[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 175 (Tuesday, September 14, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51035-51038]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-19608]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0729; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00364-R]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell 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 supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2021-06-06, which applies to certain Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 
505 helicopters. AD 2021-06-06 requires repetitive fluorescent 
penetrant inspections (FPIs) of the pilot collective stick and grip 
assembly and revising the existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for 
your helicopter. Since the FAA issued AD 2021-06-06, the pilot 
collective stick and grip assembly has been redesigned. This proposed 
AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2021-06-06, require 
modifying your helicopter to include the improved pilot collective 
stick tube and would add a terminating action for the repetitive FPIs. 
This proposed AD would also prohibit installing any pilot collective 
stick and grip assembly unless certain requirements of this proposed AD 
were met. 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 October 29, 
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.
    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bell 
Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; 
telephone 1-450-437-2862 or 1-800-363-8023; fax 1-450-433-0272; email 
[email protected]; or at https://www.bellflight.com/support/contact-support. 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 at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0729; 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: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, 
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 
950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-
9167; 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-2021-0729; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00364-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

[[Page 51036]]

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 Hal 
Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 
20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; 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 issued AD 2021-06-06, Amendment 39-21473 (86 FR 14366, 
March 16, 2021) (AD 2021-06-06), for Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 
505 helicopters, serial number (S/N) 65011 and subsequent. AD 2021-06-
06 requires, before further flight, revising the Limitations section of 
the existing RFM for your helicopter to prohibit single pilot 
operations from the right crew seat, require the pilot in command to 
occupy the left crew seat for dual pilot operations, and depending on 
configuration, prohibit the use of SPLIT-COM mode. AD 2021-06-06 also 
requires, before further flight and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), removing and cleaning the pilot 
collective stick and grip assembly and performing an FPI for a crack as 
specified in the manufacturers service information. AD 2021-06-06 also 
requires removing any cracked pilot collective stick and grip assembly 
from service before further flight, and within 10 days after the 
discovery of any crack, reporting certain information to Bell Product 
Support Engineering. AD 2021-06-06 also prohibits installing any pilot 
collective stick and grip assembly on any helicopter unless it has 
successfully passed the FPI requirements of AD 2021-06-06. Lastly, AD 
2021-06-06 prohibits relief under any Master Minimum Equipment List or 
Minimum Equipment List for the Audio Panel when the aircraft is 
operated with a single pilot.
    AD 2021-06-06 was prompted by Canadian Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2, 
dated March 4, 2021 (Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2), 
issued by Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, 
to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 
505 helicopters, S/Ns 65011 and subsequent. Transport Canada advised 
that FPIs findings showed that cracking of the pilot collective stick 
and grip assembly could occur at very low flight hours. Transport 
Canada also specified that Bell Textron Canada Limited revised its 
service information to introduce a temporary revision to the RFM 
prohibiting single pilot operations from the right crew seat. This 
condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the pilot 
collective stick and grip assembly and subsequent loss of control of 
the helicopter.
    Accordingly, Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2 prohibited 
single pilot operations from the right crew seat in accordance with the 
manufacturers service information. Transport Canada considered its AD 
an interim action and stated that further AD action may follow.

Actions Since AD 2021-06-06 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2021-06-06, Transport Canada issued AD CF-
2021-05R3, dated March 19, 2021 (Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05R3), 
which supersedes Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2. Transport 
Canada advises that since Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2 
was issued, the pilot collective stick and grip assembly has been 
redesigned to address the root cause of the cracking. Accordingly, 
Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05-R3 retains the requirements of Transport 
Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2 and requires installing the newly 
designed pilot collective stick and grip assembly, which is a 
terminating action for the requirements of Transport Canada Emergency 
AD CF-2021-05R2. Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05R3 also revises the 
applicability to include only helicopters that have not incorporated 
the redesigned pilot collective stick and grip assembly during 
production.
    Finally, the FAA received one comment on AD 2021-06-06 from one 
commenter. Advanced Helicopter Services requested additional 
information about AD 2021-06-06, specifically whether performing 
certain actions specified in Bell Alert Service Bulletin 505-21-20, 
Revision C, dated March 11, 2021 (ASB 505-21-20 Rev C) would be 
considered a terminating action for the inspections required by AD 
2021-06-06.
    The FAA has determined that it is necessary to supersede AD 2021-
06-06. The proposed required actions, including required actions 
performed in accordance with portions of ASB 505-21-20 Rev C, would 
include a terminating action for the repetitive FPI inspections.

