Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 206A, B, L, L-1, L-3, and L-4 Helicopters, 60246-60250 [05-20681]

Download as PDF 60246 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 199 / Monday, October 17, 2005 / Proposed Rules PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: 14 CFR Part 39 Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] RIN 2120–AA64 2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive to read as follows: Eurocopter France: Docket No. FAA–2005– 22696; Directorate Identifier 2004–SW– 46–AD. Applicability: Model EC 155B and B1 helicopters, certificated in any category. Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously. To prevent interference of the wiring with the structure resulting in an electrical short circuit, failure of the landing gear to extend, and an emergency landing, accomplish the following: (a) Within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS), (1) Inspect the wiring of panel 12 Alpha (wiring) electrical cable bundle for wear. If wear is present, replace the worn cable bundle with an airworthy cable bundle by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.A.1, 2.B.1, and 2.B.2 of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC155, Revision 1, dated May 14, 2004 (ASB). Note 1: Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM): Tasks 24.00.00.911 and 32–30–00– 721 and Standard Practices Manual (MTC) Work Cards 20.02.01.415, 20.06.01.310, 20.06.01.406, and 20.02.06.409 pertain to the subject of this AD. (2) Modify the routing of the electrical wiring (MOD 0739C28) and replace spreaders and spacers by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 2.B.3. through 2.B.9. of the ASB. (b) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Contact the Safety Management Group, FAA, for information about previously approved alternative methods of compliance. (c) Special flight permits will not be issued. Note 2: The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (France) AD F–2004–057 R1, dated July 21, 2004. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 7, 2005. David A. Downey, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–20679 Filed 10–14–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 11:41 Oct 14, 2005 [Docket No. FAA–2005–22696; Directorate Identifier 2005–SW–22–AD] Jkt 208001 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 206A, B, L, L–1, L–3, and L–4 Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document proposes superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for the specified Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) model helicopters. That AD currently requires an initial inspection and at specified intervals checks and inspections of the tail rotor blade (blade) for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed tail rotor weight (weight). Also, that AD requires, before further flight, replacing each blade with an airworthy blade if a deformation, a crack, or a bent or deformed weight is found. This action would contain the same actions as the existing AD and would also propose adding certain serial-numbered blades to the applicability that were inadvertently omitted from the current AD and would require replacing each affected blade, which would be terminating action. This proposal is prompted by three reports of skin cracks originating near the blade trailing edge balance weight. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Comments must be received on or before December 16, 2005. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD: • DOT Docket Web Site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically; • Government-Wide Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically; • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590; • Fax: 202–493–2251; or • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • You may get the service information identified in this proposed AD from Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, 12,800 Rue de l’Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4, telephone (450) 437–2862 or (800) 363– 8023, fax (450) 433–0272 • You may examine the comments to this proposed AD in the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Guidance Group, Fort Worth, Texas 76193–0111, telephone (817) 222–5122, fax (817) 222–5961. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to submit any written data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to the address listed under the caption ADDRESSES. Include the docket number ‘‘FAA–2005–22696, Directorate Identifier 2005–SW–22–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Using the search function of our docket web site, you can find and read the comments to any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent or signed the comment. You may review the DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78), or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov. The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter. Examining the Docket You may examine the docket that contains the proposed AD, any comments, and other information in person at the Docket Management System (DMS) Docket Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1–800–647– 5227) is located at the plaza level of the Department of Transportation NASSIF Building in Room PL–401 at 400 E:\FR\FM\17OCP1.SGM 17OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 199 / Monday, October 17, 