[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 110 (Thursday, June 10, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 30768-30770]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-12042]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-1170; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00720-R; 
Amendment 39-21575; AD 2021-11-13]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited 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 Canada Limited (Bell) Model 429 helicopters. This AD 
requires inspecting certain serial-numbered Emergency Flotation System 
(EFS) inflation hoses and depending on the results of those 
inspections, marking certain parts or removing certain parts from 
service. This AD was prompted by a report that a float compartment on 
an EFS did not inflate. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective July 15, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of July 15, 2021.

ADDRESSES: For Safran Aerosystems Services service information 
identified in this final 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 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. It is also available on the internet at 
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2020-1170.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-1170; 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, the 
Transport Canada AD, any service information that is incorporated by 
reference, any comments received, and other information. The street 
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: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager, 
Operational Safety Branch, Airworthiness Products Section, General 
Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 
76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR

[[Page 30769]]

part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Bell Model 429 helicopters 
with a Bell EFS kit part number (P/N) 429-706-069-101/-103/-105/-121/-
123/-125/-139/-141/-143/or -157 manufactured before July 2019, with a 
float supply hose manufactured before January 2014, installed, except 
for float supply hoses marked with ``SB 025-69-21'' above the external 
identification marking. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on 
March 23, 2021 (86 FR 15434). In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require 
within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS), removing each EFS supply hose 
and inspecting each end (also referred to as fitting or banjo) of the 
EFS supply hose using a certain plastic cable tie, and depending on the 
results of those inspections, removing from service certain parts and 
replacing those parts with airworthy parts. The NPRM also proposed to 
require marking a green dot on the base of certain supply hoses and 
writing ``SB 025-69-21'' above the external identification marking of 
the EFS with indelible ink. Finally, the NPRM proposed to prohibit 
installing any EFS supply hose manufactured before January 2014 unless 
it has been inspected in accordance with the NPRM. The NPRM was 
prompted by Canadian AD CF-2020-21R1, issued August 19, 2020 (Transport 
Canada AD CF-2020-21R1), by Transport Canada, which is the aviation 
authority for Canada, to correct an unsafe condition for all serial-
numbered Bell Model 429 helicopters. Transport Canada advises that 
during maintenance on an EFS, the third compartment of the left forward 
float did not inflate. Transport Canada also advises that an 
investigation determined the supply hose for the gas flow from the 
pressurized cylinder to the float compartment was blocked due to a 
manufacturing defect. Bell advised that similar supply hoses are 
installed on various EFS part numbers, which could be installed on 
different helicopter type designs. Transport Canada further advises 
that this condition, if not detected and corrected, could result in 
partial inflation of the EFS during an emergency landing on water, 
preventing a timely egress from the helicopter, and injury to 
helicopter occupants.
    Accordingly, Transport Canada AD CF-2020-21R1 requires a one-time 
special detailed inspection of the affected system to verify that there 
is no blockage through the EFS supply hoses and replacement, as 
required, of the affected supply hoses. Transport Canada AD CF-2020-
21R1 also renders any affected EFS supply hoses not eligible as a 
replacement part on Bell Model 429 helicopters.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

    The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of 
the costs.

Conclusion

    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 reviewed the relevant data and determined 
that air safety requires adopting this AD as proposed. Accordingly, the 
FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these 
helicopters.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    The FAA reviewed Safran Aerosystems Services Service Bulletin No. 
025-69-21, Revision 00, dated March 23, 2020 (SB 025-69-21). SB 025-69-
21 is attached to Bell Alert Service Bulletin No. 429-20-52, dated 
March 30, 2020 (ASB 429-20-52). SB 025-69-21 is incorporated by 
reference in this AD. ASB 429-20-52 is not incorporated by reference in 
this AD. SB 025-69-21 specifies, for certain EFSs manufactured before 
July 2019, and any float supply hose manufactured before January 2014, 
performing a special inspection to verify that there is no blockage 
through the float supply hoses of the EFS inflation system.
    This service information is reasonably available because the 
interested parties have access to it through their normal course of 
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Differences Between This AD and the Transport Canada AD

    The Transport Canada AD requires compliance within 600 hours air 
time or within the next 24-month inspection of the EFS, whichever 
occurs first, whereas this AD requires compliance within 100 hours TIS. 
The Transport Canada AD limits the applicability to certain EFS supply 
hoses listed in SB 025-69-21, whereas this AD applies to certain EFS 
supply hoses manufactured before January 2014 but excludes EFS supply 
hoses marked with ``SB 025-69-21.''

