[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 58 (Tuesday, March 26, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18226-18227]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06746]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0890; Directorate Identifier 2011-SW-019-AD; 
Amendment 39-17388; AD 2013-05-16]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Hughes Helicopters, Inc., and McDonnell 
Douglas Helicopter Systems (Type Certificate Is Currently Held by MD 
Helicopters, Inc.) Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for MD 
Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) Model 369D, 369E, 369F, and 369FF helicopters 
with certain serial-numbered tailboom assemblies. This AD requires 
measuring the distance between aft longeron rivets and the outboard 
edge of frame rings. If the distance is too short to ensure a safe 
flight, the AD requires installing a doubler. This AD was prompted by 
the discovery of short-edge margin conditions on two tailboom 
assemblies. The actions are intended to detect a short-edge margin 
condition, prevent failure of the tailboom and loss of control of the 
helicopter.

DATES: This AD is effective April 30, 2013.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of April 30, 2013.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact MD 
Helicopters Inc., Attn: Customer Support Division, 4555 E. McDowell 
Road, Mail Stop M615, Mesa, AZ 85215-9734, telephone 1-800-388-3378, 
fax 480-346-6813, or at http://www.mdhelicopters.com. 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.

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: John Cecil, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, 
Los Angeles Certification Office, Airframe Branch, 3960 Paramount 
Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712-4137, telephone (562) 627-5228, fax 
(562) 627-5210, email john.cecil@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    On August 29, 2012, at 77 FR 52264, 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 the specified MDHI 
helicopters with certain serial-numbered tailboom assemblies installed. 
Customers returned two tailboom assemblies to the manufacturer that 
contained an improperly installed frame ring at station 209.78. The 
frame rings were installed with too short a distance between an aft 
longeron rivet and the outboard edge of the frame ring. This is known 
as a short-edge margin condition. That NPRM proposed to require that 
within 6 months or 100 hours time-in-service, whichever occurs first, 
measuring the distance from the aft face of the station 209.78 frame 
ring to the center of the rivet No. 1 and rivet No. 2 at the four 
locations where the frame ring attaches to the tailboom longeron. If 
either the No. 1 or No. 2 aft rivet at a frame-ring-to-tailboom-
longeron location is more than 0.50 inches (12.7 millimeters) from the 
aft face of the station 209.78 frame ring, before further flight, the 
AD proposed to modify that location by fabricating and installing a 
doubler over the location. The proposed requirements were intended to 
prevent failure 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 received no comments on the NPRM (77 FR 52264, August 
29, 2012).

FAA's Determination

    We have reviewed the relevant information and determined that an 
unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other 
products of these same type designs and that air safety and the public 
interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Related Service Information

    MDHI has issued one Service Bulletin (SB), dated July 20, 2010, 
with three numbers: SB No. SB369D-207 for the Model 369D helicopters, 
SB No. SB369E-102 for the Model 369E helicopters, and SB No. SB369F-087 
for the Model 369F and 369FF helicopters. The MDHI SB describes 
procedures for measuring the distance from the aft face of the station 
209.78 canted frame ring to the center of the No. 1 and No. 2 aft rivet 
locations on each of the four longerons spaced 90 degrees apart around 
the frame ring. If the short-edge margin condition exists, the SB 
specifies modifying the tailboom by installing a repair doubler at each 
affected location.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 109 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry and that operators will spend $340 for 4 work-hours at an 
average labor cost of $85 per work hour to access and measure for a 
short-edge margin condition for a cost of $37,060 for the U.S. fleet.
    The on-condition costs for installing the doubler are not included 
in our cost

[[Page 18227]]

estimate because we have no way of determining the number of aircraft 
that might need a doubler. If they do, about 8 work-hours in labor and 
$19 in parts are required for a total cost of $699.

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.
    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):

2013-05-16 Hughes Helicopters, Inc., and McDonnell Douglas 
Helicopter Systems (Type Certificate currently held by MD 
Helicopters, Inc., (MDHI): Amendment 39-17388; Docket No. FAA-2012-
0890; Directorate Identifier 2011-SW-019-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model 369D, E, F, and FF helicopters with 
tailboom assembly, part number 369D23500-505, -507, -511, or -513 
with a serial number prefix of ``7604'' and -0001 through -0003, -
0006 through -0047, -0049 through -0082, or -0084 through -0113, 
installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as too short an edge 
distance from an aft longeron rivet to the edge of a tailboom frame 
ring, which could result in failure of the tailboom and subsequent 
loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective April 30, 2013.

(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 6 months or 100 hours time-in-service, whichever 
occurs first, measure the distance from the aft face of the station 
209.78 frame ring to the center of rivet No. 1 and rivet No. 2 at 
the four locations where the frame ring attaches to the tailboom 
longeron as depicted in Figure 2 of MD Helicopters Service Bulletin 
(SB) No. SB369D-207, SB369E-102, and SB369F-087, dated July 20, 
2010. SB369D-207 applies to Model 369D helicopters; SB369E-102 
applies to Model 369E helicopters; and SB369F-087 applies to Model 
369F and FF helicopters.
    (2) If either the No. 1 or No. 2 aft rivet at a frame-ring-to-
tailboom-longeron location is more than 0.50 inches (12.7 
millimeters) from the aft face of the station 209.78 frame ring, 
before further flight, modify that location by fabricating and 
installing a doubler over the location as depicted in Figures 3 and 
4 and by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 2.C., 
of the SB for your model helicopter.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 
may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: John Cecil, 
Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Los Angeles Certification Office, Airframe 
Branch, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712-4137, 
telephone (562) 627-5228, fax (562) 627-5210, email 
john.cecil@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) Subject

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

(h) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) MD Helicopters, Inc., Service Bulletin (SB) No. SB369D-207, 
dated July 20, 2010.
    (ii) MD Helicopters, Inc., SB No. SB369E-102, dated July 20, 
2010.
    (iii) MD Helicopters, Inc., SB No. SB369F-087, dated July 20, 
2010.

     Note 1 to paragraph (h)(2) of this AD:  MD Helicopters, Inc., 
issued one service bulletin with three numbers, SB369D-207, SB369E-
102, and SB369F-087, all dated July 20, 2010.


    (3) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, 
Fort Worth, Texas 76137. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
    (4) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 6, 2013.
Lance T. Gant,
Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft 
Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-06746 Filed 3-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P