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 Under 1 CFR Part 51

    The FAA reviewed ASB 505-21-20 Rev C, which provides instructions 
for an initial and recurring FPIs for cracks in the pilot collective 
stick and grip assembly part number (P/N) M207-20M478-041/-043/-047 on 
Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 505 helicopters, serial numbers 65011 
through 65347. ASB 505-21-20 Rev C also specifies inserting a temporary 
revision into the RFM that prohibits single pilot operations from the 
right crew seat until further notice, and specifies that if the right 
crew seat pilot collective stick and grip assembly was previously 
confirmed serviceable following an FPI then the 25 flight hour 
recurring FPI of the right crew seat pilot collective stick and grip 
assembly is no longer required provided that the helicopter is only 
operated

[[Page 51037]]

single pilot in command (PIC) from the left crew seat.
    The FAA also reviewed Bell 505 RFM TR for Pilot Collective (ASB 
505-21-20), BHT-505-FM-1, Temporary Revision (TR-6) (BHT-505-FM-1, TR-
6) and Bell 505 RFM TR for Pilot Collective (ASB 505-21-20), BHT-505-
FM-2, Temporary Revision (TR-1), each dated March 3, 2021. These 
temporary revisions specify changes to Section 1 of the RFM Limitations 
Section that the minimum flight crew consists of one pilot that shall 
operate from the left crew seat and that dual operation is approved 
provide that the PIC occupies the left crew seat. BHT-505-FM-1, TR-6 
also prohibits use of SPLIT-COM mode.
    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.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would retain certain requirements from AD 2021-06-
06. This proposed AD would require, before further flight, revising 
Section 1, the Limitations section of the existing RFM for your 
helicopter to prohibit single pilot operations from the right crew 
seat, require the PIC to occupy the left crew seat for dual pilot 
operations, and depending on configuration, prohibit the use of SPLIT-
COM mode. This proposed AD would also require, before further flight 
after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 25 hours TIS, removing the pilot collective stick and grip 
assembly and performing an FPI for a crack and depending on the 
inspection results, removing a certain part from service. This proposed 
AD would also require within 12 months after the effective date of this 
AD, removing a certain part-numbered pilot collective stick tube from 
service and installing an improved pilot collective stick tube in 
accordance with the manufacturers service information and thereafter, 
removing a certain part-numbered pilot collective stick tube from 
service before it accumulates 300 total hours TIS. Additionally, this 
proposed AD would consider certain proposed actions to be a terminating 
action for other proposed actions. This proposed AD would also prohibit 
installing any pilot collective stick and grip assembly unless certain 
proposed actions are accomplished.
    This proposed AD would require revising the Limitations section of 
the existing RFM for your helicopter. An owner/operator (pilot) may 
incorporate the RFM revisions, and the owner/operator must enter 
compliance with the applicable paragraphs of the AD into the aircraft 
records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 
91.417(a)(2)(v). This is an exception to the FAA's standard maintenance 
regulations.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD

    This proposed AD would prohibit relief under any Master Minimum 
Equipment List or Minimum Equipment List for the Audio Panel when the 
aircraft is operated with a single pilot, whereas Transport Canada AD 
CF-2021-05R3 does not. Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05R3 requires the 
repetitive FPIs if the aircraft is not flown solely from the left crew 
seat whereas this proposed AD requires FPIs regardless.
    Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05R3 requires operators to ``advise all 
flight crews'' of changes to the RFM, and thereafter to ``operate the 
helicopter accordingly.'' However, this AD would not specifically 
require those actions. 14 CFR 91.9 requires that no person may operate 
a civil aircraft without complying with the operating limitations 
specified in the RFM. Therefore, including a requirement in this 
proposed AD to operate the helicopter according to the revised RFM 
would be redundant and unnecessary. Further, compliance with such a 
requirement in an AD would be impracticable to demonstrate or track on 
an ongoing basis; therefore, a requirement to operate the helicopter in 
such a manner would be unenforceable.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would 
affect 98 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at 
$85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the 
following costs to comply with this proposed AD.
    Revising the existing RFM for your helicopter would take about 0.5 
work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter.
    Removing, cleaning, and performing an FPI of the pilot collective 
stick and grip assembly would take about 3 work-hours for an estimated 
cost of $255 per helicopter and $24,990 for the U.S. fleet per 
inspection cycle.
    Installing an improved pilot collective stick tube would take about 
5 work-hours and parts would cost about $1,256 for an estimated cost of 
$1,681 per helicopter.
    The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate. 
According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this 
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost 
impact on affected operators.