2005 / Proposed Rules Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them. Discussion On November 22, 2004, the FAA issued AD 2004–24–08, Docket No. 2004–SW–12–AD, Amendment 39– 13884 (69 FR 69810, December 1, 2004). That AD requires an initial inspection and at intervals not to exceed 12 hours time-in-service (TIS), a 10X inspection or at intervals not to exceed 24 hours TIS a 10X inspection and a 3-hour TIS check between each 24 hour TIS inspection of the blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight. Also, that AD requires, before further flight, replacing each blade with an airworthy blade if a deformation, a crack, or a bent or deformed weight is found. That action was prompted by three reports of skin cracks originating near the blade trailing edge balance weight. The requirements of that AD are intended to prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Since issuing AD 2004–24–08, BHTC has issued Alert Service Bulletin 206– 04–100 for Bell Model 206A and B helicopters, and 206L–04–127 for Bell Model 206L series helicopters, both Revision C, both dated March 5, 2005 (ASB). These ASBs add two warnings in the compliance section specifying returning the blade for balancing to Rotor Blades, Inc., and introduce new skin damage limits that supersede the previous damage limits. The ASB also gives a new address for Rotor Blades Inc. When we issued AD 2004–24–08, we intentionally did not include the longterm requirement (no later than April 27, 2007) for removing and sending the affected blades to Rotor Blades, Inc. as specified by the manufacturer. We are including in this proposal a long-term requirement that the affected blades be replaced on or before April 27, 2007, as terminating action. This will allow public comments before any adoption of the long-term proposal. Additionally, in AD 2004–24–08, we inadvertently omitted blade serial numbers 10102 through 10114 from the applicability. We propose to correct that oversight with this action. Transport Canada, the airworthiness authority for Canada, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on these helicopter models. Transport Canada advises of three reports of skin cracks originating near the blade trailing edge balance weight. Two of the occurrences caused a loss of the weight and a strip of material along the trailing VerDate Aug<31>2005 11:41 Oct 14, 2005 Jkt 208001 edge leading to an imbalance, which caused the fracture of three of the four tail rotor gearbox attachments. One of these occurrences resulted in the gearbox shifting that caused failure of the drive shaft and resulting loss of yaw control. Transport Canada issued AD No. CF–2004–05R1, dated June 28, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in Canada. These helicopter models are manufactured in Canada and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.29 and the applicable bilateral agreement. Pursuant to the applicable bilateral agreement, Transport Canada has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of Transport Canada, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of these type designs that are certificated for operation in the United States. Interested persons were afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of AD 2004–24–08, Amendment 39– 13884, Docket No. 2004–SW–12–AD, which we are proposing to supersede. Due consideration has been given to the one comment received. The commenter expresses concern about the 12-hour blade inspection by a mechanic and states the inspection will make this helicopter unsuitable for its intended use. The commenter states the alternate pilot check and mechanic inspection would require them to shut down 4–5 times each day increasing engine cycles. The commenter further states that since the only difference between the pilot check and the mechanic inspection is the 10X magnifier, pilots need to be certified to perform the 12-hour inspection. While the FAA agrees the checks and inspections could increase engine cycles, the primary purpose of issuing an AD is to correct an unsafe condition. However, the terminating action proposed in this AD would eliminate the current mandated inspections. We do not agree that pilots need to be certified to perform inspections. Current FAA policy allows pilots holding at least a private pilot certificate to perform checks that do not require the use of tools, precision measuring equipment, training, pilot logbook endorsements, or reference to technical data not contained in the body of the AD. Pilots may only perform simple maintenance tasks that do not require special maintenance training. The inspection in the AD requires the use of a 10X or higher magnifying glass, which is not considered a simple visual check. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 60247 In the interest of safety, the inspection must occur at the specified intervals and be performed by a qualified mechanic until the terminating action is accomplished. The previously described unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs. Therefore, the proposed AD would supersede AD 2004–24–08 to require: • Before further flight, unless accomplished previously, and before installing any blade with an affected part number and serial number (S/N), cleaning the blade. Then, using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspecting both sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight. • Thereafter, cleaning both sides of each blade and using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspecting for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight as follows: • At intervals not to exceed 12 hours TIS, or • At intervals not to exceed 24 hours TIS and checking both sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight at intervals not to exceed 3 hours TIS between inspections. An owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate may perform the 3-hour TIS check for deformed or cracked blades and for bent or deformed weights. Pilots may perform these checks because they require no tools, can be done by observation, and can be done equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. However, the pilot must enter compliance with these requirements into the helicopter maintenance records by following 14 CFR 43.11 and 91.417(a)(2)(v). • Before further flight, replacing each blade with an airworthy blade if you find a deformation, a crack, or a bent or deformed weight. • On or before April 27, 2007, replacing each affected blade with an airworthy blade that is identified by a ‘‘V’’ at the end of the blade S/N or an airworthy blade with a S/N other than one listed in the applicability section of this AD. Replacing each blade with an airworthy blade that is identified by a ‘‘V’’ at the end of the blade S/N or an airworthy blade with a S/N other than one listed in the applicability section of this AD constitutes terminating action for the requirements of this AD. The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would: • Affect 2194 helicopters of U.S. registry, • Take about 1⁄4 work hour for a blade check or inspection, and E:\FR\FM\17OCP1.SGM 17OCP1 60248 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 199 / Monday, October 17, 2005 / Proposed Rules • Take 3 work hours to replace a blade at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $5848 per helicopter. (In its ASB, the manufacturer states it will give warranty credit based on hour usage on the blade with remaining life hours and other restrictions.) Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $19,989,973. Costs assume—200 pilot checks, 26 mechanic inspections, and one blade replacement for 90 percent of the fleet with a nonconforming blade. under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. A copy of the draft regulatory evaluation prepared for this action is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES. Authority for This Rulemaking List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows: Regulatory Findings The regulations proposed herein 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. Therefore, it is determined that this proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed regulation (1) is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); on a substantial number of small entities 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. We are 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. Model 206A & B; Blade, P/N 206–016–201– 133, S/N with prefix ‘‘CS’’ and no ‘‘V’’ suffix Model 206A, B, L, L–1, L–3, & L–4; Blade, P/N P/N 206–016–201–131, S/N with prefix ‘‘CS’’ and no ‘‘V’’ suffix 1381 1492 1520 1550 1556 1560 1562 1564 1569 1609 1611 1612 1614 1633 1677 1678 1680 1684 1789 1810 1814 1816 1820 1823 1834 1838 1840 1846 1848 1884 1889 1896 1900 1904 7000 7020 7045 7052 7134 7248 7272 7279 7342 7784 7786 7788 7790 7798 7821 7835 7841 8003 8029 8064 8119 8121 8142 8178 8264 8298 8370 8378 8419 8421 8425 8430 8440 8441 through 1442 through 1517 through 1542 through 1567 through 1606 through 1631 through 1675 through through through through 1682 1787 1803 1812 through 1831 through 1836 through 1844 through through through through VerDate Aug<31>2005 1882 1887 1893 1898 11:50 Oct 14, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 through through through through through through through through through 7018 7043 7050 7132 7246 7270 7277 7339 7368 through through through through through through through through 7796 7819 7833 7839 8001 8026 8061 8117 through through through through through through through 8139 8176 8262 8294 8368 8375 8416 Fmt 4702 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 Sfmt 4702 [Amended] 2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing Amendment 39–13884 (69 FR 69810, December 1, 2004), and by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD), to read as follows: Bell Helicopter Textron Canada: Docket No. FAA–2005, Directorate Identifier 2005– SW–22–AD. Supersedes AD 2004–24–08, Amendment 39–13884, Docket No. 2004–SW–12–AD. Applicability: Model 206A, B, L, L–1, L–3, and L–4 helicopters, with a tail rotor blade (blade) with the following part number (P/N) and serial number (S/N) installed, certificated in any category. 