[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 66 (Thursday, April 8, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18218-18221]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07184]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; Project Identifier 2017-SW-110-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited (Type 
Certificate Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited) 
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for Bell Textron Canada Limited (type certificate previously held by 
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited) (Bell) Model 429 helicopters. 
This proposed AD was prompted by the identification of certain parts 
needing life limits and certification maintenance requirement (CMR) 
tasks. This proposed AD would require establishing life limits and CMR 
tasks for various parts. Depending on the results of the CMR tasks, 
this proposed AD would require corrective action. The FAA is proposing 
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 24, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact 
Bell 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 https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may review this service 
information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest 
Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 
222-5110.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; 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 NPRM, the 
Transport Canada AD, any comments received, and other information. The 
street address for Docket Operations is listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager, 
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section, 
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or

[[Page 18219]]

arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; Project Identifier 
2017-SW-110-AD'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this proposal because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each 
substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Matt 
Fuller, AD Program Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, 
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
[email protected]. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is 
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket 
for this rulemaking.

Background

    Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority of Canada, has 
issued Canadian AD CF-2017-16, dated May 17, 2017, to correct an unsafe 
condition for Bell Model 429 helicopters, serial numbers 57001 and 
subsequent. Transport Canada advises that Bell has established life 
limits and CMR tasks for various parts and accordingly revised Chapter 
4--Airworthiness Limitations Schedule of Bell Helicopter 429 
Maintenance Manual BHT-429-MM-1 to Revision 26, dated September 9, 2016 
(BHT-429-MM-1). Transport Canada states that failure to replace life-
limited parts or perform CMR tasks as specified could result in an 
unsafe condition.
    Accordingly, the Transport Canada AD requires updating the 
maintenance schedule for the parts affected with the airworthiness life 
limits and CMR tasks in Revision 26 of BHT-429-MM-1.

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of 
Canada and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to 
the FAA's bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its 
technical representative, has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition 
described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all 
known relevant information and determining that the unsafe condition 
described previously is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters 
of the same type design.

Related Service Information

    The FAA reviewed Chapter 4--Airworthiness Limitations Schedule of 
BHT-429-MM-1. This service information specifies airworthiness life 
limits, inspection intervals, and CMR requirements for parts installed 
on Model 429 helicopters. Revision 26 of this service information 
establishes life limits for a certain part-numbered tail rotor flapping 
outboard bearing and hoist kit cartridge cable cutter and CMR 
requirements for a certain part-numbered wheeled landing gear system, 
float/life raft kit, and hoist kit.
    Additionally, the FAA reviewed Chapter 96-47--600-Pound External 
Hoist Electrical System--Operational Check, of Bell 429 Maintenance 
Manual Supplement For 600-Pound External Hoist Kit, BHT-429-MMS-4, 
Revision 1, dated March 14, 2014. This service information specifies 
inspection procedures and corrective action for various components of 
the hoist system.
    Lastly, the FAA reviewed Testing and Fault Isolation, pages 101-
117/118, Cleaning, pages 401-405/406, and Scheduled Maintenance, pages 
609-611/612, of Goodrich Rescue Hoist System Component Maintenance 
Manual 25-00-38-1, dated July 15, 2009, for rescue hoist assembly part 
number 44316-12-102. This service information specifies maintenance 
procedures and lists replacement parts for this part-numbered Goodrich 
rescue hoist assembly.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require establishing a life limit for 
certain part-numbered tail rotor outboard flapping bearings and a 
certain part-numbered hoist kit cable cutter cartridge. This proposed 
AD would also require establishing recurring CMR tasks for a certain 
part-numbered wheeled landing gear system, float/life raft kit, and 
hoist kit. Depending on the results of the CMR tasks, this proposed AD 
would also require corrective action.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD

    This proposed AD would require corrective action for failed CMR 
tasks, whereas the Transport Canada AD does not. The Transport Canada 
AD requires accomplishing an operational check of the hoist cable anti-
foul assembly daily after the last flight, whereas this proposed AD 
would require this action before the first flight of the day involving 
a hoist operation instead.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would 
affect 110 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor costs are estimated at 
$85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the 
following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD.
    Replacing a tail rotor outboard flapping bearing would take about 4 
work-hours and parts would cost about $7,500 for an estimated cost of 
$7,840 per helicopter and $862,400 for the U.S. fleet, per replacement 
cycle. Replacing a hoist kit cable cutter cartridge would take about 3 
work-hours and parts would cost about $5,200 for an estimated cost of 
$5,455 per helicopter and $600,050 for the U.S. fleet, per replacement 
cycle.
    Performing a functional check of the wheeled landing gear system 
would take about 4 work-hours for an estimated cost of $340 per 
helicopter and $37,400 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing a 
functional check of the float/life raft kit would take about 2 work-
hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $18,700 for the 
U.S. fleet, per cycle.
    Performing an operational check of the hoist kit cable anti-foul 
assembly would take about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 
per helicopter and $18,700 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Cleaning, 
visually inspecting, and lubricating the rescue hoist cable would take 
about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and 
$18,700 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing an operational check 
of the