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 110 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry and that operators may incur the following costs in order to 
comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour.
    Removing and inspecting each EFS supply hose will take about 0.75 
work-hour, for an estimated cost of $64 per hose.
    Installing or replacing each EFS supply hose will take about 0.10 
work-hour with a minimal parts cost, for an estimated cost of $9 per 
hose.
    Marking each EFS supply hose with a green dot and the applicable 
service bulletin number will take a minimal amount of time at a nominal 
cost.
    According to Safran's service information, some of the costs of 
this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact 
on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage by 
Safran; accordingly, all costs are included in this cost estimate.

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 helicopters 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

[[Page 30770]]

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 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:

2021-11-13 Bell Textron Canada Limited: Amendment 39-21575; Docket 
No. FAA-2020-1170; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00720-R.

(a) Applicability

    This airworthiness directive (AD) applies to Bell Textron Canada 
Limited (Bell) Model 429 helicopters, certificated in any category, 
with a Bell Emergency Flotation System (EFS) kit part number (P/N) 
429-706-069-101/-103/-105/-121/-123/-125/-139/-141/-143/or -157 
manufactured before July 2019, with a float supply hose manufactured 
before January 2014, installed, except for float supply hoses marked 
with ``SB 025-69-21'' above the external identification marking.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a blocked float supply 
hose installed on an EFS. This condition could result in partial 
inflation of an EFS float during an emergency landing on water and 
subsequently preventing a timely egress from the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 15, 2021.

(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 100 hours time-in-service (TIS):
    (i) Remove each EFS supply hose from the float and inspect each 
end of the EFS supply hose by inserting a plastic cable tie, 300 mm 
minimum x 5 mm maximum (11.811 in. minimum x .196 in. maximum), into 
the holes of the related fitting as shown in Figure 1 of Safran 
Aerosystems Services Service Bulletin No. 025-69-21, Revision 00, 
dated March 23, 2020 (SB 025-69-21).
    Note 1 to paragraph (e)(1)(i): Each end of the supply hose may 
also be referred to as fitting or banjo.
    (ii) If the cable tie does not pass through the hose, before 
further flight, remove the EFS supply hose from service and replace 
it with an airworthy part.
    (iii) If the cable tie passes through the supply hose, mark a 
green dot with indelible ink on the base of the supply hose and 
write ``SB 025-69-21'' above the external identification marking of 
the EFS with indelible ink.
    (2) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install an EFS 
supply hose manufactured before January 2014 on any helicopter 
unless the requirements in paragraph (e)(1) of this AD have been 
completed.

(f) 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 (g)(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.

(g) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Matt Fuller, AD 
Program Manager, Operational Safety Branch, Airworthiness Products 
Section, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood 
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email 
[email protected].
    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada AD 
CF-2020-212R1, dated August 19, 2020. You may view the Transport 
Canada AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket 
No. FAA-2020-1170.

(h) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference 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) Safran Aerosystems Services Service Bulletin No. 025-69-21, 
Revision 00, dated March 23, 2020 (SB 025-69-21).
    Note 2 to paragraph (h)(2)(i): SB 025-69-21 is attached to Bell 
Alert Service Bulletin No. 429-20-52, dated March 30, 2020, which is 
not incorporated by reference in this AD.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) As the design approval holder for the product identified in 
paragraph (a) of this AD, contact Bell Textron Canada Limited for 
the Safran Aerosystems Services service information identified in 
this AD, at 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.
    (4) 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. For information on the availability of 
this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
    (5) 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, email: [email protected], or go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on May 18, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-12042 Filed 6-9-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P