10174 10220 10232 10235 10237 10244 10245 10248 10250 10266 10270 10276 10280 10284 10296 10300 10332 10333 10335 10349 10351 10363 10367 10373 10374 10377 10387 10410 10414 10419 10430 10432 10437 10438 through 8428 through 8438 Frm 00014 PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES E:\FR\FM\17OCP1.SGM through 10218 through 10241 through through through through through through 10264 10268 10274 10278 10282 10292 through 10330 through 10347 through 10359 through 10365 through 10385 through 10408 through 10417 through 10427 17OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 199 / Monday, October 17, 2005 / Proposed Rules 60249 Model 206A & B; Blade, P/N 206–016–201– 133, S/N with prefix ‘‘CS’’ and no ‘‘V’’ suffix Model 206A, B, L, L–1, L–3, & L–4; Blade, P/N P/N 206–016–201–131, S/N with prefix ‘‘CS’’ and no ‘‘V’’ suffix 1909 1915 1916 1919 1924 1928 1933 1934 1943 1945 1947 1948 1952 1960 1962 8443 8445 through 8447 8449 through 8606 8608 through 8622 8624 through 8626 8628 through 8632 8635 through 8653 8655 through 8686 8690 8692 through 8700 8703 through 8715 8717 through 8722 8724 through 8742 8745 through 8828 8830 through 8835 8838 through 8840 8842 through 8881 8883 through 9032 9034 through 9139 9141 through 9198 9200 9202 through 9302 9304 through 9339 9341 through 9371 9373 through 9411 9413 9415 through 9417 9419 through 9496 9498 through 9585 9587 through 9594 9596 through 9618 9621 through 9629 9632 through 9642 9645 through 9651 9653 through 9673 9675 through 9707 9709 through 9724 9727 through 9731 9733 through 9735 9737 through 9739 9741 through 9748 9751 through 9785 9787 9788 9790 through 9792 9795 through 9847 9849 through 9928 9930 through 9937 9940 through 9942 9944 through 9952 9955 through 9972 9974 through 9989 9991 through 9995 9997 through 10004 10006 through 10009 10011 10013 through 10018 10021 through 10030 10034 10036 through 10057 10061 through 10082 10090 through 10092 10094 through 10100 10102 through 10114 10116 10119 10121 10123 through 10134 10136 through 10140 10142 through 10144 10146 through 10172 through 1912 through 1921 through 1931 through 1939 through 1957 through 1965 VerDate Aug<31>2005 11:50 Oct 14, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 10442 10458 10469 10470 10474 10476 10480 10489 10493 10497 10505 10591 10608 10612 10623 10624 10631 10657 10672 10673 10676 10680 10685 10687 10689 10707 10712 10715 10730 10732 10736 10738 10739 10746 10750 10756 10760 10761 10765 10770 10774 10778 10781 10783 10792 10794 10798 10799 10806 10811 10814 10824 10825 10829 10831 10917 10923 10931 10936 10937 10940 10943 10945 10947 10948 10964 10965 10973 10982 10985 10986 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\17OCP1.SGM through 10445 through 10466 through through through through through through through through through 10478 10487 10491 10495 10503 10588 10606 10610 10620 through 10655 through 10669 through 10678 through 10683 through 10702 through 10734 through 10776 through 10785 through 10808 through 10822 17OCP1 60250 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 199 / Monday, October 17, 2005 / Proposed Rules Compliance: Required as indicated. To prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, do the following: (a) Before further flight, unless accomplished previously, and before installing any blade with a P/N and S/N listed in the applicability section of this AD, clean the blade. Using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect both sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in the area shown in Figure 1 of this AD. (b) After doing paragraph (a) of this AD, at the following intervals, clean both sides of each blade and do either paragraph (1) or (2) as follows: (1) At intervals not to exceed 12 hours time-in-service (TIS), using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect both sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in the area shown in Figure 1 of this AD, or (2) Inspect and check both sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in the area shown in Figure 1 of this AD as follows: (i) Using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect at intervals not to exceed 24 hours TIS, and (ii) Check at intervals not to exceed 3 hours TIS between the inspections required by paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this AD. An owner/ operator (pilot), holding at least a private pilot certificate, may perform this visual check and must enter compliance with this paragraph into the helicopter maintenance records by following 14 CFR sections 43.11 and 91.417(a)(2)(v). (c) Before further flight, replace any blade that has a deformation, a crack, or a bent or deformed weight with an airworthy blade. Note 2: Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No. 206–04–100 for Model 206A and B and No. 206L–04–127 for Model 206L series, both Revision C, both dated March 5, 2005, pertain to the subject of this AD. (d) On or before April 27, 2007, for any affected part-numbered blade with a S/N listed in the applicability section of this AD: (1) Replace the blade with a blade that has a S/N other than one listed in the applicability section of this AD, or (2) Replace the blade with a blade that has a S/N listed in the applicability section of this AD and also has a ‘‘V’’ suffix. (e) Replacing each blade with an airworthy blade as required by paragraph (d) of this AD constitutes terminating action for the requirements of this AD. (f) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Contact the Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, for information about previously approved alternative methods of compliance. Note 3: The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada (Canada) AD No. CF– 2004–05R1, dated June 28, 2004. 11:41 Oct 14, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 7, 2005. David A. Downey, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–20681 Filed 10–14–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P E:\FR\FM\17OCP1.SGM 17OCP1 EP17OC05.002</GPH> VerDate Aug<31>2005 Note 1: Paint irregularities on the blade may indicate a crack.

