[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 180 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57671-57673]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20275]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0561; Product Identifier 2019-SW-019-AD; Amendment 
39-21251; AD 2020-19-08]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Inc. (Type Certificate 
Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.) Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
Bell Textron Inc. (Type Certificate previously held by Bell Helicopter 
Textron Inc.) (Bell), Model 204B, 205A-1, and 212 helicopters. This AD 
was prompted by reports of corrosion on main rotor hub tension-torsion 
strap (TT strap) assemblies. This AD requires reducing the life limit 
of a certain part-numbered TT strap assembly and prohibits installing 
this TT strap assembly on any helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to 
address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective October 21, 2020.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 
contact Bell Textron Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; 
telephone 817-280-3391; fax 817-280-6466; or at https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may view the referenced service information 
at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 
Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-
0561; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this final rule, any comments received, and other information. The 
address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kuethe Harmon, Safety Management 
Program Manager, DSCO Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 
76177; telephone 817-222-5198; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Bell Model 204B, 205A-
1, and 212 helicopters with TT strap assembly part number (P/N) 204-
012-112-005 installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on 
June 9, 2020 (85 FR 35227). The NPRM was prompted by three incidents of 
fatigue cracking in TT strap assembly P/N 206-010-105-3 installed on 
Model 206 helicopters. These TT strap assemblies have stainless steel 
filament windings (wires) encased in a urethane cover, which was 
manufactured using Caytur 21 (also known as Cature 21) as the urethane-
curing accelerator. Caytur 21 contains

[[Page 57672]]

chlorides, which are retained in the urethane cover after curing and 
result in premature failure of the urethane cover and subsequent 
corrosion and failure of the encased wires of the TT strap assemblies. 
As a result, Bell changed the curing accelerator in the manufacturing 
process.
    Due to manufacturing process similarities of the urethane cover, TT 
strap assembly P/N 204-012-112-005, which is installed on Model 204B, 
205A-1, and 212 helicopters, is affected by the same unsafe condition.
    Accordingly, the NPRM proposed to require reducing the life limit 
of the TT strap assembly from 2,400 total hours time-in-service (TIS) 
to 1,200 total hours TIS or 18 months since initial installation on any 
helicopter, whichever occurs first, and creating a component history 
card or equivalent record. The NPRM also proposed to prohibit 
installing the affected TT strap assembly on any helicopter.
    The actions of this AD are intended to prevent the TT strap 
assembly from remaining in service beyond its fatigue life. This 
condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of a TT strap, 
loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

Comments

    The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in 
developing this final rule. The FAA received one comment in support of 
the NPRM.

FAA's Determination

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

Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

    The service information specifies replacing TT strap assemblies 
with less than 1,200 hours TIS no later than January 1, 1979, and 
replacing TT strap assemblies with more than 1,200 hours TIS no later 
than September 1, 1978. This AD requires reducing the life limit of the 
TT strap assembly to 1,200 total hours TIS or 18 months since initial 
installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first, instead. This 
AD also prohibits installing the TT strap assembly on any helicopter 
after the effective date of this AD.

Related Service Information

    The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin 
(ASB) No. 204-78-3 for Model 204B helicopters, ASB No. 205-78-2 for 
Model 205A-1 helicopters, and ASB No. 212-78-4 for Model 212 
helicopters, all dated April 19, 1978. This service information 
specifies replacing TT strap assembly P/N 204-012-112-005 at 1,200 
hours TIS but no later than January 1, 1979. For any TT strap assembly 
P/N 204-012-112-005 that already has accumulated 1,200 hours TIS, this 
service information specifies replacing it no later than September 1, 
1978.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 143 helicopters of U.S. 
registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following 
costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 
per work-hour.
    Determining the total hours TIS and the total months since initial 
installation of each TT strap assembly takes about .5 work-hours for an 
estimated cost of $43 per helicopter.
    Replacing each TT strap assembly takes about 10 work-hours and 
parts cost about $9,000, for an estimated cost of $9,850 per TT strap 
assembly.

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.
    The FAA is 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) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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.

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):

2020-19-08 Bell Textron Inc. (Type Certificate Previously Held by 
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.): Amendment 39-21251; Docket No. FAA-
2020-0561; Product Identifier 2019-SW-019-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective October 21, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bell Textron Inc. (Type Certificate 
previously held by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.), Model 204B, 205A-
1, and 212 helicopters, certificated in any category, with main 
rotor hub tension-torsion strap (TT strap) assembly part number (P/
N) 204-012-112-005 installed.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 6200, Main Rotor.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion detected on TT 
strap assemblies. The FAA is issuing this AD to reduce the life 
limit of and subsequently remove affected TT strap assemblies from 
service. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in 
failure of the TT strap assembly causing loss of a main rotor blade 
and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, 
unless already done.

[[Page 57673]]

(g) Required Actions

    (1) Within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), determine the total 
hours TIS and the total months since initial installation of each TT 
strap assembly.
    (i) If the TT strap assembly has accumulated 1,200 or more total 
hours TIS or reached 18 or more months since initial installation on 
any helicopter, whichever occurs first, before further flight, 
remove from service the TT strap assembly.
    (ii) If the TT strap assembly has accumulated less than 1,200 
total hours TIS and reached less than 18 months since initial 
installation on any helicopter, create a component history card or 
equivalent record establishing the new life limit of 1,200 total 
hours TIS or 18 months since initial installation on any helicopter, 
whichever occurs first.
    (2) After the effective date of this AD, do not install TT strap 
assembly P/N 204-012-112-005 on any helicopter.

(h) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, DSCO Branch, 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 
certification office, send it to the attention of the person 
identified in paragraph (j)(1). Information may be emailed to: [email protected].
    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate 
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager 
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding 
district office.

(j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kuethe Harmon, 
Safety Management Program Manager, DSCO Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood 
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5198; email 
[email protected].
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell 
Textron Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone 817-280-
3391; fax 817-280-6466; or at https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may 
view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort 
Worth, TX 76177.

    Issued on September 9, 2020.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-20275 Filed 9-15-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P