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:


[[Page 51038]]


    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13   [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by:
0
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2021-06-06, Amendment 39-21473 (86 
FR 14366, March 16, 2021); and
0
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Bell Textron Canada Limited: Docket No. FAA-2021-0729; Project 
Identifier MCAI-2021-00364-R.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) action by October 29, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2021-06-06, Amendment 39-21473 (86 FR 14366, 
March 16, 2021) (AD 2021-06-06).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 505 
helicopters, serial number (S/N) 65011 through 65347 inclusive, 
certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6710, Main Rotor 
Control.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of a cracked pilot collective 
stick and grip assembly. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect a 
cracked pilot collective stick and grip assembly. The unsafe 
condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the pilot 
collective stick and grip assembly and subsequent 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, 
revise the Limitations section of the existing Rotorcraft Flight 
Manual (RFM) for your helicopter by inserting Bell 505 RFM Temporary 
Revision (TR) for Pilot Collective (ASB 505-21-20), BHT-505-FM-1, 
Temporary Revision (TR-6) or Bell 505 RFM TR for Pilot Collective 
(ASB 505-21-20), BHT-505-FM-2, Temporary Revision (TR-1), each dated 
March 3, 2021, as applicable to your helicopter. Using a different 
document with information identical to the information for the 
``Flight Crew'' and ``Configuration,'' as applicable to your 
helicopter, in the RFM TR specified in this paragraph for your 
helicopter is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of 
this paragraph. This action may be performed by the owner/operator 
(pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate and must be 
entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in 
accordance with Sec.  43.9(a)(1) through (4) and Sec.  
91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by Sec.  
91.417, Sec.  121.380, or Sec.  135.439.
    (2) Before further flight after the effective date of this AD, 
and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours time-in-service 
(TIS):
    (i) Remove the pilot collective stick and grip assembly from the 
jackshaft assembly and clean the areas specified in Figure 2 of Bell 
Alert Service Bulletin 505-21-20, Revision C, dated March 11, 2021 
(ASB 505-21-20 Rev C) with a clean cloth C-516C or equivalent 
moistened with dry cleaning solvent C-304 or equivalent.
    (ii) Perform a fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) for a 
crack by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Part I, 
paragraph 5. (but not paragraphs 5.a. and b.) of ASB 505-21-20 Rev 
C. Perform this FPI in the areas specified in Figure 2 of ASB 505-
21-20 Rev C. If there is a crack, before further flight, remove the 
pilot collective stick and grip assembly from service.
    (3) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, remove 
the pilot collective stick tube from service and install pilot 
collective stick tube part number (P/N) M207-20M301-043 by following 
the Accomplishment Instructions, Part II, paragraphs 3. through 4. 
of ASB 505-21-20 Rev C except where this service information 
specifies discarding parts, you are required to remove those parts 
from service instead. Thereafter, remove from service pilot 
collective stick tube P/N M207-20M301-043 before it accumulates 300 
total hours TIS
    (4) Completing the actions required in paragraph (g)(3) of this 
AD constitutes a terminating action for the requirements in 
paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this AD.
    (5) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install any 
pilot collective stick and grip assembly on any helicopter unless 
the actions required by paragraphs (g)(2) and (g)(3) of this AD have 
been accomplished.
    (6) As of the effective date of this AD, relief under any Master 
Minimum Equipment List or Minimum Equipment List for the Audio Panel 
is prohibited when the aircraft is operated with a single pilot.

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

    If you performed an FPI of the pilot collective stick and grip 
assembly before the effective date of this AD using Bell Alert 
Service Bulletin 505-21-20, dated February 20, 2021, Bell Alert 
Service Bulletin 505-21-20, Revision A, dated February 26, 2021, or 
Bell Alert Service Bulletin 505-21-20, Revision B, dated March 3, 
2021, you met the before further flight FPI requirement of paragraph 
(g)(2) of this AD.

(i) Special Flight Permits

    A special flight permit to a maintenance facility may be granted 
provided that:
    (1) There are no passengers on-board,
    (2) The helicopter is flown from the copilot seat only, and
    (3) The GMA (intercom) is operative.

(j) 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 (k)(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.

(k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Hal Jensen, 
Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 
20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; 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 1-450-437-2862 or 1-800-363-8023; fax 1-450-433-
0272; email [email protected]; or at https://www.bellflight.com/support/contact-support. You may view 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-2021-05R3, dated March 19, 2021. You may view the Transport 
Canada AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket 
No. FAA-2021-0729.

    Issued on September 2, 2021.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-19608 Filed 9-13-21; 8:45 am]
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