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hoist kit speed limit switches and the electrical system would take 
about 0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and 
$4,730 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing a functional check of 
the cable cutter cartridge electrical system would take about 3 work-
hours for an estimated cost of $255 per helicopter and $28,050 for the 
U.S. fleet, per cycle.
    The FAA has no way of determining the estimated costs to do 
allowable repairs based on the results of the CMR tasks. If required, 
replacing the float/life raft would take about 2 work-hours and parts 
would cost about $5,000 for an estimated cost of $5,170. Replacing the 
anti-foul assembly would take about 3 work-hours and parts would cost 
about $1,500 for an estimated cost of $1,755. Replacing a rescue hoist 
cable would take about 3 work-hours and parts would cost about $3,150 
for an estimated cost of $3,405. Overhauling a rescue hoist assembly 
would cost about $83,000 and it would take about 8 work-hours to remove 
and reinstall the hoist for a labor cost of $680, for a total estimated 
cost of $83,680 per helicopter, per overhaul cycle. Alternatively, 
replacing a hoist would take about 8 work-hours and parts would cost 
about $200,000 for an estimated cost of $200,680 per helicopter, per 
replacement cycle.

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

    The FAA 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, I certify this proposed regulation:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,
    (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) Would 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.

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 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:

Bell Textron Canada Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by 
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited): Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; 
Project Identifier 2017-SW-110-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by May 24, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bell Textron Canada Limited (type certificate 
previously held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited) Model 429 
helicopters, certificated in any category, serial numbers 57001 and 
subsequent.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 3200, Landing Gear 
Systems, and 2560, Emergency Equipment.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by parts remaining in service beyond their 
fatigue life or beyond maintenance intervals required by the 
certification maintenance requirements (CMRs) of the Instructions 
for Continued Airworthiness. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent 
failure of a part, which could result in loss of control of the 
helicopter.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

    (1) Before further flight after the effective date of this AD, 
remove from service any part that has reached or exceeded its life 
limit as follows. Thereafter, remove from service each part on or 
before reaching its life limit as follows:
    (i) Tail rotor outboard flapping bearing part number (P/N) 429-
312-103-117 and 429-312-103-119: 15,000 total hours time-in-service 
(TIS).
    (ii) Hoist kit cable cutter cartridge P/N 42315-281: 5 years 
since date of manufacture.
    (2) Before further flight after the effective date of this AD, 
perform the following CMR tasks for any part that has reached or 
exceeded its CMR interval as follows. Thereafter, perform the 
following CMR tasks for each part on or before reaching its CMR 
interval as follows:

    Note 1 to paragraph (g)(2):  Chapter 4--Airworthiness 
Limitations Schedule of Bell Helicopter 429 Maintenance Manual BHT-
429-MM-1 to Revision 26, dated September 9, 2016, contains 
additional information about the CMR tasks.

    (i) Wheeled Landing Gear System P/N 429-705-001-101: 800 hours 
TIS or 1 year, whichever occurs first, perform a functional check of 
the Emergency Gear Release. If the functional check fails, before 
further flight, repair in accordance with FAA-approved procedures.
    (ii) Float/Life Raft Kit P/N 429-706-069-101: 1,600 hours TIS, 
perform a functional check of the float/life raft kit electrical 
system to determine if there are any dormant failures including: 
Manual inflation switch, water immersion switch, auto-activation 
relay, manual activation relay, raft activation relay, test 
activation relay, and the fuse disc elements. If there is a failure, 
before next flight over water, replace the float/life raft.
    (iii) Hoist Kit P/N 429-706-001-101:
    (A) Before the first flight of the day involving a hoist 
operation, perform an operational check of the hoist cable anti-foul 
assembly. If the operational check fails, before next flight 
involving a hoist operation, repair or replace the anti-foul 
assembly.
    (B) 3 hoist operating hours, clean, visually inspect the rescue 
hoist cable for damage, which may be indicated by a broken wire, 
kink, bird caging, flattened area, abrasion, or necking. If there is 
any damage, before further flight, replace the rescue hoist cable. 
If there is no damage, before further flight, lubricate the rescue 
hoist cable. For purposes of this AD, hoist operating hours are 
counted anytime the hoist motor is operating.

    Note 2 to paragraph (g)(2)(iii)(B):  Bell Helicopter service 
information refers to hoist operating hours as hoisting hours.

    (C) 800 hours TIS or 1 year, whichever occurs first, perform an 
operational check of the speed limit switches and perform an 
operational check of the 600-pound external hoist electrical system 
to inspect operation of the HOIST HOT caution light. If an

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operational check fails, before next flight involving a hoist 
operation, repair in accordance with FAA-approved procedures or 
replace the hoist.
    (D) 2,200 hours TIS or 111 hoist operating hours, whichever 
occurs first, perform a functional check of the cable cutter 
cartridge electrical system to inspect for correct functioning of 
the cable cutter switches (hoist pendant, pilot cyclic, and copilot 
cyclic) and associated wiring. If a functional check fails, before 
next flight involving a hoist operation, repair in accordance with 
FAA-approved procedures or replace the hoist.
    (E) 111 hoist operating hours, overhaul or replace the hoist.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Validation 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 International Validation Branch, send 
it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(1) of 
this AD. 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.

(i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Matt Fuller, AD 
Program Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness 
Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood 
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
[email protected].
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell 
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 https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may review this 
referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort 
Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
    (3) The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada AD 
CF-2017-16, dated May 17, 2017. You may view the Transport Canada AD 
on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket.

    Issued on April 2, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-07184 Filed 4-7-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P