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 199 (Monday, October 17, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 60246-60250]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-20681]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2005-22696; Directorate Identifier 2005-SW-22-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 
206A, B, L, L-1, L-3, and L-4 Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document proposes superseding an existing airworthiness 
directive (AD) for the specified Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) 
model helicopters. That AD currently requires an initial inspection and 
at specified intervals checks and inspections of the tail rotor blade 
(blade) for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed tail rotor 
weight (weight). Also, that AD requires, before further flight, 
replacing each blade with an airworthy blade if a deformation, a crack, 
or a bent or deformed weight is found. This action would contain the 
same actions as the existing AD and would also propose adding certain 
serial-numbered blades to the applicability that were inadvertently 
omitted from the current AD and would require replacing each affected 
blade, which would be terminating action. This proposal is prompted by 
three reports of skin cracks originating near the blade trailing edge 
balance weight. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended 
to prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 16, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on 
this proposed AD:
     DOT Docket Web Site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow 
the instructions for sending your comments electronically;
     Government-Wide Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your 
comments electronically;
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 
Washington, DC 20590;
     Fax: 202-493-2251; or
     Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     You may get the service information identified in this 
proposed AD from Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, 12,800 Rue de 
l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4, telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 
363-8023, fax (450) 433-0272
     You may examine the comments to this proposed AD in the AD 
docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Miles, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Guidance Group, 
Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0111, telephone (817) 222-5122, fax (817) 222-
5961.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to submit any written data, views, or arguments 
regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to the address listed 
under the caption ADDRESSES. Include the docket number ``FAA-2005-
22696, Directorate Identifier 2005-SW-22-AD'' at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will 
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the 
proposed AD in light of those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://
dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will 
also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA 
personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Using the search 
function of our docket web site, you can find and read the comments to 
any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent or 
signed the comment. You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 
19477-78), or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov. The postcard will be 
date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Examining the Docket

