Federal Register: March 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 54)
DOCID: fr23mr09-15 FR Doc E9-6225
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
CFR Citation: 14 CFR Part 39
Docket ID: [Docket No. FAA-2009-0227; Directorate Identifier 2007-SW-65-AD]
RIN ID: RIN 2120-AA64
NOTICE: PROPOSED RULES
ACTION: Airworthiness Directives:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 427 Helicopters
DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 22, 2009.
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) Model 427 helicopters. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by the aviation authority of Canada to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. Transport Canada, the aviation authority of Canada, with which we have a bilateral agreement, states that it has been determined that the existing hardware connecting the vertical fin to the tail rotor gearbox needs to be upgraded, to prevent the vertical fin from becoming loose.
BHTC has received reports of loose vertical fins discovered during inspections. Investigation revealed that the current vertical fin attachment hardware may not provide adequate clampup. If not corrected, the vertical fin could become loose and cause vibration, which could lead to subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. The proposed AD would require actions that are intended to address this unsafe condition.
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 427 Helicopters,
We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA20090227; Directorate Identifier 2007SW65AD'' at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on 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 proposed AD.
Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued an MCAI in the form of Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF2007 22, dated September 14, 2007 (referred to after this as ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. Transport Canada states in the MCAI that it has been determined that the existing hardware connecting the vertical fin to the tail rotor gearbox need to be upgraded, to prevent the vertical fin from becoming loose.
BHTC has received reports of loose vertical fins discovered during
inspections. Investigation revealed that the current vertical fin attachment
hardware may not provide adequate clampup. If not corrected, the vertical fin could become loose and cause vibration, which could lead to subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI and service information in the AD docket.
Relevant Service Information
Bell Helicopter Textron has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. 427 0615, dated December 14, 2006. The actions described in the MCAI are intended to correct the same unsafe condition as that identified in the service information.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD
This model helicopter has been approved by Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority of Canada, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with this State of Design, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of this same type design. Differences Between This AD and the MCAI
We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in
general, agree with their substance. This AD differs from the MCAI as follows:
These differences are highlighted in the ``Differences Between this AD and the MCAI'' section in the AD.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 17 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 workhours per helicopter to remove and visually inspect the vertical fin and the tail rotor gearbox attachment legs and to reinstall the vertical fin. The average labor rate is $80 per workhour. Required parts would cost about $227 per helicopter. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $6,579 for the fleet, or $387 per helicopter, to perform the inspections and remove and re install the vertical fin.
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.
We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 this proposed 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 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 proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety. The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39AIRWORTHINESS 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. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new AD:
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC): Docket No. FAA20090227; Directorate Identifier 2007SW65AD.
Comments Due Date
(a) We must receive comments by April 22, 2009.
Other Affected ADs
(c) This AD applies to Model 427 helicopters, serial numbers 56001 through 56057, 58001, and 58002, certificated in any category. Reason
(d) Transport Canada states in the mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) that it has been determined that the existing hardware connecting the vertical fin to the tail rotor gearbox need to be upgraded, to prevent the vertical fin from becoming loose. BHTC has received reports of loose vertical fins discovered during inspections. Investigation revealed that the current vertical fin attachment hardware may not provide adequate clampup. If not corrected, the vertical fin could become loose and cause vibration, which could lead to subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Actions and Compliance
(e) Within the next 150 hours timeinservice, unless already done, do the following:
(1) Remove the vertical fin and visually inspect the inboard and outboard surfaces of the vertical fin where it attaches to the tail rotor gearbox support for a crack, an elongated bolt hole, fretting, distortion and corrosion.
(2) Visually inspect the tail rotor gearbox support attachment legs for a crack, fretting and corrosion.
(f) If a crack, elongated bolt hole, fretting, distortion or corrosion is detected, repair or replace the part with an airworthy part before further flight.
(g) Reinstall the vertical fin.
Differences Between This AD and the MCAI
(h) This AD differs from the MCAI as follows:
(1) We do not require compliance ``no later than November 27, 2007'', because that date has passed.
(2) We refer to the compliance time as ``hours timeinservice'' rather than ``air time hours.''
(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Guidance Group, Fort Worth, Texas 761930111, telephone (817) 2225122, fax (817) 222 5961.
(j) Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Transport Canada Airworthiness Directive CF200722, dated September 14, 2007, and Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No. 4270615, dated December 14, 2006, contain related information. Subject
(k) Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code:5553, Vertical Stabilizer, Attach Fittings.
Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 4, 2009.
Jerald E. Strentz,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E96225 Filed 32009; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 491013P
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Guidance Group, Fort Worth, Texas 761930111, telephone (817) 2225122, fax (817) 222 5961.