque. Any bolt and nut used must have a minimum tare 
torque value of 14 inch/lbs. Torque the nut and coat the bolt head, 
nut, and washers with appropriate corrosion preventive compound to seal 
the joint. Repeat these actions at the three remaining bolt locations.
     After installation of the new attachment hardware, at 
intervals of not less than 1 hour TIS but not exceeding 5 hours TIS, 
determine the torque of each nut until torque stabilizes at each 
attachment location. Thereafter, determine the torque of each nut at 
intervals not to exceed 300 hours TIS.
    The proposed requirements were intended to prevent an over-torque 
of the bolt, bolt failure, loss of the tailboom, and subsequent loss of 
control of the helicopter.
    Transport Canada (TC), which is the aviation authority for Canada, 
issued Canadian AD CF-2010-32, dated September 30, 2010 (AD CF-2010-
32), to correct an unsafe condition for the BHTC Model 427 helicopters, 
serial numbers (S/Ns) 56001 through 56084, and S/Ns 58001 and 58002. TC 
advises that a review of the tailboom attachment installation 
determined that the torque value of the bolts specified in the BHTC 
Model 427 Maintenance Manual and applied during manufacturing exceeded 
the torque range recommended for the bolts. They state that this 
situation, if not corrected, could lead to a bolt failure, detachment 
of the tailboom, and loss of control of the helicopter.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM.

FAA's Determination

    This helicopter model has been approved by the aviation authority 
of Canada and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to our bilateral agreement with Canada, TC, its technical 
representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in 
the TC AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information 
provided by TC and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely 
to exist or develop on other helicopters of this same type design and 
that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD 
requirements as proposed.

Differences Between This AD and the TC AD

    The differences between this AD and the TC AD are as follows:
     The TC AD applies to the BHTC Model 427 helicopter, serial 
numbers 58001 and 58002; however, this AD is not applicable to the BHTC 
Model 427 helicopters with these serial numbers because they are not 
eligible for an FAA Certificate of Airworthiness.

Related Service Information

    BHTC has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-10-31, dated March 
1, 2010 (ASB), which specifies installing new attachment hardware with 
a reduced torque value. This ASB specifies determining the torque of 
the newly installed bolts and nuts every 1 to 5 flight hours until 
torque stabilizes at all locations, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 300 flight hours. TC classified this ASB as mandatory and issued 
AD CF-2010-32 to ensure

[[Page 31173]]

the continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 28 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry.
    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order 
to comply with this AD. It will take about 2.0 work-hours per 
helicopter to replace the hardware and 1.0 work-hour per helicopter to 
determine the recurring torque value at an average labor rate of $85 
per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $488 per helicopter. 
Based on these figures, we estimate the first year total cost per 
helicopter to be $913, and the total cost impact on U.S. operators to 
be $25,564. This estimated total cost assumes attachment hardware will 
be replaced on all affected helicopters, the torque will be considered 
stabilized after one torquing, and the recurring 300 hour TIS torque 
determination will be accomplished twice a year.

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 helicopters 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.
    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply 
with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

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):

2012-10-01 Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (BHTC): Amendment 
39-17050; Docket No. FAA-2012-0084; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-
089-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model 427 helicopters, serial numbers 56001 
through 56084, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as an over-torque of the 
tailboom attachment bolt (bolt). This condition could result in bolt 
failure, loss of the tailboom, and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective June 29, 2012.

(d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this 
AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been 
accomplished prior to that time.

(e) Required Actions

    (1) Within 150 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 90 days, whichever 
occurs first, replace the tailboom attachment hardware (attachment 
hardware) as follows:
    (i) Remove the left upper bolt, washers, and nut.
    (ii) Install a new bolt, part number (P/N) NAS627-27; washer, P/
N 140-007-29S25E6; washer(s), P/N NAS1149G0732P; and new nut, P/N 
42FLW-720 in accordance with paragraphs 5.a) through 5.d) of the 
Accomplishment Instructions in BHTC Alert Service Bulletin No. 427-
10-31, dated March 1, 2010 (ASB).
    (iii) Run the nut onto the threads of the mating bolt with a 
torque wrench and measure the existing tare torque. Any bolt and nut 
used must have a minimum tare torque value of 14 inch/lbs.
    (iv) Torque the nut in accordance with paragraphs 5.f) and 5.g) 
of the ASB.
    (v) Coat the bolt head, nut, and washers with appropriate 
corrosion preventive compound to seal the joint.
    (vi) At each remaining attachment location, remove the bolt, 
washers, and nut, and install the attachment hardware in accordance 
with paragraphs (e)(1)(ii) through (e)(1)(v) of this AD.
    (2) After installation of the new attachment hardware, at 
intervals of not less than 1 hour TIS but not exceeding 5 hours TIS, 
determine the torque of each nut until the torque stabilizes at each 
attachment location. Thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 300 
hours TIS, determine the torque of each nut. When determining the 
torque, it is acceptable to use the minimum tare torque of 14 inch/
lbs (1.58 Nm) added to the minimum torque range of 550-560 inch/lbs 
(62.1 to 63.3 Nm). If you remove corrosion preventative compound 
during the torquing, recoat the bolt head, nut, and washers with 
appropriate corrosion preventive compound to seal the joint.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 
2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-
5110; email sharon.y.miles@faa.gov.
    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating 
certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you 
notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, 
the manager of the local flight standards district office or 
certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft 
complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(g) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada AD CF-
2010-32, dated September 30, 2010.

(h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5302, Rotorcraft 
Tailboom.

(i) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) You must use the specified portions of BHTC Alert Service 
Bulletin No. 427-10-31, dated March 1, 2010, to do the specified 
actions required by this AD. The Director of the Federal Register 
approved the incorporation by reference of this service information 
under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell 
Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, 
Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 
433-

[[Page 31174]]

0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/.
    (3) You may review a copy of the referenced service information 
at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 
Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137 or at the National 
Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the 
availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go 
to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 10, 2012.
Kim Smith,
Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-12399 Filed 5-24-12; 8:45 am]
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