    You may examine the docket that contains the proposed AD, any 
comments, and other information in person at the Docket Management 
System (DMS) Docket Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-
647-5227) is located at the plaza level of the Department of 
Transportation NASSIF Building in Room PL-401 at 400

[[Page 60247]]

Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC. Comments will be available in the 
AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them.

Discussion

    On November 22, 2004, the FAA issued AD 2004-24-08, Docket No. 
2004-SW-12-AD, Amendment 39-13884 (69 FR 69810, December 1, 2004). That 
AD requires an initial inspection and at intervals not to exceed 12 
hours time-in-service (TIS), a 10X inspection or at intervals not to 
exceed 24 hours TIS a 10X inspection and a 3-hour TIS check between 
each 24 hour TIS inspection of the blade for a deformation, a crack, 
and a bent or deformed weight. Also, that AD requires, before further 
flight, replacing each blade with an airworthy blade if a deformation, 
a crack, or a bent or deformed weight is found. That action was 
prompted by three reports of skin cracks originating near the blade 
trailing edge balance weight. The requirements of that AD are intended 
to prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.
    Since issuing AD 2004-24-08, BHTC has issued Alert Service Bulletin 
206-04-100 for Bell Model 206A and B helicopters, and 206L-04-127 for 
Bell Model 206L series helicopters, both Revision C, both dated March 
5, 2005 (ASB). These ASBs add two warnings in the compliance section 
specifying returning the blade for balancing to Rotor Blades, Inc., and 
introduce new skin damage limits that supersede the previous damage 
limits. The ASB also gives a new address for Rotor Blades Inc.
    When we issued AD 2004-24-08, we intentionally did not include the 
long-term requirement (no later than April 27, 2007) for removing and 
sending the affected blades to Rotor Blades, Inc. as specified by the 
manufacturer. We are including in this proposal a long-term requirement 
that the affected blades be replaced on or before April 27, 2007, as 
terminating action. This will allow public comments before any adoption 
of the long-term proposal. Additionally, in AD 2004-24-08, we 
inadvertently omitted blade serial numbers 10102 through 10114 from the 
applicability. We propose to correct that oversight with this action.
    Transport Canada, the airworthiness authority for Canada, notified 
the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on these helicopter models. 
Transport Canada advises of three reports of skin cracks originating 
near the blade trailing edge balance weight. Two of the occurrences 
caused a loss of the weight and a strip of material along the trailing 
edge leading to an imbalance, which caused the fracture of three of the 
four tail rotor gearbox attachments. One of these occurrences resulted 
in the gearbox shifting that caused failure of the drive shaft and 
resulting loss of yaw control. Transport Canada issued AD No. CF-2004-
05R1, dated June 28, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of 
these helicopters in Canada.
    These helicopter models are manufactured in Canada and are type 
certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of 
14 CFR 21.29 and the applicable bilateral agreement. Pursuant to the 
applicable bilateral agreement, Transport Canada has kept the FAA 
informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the 
findings of Transport Canada, reviewed all available information, and 
determined that AD action is necessary for products of these type 
designs that are certificated for operation in the United States.
    Interested persons were afforded an opportunity to participate in 
the making of AD 2004-24-08, Amendment 39-13884, Docket No. 2004-SW-12-
AD, which we are proposing to supersede. Due consideration has been 
given to the one comment received.
    The commenter expresses concern about the 12-hour blade inspection 
by a mechanic and states the inspection will make this helicopter 
unsuitable for its intended use. The commenter states the alternate 
pilot check and mechanic inspection would require them to shut down 4-5 
times each day increasing engine cycles. The commenter further states 
that since the only difference between the pilot check and the mechanic 
inspection is the 10X magnifier, pilots need to be certified to perform 
the 12-hour inspection.
    While the FAA agrees the checks and inspections could increase 
engine cycles, the primary purpose of issuing an AD is to correct an 
unsafe condition. However, the terminating action proposed in this AD 
would eliminate the current mandated inspections. We do not agree that 
pilots need to be certified to perform inspections. Current FAA policy 
allows pilots holding at least a private pilot certificate to perform 
checks that do not require the use of tools, precision measuring 
equipment, training, pilot logbook endorsements, or reference to 
technical data not contained in the body of the AD. Pilots may only 
perform simple maintenance tasks that do not require special 
maintenance training. The inspection in the AD requires the use of a 
10X or higher magnifying glass, which is not considered a simple visual 
check. In the interest of safety, the inspection must occur at the 
specified intervals and be performed by a qualified mechanic until the 
terminating action is accomplished.
    The previously described unsafe condition is likely to exist or 
develop on other helicopters of these same type designs. Therefore, the 
proposed AD would supersede AD 2004-24-08 to require:
     Before further flight, unless accomplished previously, and 
before installing any blade with an affected part number and serial 
number (S/N), cleaning the blade. Then, using a 10X or higher 
magnifying glass, inspecting both sides of each blade for a 
deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight.
     Thereafter, cleaning both sides of each blade and using a 
10X or higher magnifying glass, inspecting for a deformation, a crack, 
and a bent or deformed weight as follows:
     At intervals not to exceed 12 hours TIS, or
     At intervals not to exceed 24 hours TIS and checking both 
sides of each blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed 
weight at intervals not to exceed 3 hours TIS between inspections. An 
owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate may 
perform the 3-hour TIS check for deformed or cracked blades and for 
bent or deformed weights. Pilots may perform these checks because they 
require no tools, can be done by observation, and can be done equally 
well by a pilot or a mechanic. However, the pilot must enter compliance 
with these requirements into the helicopter maintenance records by 
following 14 CFR 43.11 and 91.417(a)(2)(v).
     Before further flight, replacing each blade with an 
airworthy blade if you find a deformation, a crack, or a bent or 
deformed weight.
     On or before April 27, 2007, replacing each affected blade 
with an airworthy blade that is identified by a ``V'' at the end of the 
blade S/N or an airworthy blade with a S/N other than one listed in the 
applicability section of this AD.
    Replacing each blade with an airworthy blade that is identified by 
a ``V'' at the end of the blade S/N or an airworthy blade with a S/N 
other than one listed in the applicability section of this AD 
constitutes terminating action for the requirements of this AD.
    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would:
     Affect 2194 helicopters of U.S. registry,
     Take about \1/4\ work hour for a blade check or 
inspection, and

[[Page 60248]]

     Take 3 work hours to replace a blade at an average labor 
rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $5848 per 
helicopter. (In its ASB, the manufacturer states it will give warranty 
credit based on hour usage on the blade with remaining life hours and 
other restrictions.) Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost 
impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $19,989,973. Costs 
assume--200 pilot checks, 26 mechanic inspections, and one blade 
replacement for 90 percent of the fleet with a nonconforming blade.

