[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 110 (Thursday, June 10, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 30824-30826]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-12038]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; Project Identifier AD-2021-00006-RRIN 2120-
AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Inc. (Type Certificate 
Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.) 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 certain Bell Textron Inc. (type certificate previously held by Bell 
Helicopter Textron Inc.) (Bell) Model 205B helicopters. This proposed 
AD was prompted by a notification of certain parts needing a life 
limit. This proposed AD would require determining the total hours time-
in-service (TIS) of certain part numbered main rotor grip assemblies 
(grip assemblies), establishing a life limit for certain part-numbered 
grip assemblies, removing from service any grip assembly that has 
reached or exceeded its retirement life, creating a component history 
card, and removing any grip assembly from service before reaching its 
retirement life. This proposed AD would also prohibit installing 
certain grip assemblies unless the life limit was established in 
accordance with this proposed AD. 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 July 26, 
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 above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; 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, any comments 
received, and other information. The street address for Docket 
Operations is listed above.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; Project Identifier 
AD-2021-00006-R'' 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 
Kuethe Harmon, Safety Management Program Manager, DSCO Branch, 
Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101

[[Page 30825]]

Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5198; 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

    The FAA received notification from Bell of established life limits 
for certain part numbered grip assemblies that were not included in 
Chapter 4--Airworthiness Limitations Schedule (ALS) of Bell Helicopter 
205B Maintenance Manual BHT-205B-MM-1, Revision 1, dated July 15, 1993. 
Bell states the life limit of 9,000 hours TIS for grip assembly part 
number (P/N) 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-011-121-113, and P/N 204-011-121-
005 was left out of the ALS for Model 205B helicopters. Bell states 
this may suggest that these part numbers have an unlimited life when 
installed on Model 205B helicopters, whereas the retirement life is 
9,000 hours TIS. This condition, if not addressed, could result in 
fatigue and failure of the grip assembly and loss of control of the 
helicopter.
    Accordingly, Bell specifies updating the existing ALS to establish 
a life limit of 9,000 hours TIS for grip assembly P/N 204-011-121-005, 
P/N 204-011-121-113, and P/N 204-011-121-005.

FAA's Determination

    The FAA is issuing this NPRM after determining that the unsafe 
condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other 
products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require, before further flight, determining 
the total hours TIS of certain part-numbered grip assemblies and 
removing from service any certain part-numbered grip assembly that has 
accumulated or exceeded 9,000 total hours TIS. This proposed AD would 
also require, for certain part-numbered grip assemblies that have not 
accumulated or exceeded 9,000 total hours TIS, creating a component 
history card or equivalent record to annotate a life limit of 9,000 
total hours TIS and removing these grip assemblies from service before 
accumulating 9,000 total hours TIS. Finally, this NPRM would prohibit 
installing any affected grip assembly that has exceeded or accumulated 
9,000 hours TIS, and prohibit alternative life limits for any affected 
grip assembly.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 2 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 of each grip assembly and updating 
the helicopter records would take about 1 work-hour for each grip 
assembly, for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $170 for the 
U.S fleet.
    Replacing each grip assembly would take about 16 work-hours and 
parts would cost about $50,000 for an estimated cost of $51,360 per 
grip 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

    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 above, 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 Inc. (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bell 
Helicopter Textron Inc.): Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; Project 
Identifier AD-2021-00006-R.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by July 26, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bell Textron Inc. (type certificate 
previously held by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.) (Bell) Model 205B 
helicopters, certificated in any category, with main rotor grip 
assembly (grip assembly) part number (P/N) 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-
011-121-113, or P/N 204-011-121-117 installed.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 6220, Main Rotor 
Head.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a notification of certain parts needing 
a life limit. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent a grip assembly 
remaining in service beyond its fatigue life. The unsafe condition, 
if not addressed, could result in fatigue and failure of the grip 
assembly and loss of helicopter control.

(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, 
determine the total hours time-in-service (TIS) of any grip assembly 
having P/N 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-011-121-113, or P/N 204-011-121-
117. Remove from service any grip assembly that has accumulated or 
exceeded 9,000 total hours TIS. For each grip assembly that has 
accumulated less than 9,000 total hours TIS, do the following:

[[Page 30826]]

    (i) Create a component history card or equivalent record to 
establish a life limit of 9,000 total hours TIS.
    (ii) Thereafter, remove from service any grip assembly before it 
accumulates 9,000 total hours TIS.
    (2) Thereafter, no alternative life limits may be approved for 
any grip assembly P/N 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-011-121-113, or P/N 
204-011-121-117.
    (3) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install any grip 
assembly having P/N 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-011-121-113, or P/N 
204-011-121-117 on any Model 205B helicopter unless the life limit 
is established in accordance with this AD.

(h) Special Flight Permits

    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 
DSCO Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in 
paragraph (j)(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.

(j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Kuethe Harmon, 
Safety Management Program Manager, DSCO Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 
76177; telephone (817) 222-5198; email [email protected].

    Issued on June 3, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-12038 Filed 6-9-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P