Regulatory Findings

    The regulations proposed herein 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. Therefore, it 
is determined that this proposal would not have federalism implications 
under Executive Order 13132.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed 
regulation (1) is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under 
Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); on 
a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. A copy of the draft regulatory evaluation 
prepared for this action is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it 
may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location provided 
under the caption ADDRESSES.

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.
    We are 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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 
part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as 
follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

    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]

    2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing Amendment 39-13884 (69 FR 
69810, December 1, 2004), and by adding a new airworthiness directive 
(AD), to read as follows:

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada: Docket No. FAA-2005, Directorate 
Identifier 2005-SW-22-AD. Supersedes AD 2004-24-08, Amendment 39-
13884, Docket No. 2004-SW-12-AD.

    Applicability: Model 206A, B, L, L-1, L-3, and L-4 helicopters, 
with a tail rotor blade (blade) with the following part number (P/N) 
and serial number (S/N) installed, certificated in any category.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Model 206A & B; Blade,   Model 206A, B, L, L-1, L-3, & L-4; Blade, P/N P/
 P/N 206-016-201-133, S/  N 206-016-201-131, S/N with prefix ``CS'' and
 N with prefix ``CS''     no ``V'' suffix
 and no ``V'' suffix
------------------------
1381 through 1442        7000 through 7018        10174 through 10218
1492 through 1517        7020 through 7043        10220
1520 through 1542        7045 through 7050        10232
1550                     7052 through 7132        10235
1556                     7134 through 7246        10237 through 10241
1560                     7248 through 7270        10244
1562                     7272 through 7277        10245
1564 through 1567        7279 through 7339        10248
1569 through 1606        7342 through 7368        10250 through 10264
1609                     7784                     10266 through 10268
1611                     7786                     10270 through 10274
1612                     7788                     10276 through 10278
1614 through 1631        7790 through 7796        10280 through 10282
1633 through 1675        7798 through 7819        10284 through 10292
1677                     7821 through 7833        10296
1678                     7835 through 7839        10300 through 10330
1680 through 1682        7841 through 8001        10332
1684 through 1787        8003 through 8026        10333
1789 through 1803        8029 through 8061        10335 through 10347
1810 through 1812        8064 through 8117        10349
1814                     8119                     10351 through 10359
1816                     8121 through 8139        10363 through 10365
1820                     8142 through 8176        10367
1823 through 1831        8178 through 8262        10373
1834 through 1836        8264 through 8294        10374
1838                     8298 through 8368        10377 through 10385
1840 through 1844        8370 through 8375        10387 through 10408
1846                     8378 through 8416        10410
1848 through 1882        8419                     10414 through 10417
1884 through 1887        8421                     10419 through 10427
1889 through 1893        8425 through 8428        10430
1896 through 1898        8430 through 8438        10432
1900                     8440                     10437
1904                     8441                     10438

[[Page 60249]]

 
Model 206A & B; Blade,   Model 206A, B, L, L-1, L-3, & L-4; Blade, P/N P/
 P/N 206-016-201-133, S/  N 206-016-201-131, S/N with prefix ``CS'' and
 N with prefix ``CS''     no ``V'' suffix
 and no ``V'' suffix
------------------------
1909 through 1912        8443                     10442 through 10445
1915                     8445 through 8447        10458 through 10466
1916                     8449 through 8606        10469
1919 through 1921        8608 through 8622        10470
1924                     8624 through 8626        10474
1928 through 1931        8628 through 8632        10476 through 10478
1933                     8635 through 8653        10480 through 10487
1934 through 1939        8655 through 8686        10489 through 10491
1943                     8690                     10493 through 10495
1945                     8692 through 8700        10497 through 10503
1947                     8703 through 8715        10505 through 10588
1948                     8717 through 8722        10591 through 10606
1952 through 1957        8724 through 8742        10608 through 10610
1960                     8745 through 8828        10612 through 10620
1962 through 1965        8830 through 8835        10623
                         8838 through 8840        10624
                         8842 through 8881        10631 through 10655
                         8883 through 9032        10657 through 10669
                         9034 through 9139        10672
                         9141 through 9198        10673
                         9200                     10676 through 10678
                         9202 through 9302        10680 through 10683
                         9304 through 9339        10685
                         9341 through 9371        10687
                         9373 through 9411        10689 through 10702
                         9413                     10707
                         9415 through 9417        10712
                         9419 through 9496        10715
                         9498 through 9585        10730
                         9587 through 9594        10732 through 10734
                         9596 through 9618        10736
                         9621 through 9629        10738
                         9632 through 9642        10739
                         9645 through 9651        10746
                         9653 through 9673        10750
                         9675 through 9707        10756
                         9709 through 9724        10760
                         9727 through 9731        10761
                         9733 through 9735        10765
                         9737 through 9739        10770
                         9741 through 9748        10774 through 10776
                         9751 through 9785        10778
                         9787                     10781
                         9788                     10783 through 10785
                         9790 through 9792        10792
                         9795 through 9847        10794
                         9849 through 9928        10798
                         9930 through 9937        10799
                         9940 through 9942        10806 through 10808
                         9944 through 9952        10811
                         9955 through 9972        10814 through 10822
                         9974 through 9989        10824
                         9991 through 9995        10825
                         9997 through 10004       10829
                         10006 through 10009      10831
                         10011                    10917
                         10013 through 10018      10923
                         10021 through 10030      10931
                         10034                    10936
                         10036 through 10057      10937
                         10061 through 10082      10940
                         10090 through 10092      10943
                         10094 through 10100      10945
                         10102 through 10114      10947
                         10116                    10948
                         10119                    10964
                         10121                    10965
                         10123 through 10134      10973
                         10136 through 10140      10982
                         10142 through 10144      10985
                         10146 through 10172      10986
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 60250]]

    Compliance: Required as indicated.
    To prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter, do the following:
    (a) Before further flight, unless accomplished previously, and 
before installing any blade with a P/N and S/N listed in the 
applicability section of this AD, clean the blade. Using a 10X or 
higher magnifying glass, inspect both sides of each blade for a 
deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in the area 
shown in Figure 1 of this AD.


    Note 1: Paint irregularities on the blade may indicate a crack.

    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP17OC05.002
    
    (b) After doing paragraph (a) of this AD, at the following 
intervals, clean both sides of each blade and do either paragraph 
(1) or (2) as follows:
    (1) At intervals not to exceed 12 hours time-in-service (TIS), 
using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect both sides of each 
blade for a deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in 
the area shown in Figure 1 of this AD, or
    (2) Inspect and check both sides of each blade for a 
deformation, a crack, and a bent or deformed weight in the area 
shown in Figure 1 of this AD as follows:
    (i) Using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect at intervals 
not to exceed 24 hours TIS, and
    (ii) Check at intervals not to exceed 3 hours TIS between the 
inspections required by paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this AD. An owner/
operator (pilot), holding at least a private pilot certificate, may 
perform this visual check and must enter compliance with this 
paragraph into the helicopter maintenance records by following 14 
CFR sections 43.11 and 91.417(a)(2)(v).
    (c) Before further flight, replace any blade that has a 
deformation, a crack, or a bent or deformed weight with an airworthy 
blade.

    Note 2: Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No. 206-
04-100 for Model 206A and B and No. 206L-04-127 for Model 206L 
series, both Revision C, both dated March 5, 2005, pertain to the 
subject of this AD.

    (d) On or before April 27, 2007, for any affected part-numbered 
blade with a S/N listed in the applicability section of this AD:
    (1) Replace the blade with a blade that has a S/N other than one 
listed in the applicability section of this AD, or
    (2) Replace the blade with a blade that has a S/N listed in the 
applicability section of this AD and also has a ``V'' suffix.
    (e) Replacing each blade with an airworthy blade as required by 
paragraph (d) of this AD constitutes terminating action for the 
requirements of this AD.
    (f) To request a different method of compliance or a different 
compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. 
Contact the Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 
for information about previously approved alternative methods of 
compliance.

    Note 3: The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada 
(Canada) AD No. CF-2004-05R1, dated June 28, 2004.


    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 7, 2005.
David A. Downey,
Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 05-20681 Filed 10-14-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P