Airworthiness Directives; MD Helicopters, Inc. Model MD900 (including the MD902 Configuration) Helicopters, 43646-43648 [E8-17262]

Download as PDF 43646 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 145 / Monday, July 28, 2008 / Proposed Rules TABLE 1.—AIRPLANES AFFECTED BY THIS AD McDonnell Douglas model— Identified in— Referenced in— DC–10–10, DC–10–10F, DC–10–15, DC–10–30, DC–10–30F (KC– 10A and KDC–10), DC–10–40, DC–10–40F, MD–10–10F, and MD–10–30F airplanes. MD–11 and MD–11F airplanes .......................................................... Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10–29A144, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2003. Paragraph (f) of this AD. Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11–29A059, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2003. Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10–29A148, dated March 20, 2008. Paragraph (g) of this AD. DC–10–10, DC–10–10F, DC–10–15, DC–10–30, DC–10–30F (KC– 10A and KDC–10), DC–10–40, and DC–10–40F airplanes. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from reports of failure of the electric motor for the auxiliary hydraulic pump. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the electric motors of the hydraulic pump and associated wiring, which could result in fire at the auxiliary hydraulic pump and consequent damage to the adjacent electrical equipment and/or structure. Compliance (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done. yshivers on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Restatement of the Requirements of AD 2004–05–20 Modification/Prior or Concurrent Actions (f) For Model DC–10–10, DC–10–10F, DC– 10–15, DC–10–30, DC–10–30F (KC–10A and KDC–10), DC–10–40, DC–10–40F, MD–10– 10F, and MD–10–30F airplanes listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10–29A144, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2003: Within 18 months after April 15, 2004 (the effective date of AD 2004–05–20), do the actions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this AD. (1) Modify the installation wiring of the electric motor operated auxiliary hydraulic pumps in the right wheel well area of the main landing gear (MLG) (including removing existing clamps, ground wires, if required, and sleeving from the wire assemblies; inspecting for cracks and chafing, installing new support bracket, clips, and bracket assemblies, as applicable; installing sleeving; re-routing and attaching wire assemblies using new clamps and attachments; installing an additional routing clip on the lower bracket of the fuel motor control valve, if applicable; and doing a voltage check and a functional test), per the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10–29A144, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2003. (2) Prior to or concurrently with accomplishment of paragraph (f)(1) or (h) of this AD: Do the actions specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10–29A142, Revision 02, dated April 17, 2003; or Revision 3, dated October 15, 2005; (including inspecting the numbers 1 and 2 electric motors of the auxiliary hydraulic pumps for electrical resistance, continuity, mechanical rotation, and associated airplane wiring resistance/voltage; and replacing the auxiliary hydraulic pump with a serviceable pump and repairing the wiring if necessary), per the Accomplishment Instructions of the VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:00 Jul 25, 2008 Jkt 214001 service bulletin. Repeat the actions after that at intervals not to exceed 2,500 flight hours. After the effective date of this AD, Revision 3 must be used. (g) For Model MD–11 and MD–11F airplanes listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11–29A059, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2003: Within 18 months after April 15, 2004, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD. (1) Modify the installation wiring of the electric motor auxiliary hydraulic pumps in the wheel well area of the right MLG (including removing and retaining wire assembly clamps, if applicable; retaining the existing ground wire assemblies; retaining or replacing all other wire assemblies for both connectors; installing spiral wrap and sleeving; wrapping upper ends of individual wires with tape; installing new support bracket assemblies, if applicable; re-routing and attaching wire assemblies using new clamps and attachments, if applicable; and doing a voltage check and a functional test), per the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11–29A059, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2003. (2) Prior to or concurrently with accomplishment of paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: Do the actions specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11–29A057, Revision 02, dated April 17, 2003 (including inspecting the numbers 1 and 2 electric motors of the auxiliary hydraulic pumps for electrical resistance, continuity, mechanical rotation, and associated airplane wiring resistance/ voltage; and replacing the auxiliary hydraulic pump with a serviceable pump and repairing the wiring if necessary), per the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. Repeat the actions after that at intervals not to exceed 2,500 flight hours. New Requirements of This AD (h) For Model DC–10–10, DC–10–10F, DC– 10–15, DC–10–30, DC–10–30F (KC–10A and KDC–10), DC–10–40, and DC–10–40F airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10–29A148, dated March 20, 2008: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, modify and reroute, as applicable, components of the wiring of the electric motor for the auxiliary hydraulic pump located in the right wheel well, and do all applicable investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Do all actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10–29A148, dated March 20, 2008. The concurrent requirements, including the Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 repetitive inspections, of paragraph (f)(2) of this AD continue to apply to these airplanes. Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (i)(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. (2) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 21, 2008. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E8–17198 Filed 7–25–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2008–0772; Directorate Identifier 2008–SW–30–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; MD Helicopters, Inc. Model MD900 (including the MD902 Configuration) Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: Modification and Rerouting PO 00000 Paragraph (h) of this AD. SUMMARY: This document proposes adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the specified MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) model helicopters that would require, within 30 days, reducing the current gross weight limit to a maximum gross weight limit of 5,400 pounds and inserting a copy of this AD into the Limitations section of the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) or making certain optional modifications that constitute terminating actions. This E:\FR\FM\28JYP1.SGM 28JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 145 / Monday, July 28, 2008 / Proposed Rules proposal is prompted by flight tests that show that the information currently listed in the Limitations section of the RFM is inconsistent with the actual performance of the helicopter. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent loss of directional control of the helicopter. DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 26, 2008. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, 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 MD Helicopters Inc., Attn: Customer Support Division, 4555 E. McDowell Rd., Mail Stop M615, Mesa, Arizona 85215–9734, telephone 1–800–388– 3378, fax 480–346–6813, or on the Web at http://www.mdhelicopters.com. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chip Adam, Flight Test Pilot, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, Flight Test Branch, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712– 4137, telephone (562) 627–5369, fax (562) 627–5210. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: yshivers on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS 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–2008–0772, Directorate Identifier 2008–SW–30–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:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:00 Jul 25, 2008 Jkt 214001 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. Examining the Docket You may examine the docket that contains the proposed AD, any comments, and other information in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647–5527) is located in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the West Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. Discussion This proposed amendment would apply to MDHI Model MD900 (including the MD902 Configuration) helicopters. This proposed amendment is prompted by flight tests related to a proposed type design change that showed that the critical wind azimuth in hover calculated during original certification as depicted in the Limitations section of the RFM is in error. RFM Figure 2–2, ‘‘Controllability Envelope and Critical Azimuth for Crosswind Operation,’’ which shows an envelope of adequate control capability for weights up to the maximum weight in winds of 17 knots or less from any azimuth and in winds of 15 knots or less from the 120° to 135° azimuth region, is inconsistent with the actual performance of the helicopter as demonstrated in recent flight tests. Use of this incorrect information could lead a pilot to believe that, at gross weights and altitudes at or near the upper boundary of the envelope, the helicopter is fully controllable with sustained crosswinds or winds within the critical wind azimuth area; the recent flight tests have shown otherwise. This condition, if not corrected, could result in loss of directional control of the helicopter. We have reviewed MDHI SB900–099 R1, dated December 27, 2006, which describes procedures for adjusting the directional control system rigging, installing a thruster extension kit, and verifying that a NOTAR fan felt seal, part number (P/N) 900F3441025–103 is installed. The SB specifies that failure to comply with the procedures may result in reduced anti-torque control during PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43647 certain combinations of high gross weight, density altitude, and wind critical conditions. The SB also indicates that the maximum gross weight of the helicopter will be lowered if the SB is not complied with. This unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type designs. Therefore, the proposed AD would require, for helicopters that have not complied with MDHI SB900–099 R1, reducing the gross weight limit to a maximum gross weight limit of 5,400 pounds and inserting a copy of the AD into the Limitations section of the RFM. These actions would be required within 30 days. The proposed AD would also include optional terminating actions for the weight reduction. Those terminating actions would be to: • Determine if a NOTAR fan felt seal part number (P/N) 900F3441025–103 is installed. If a NOTAR fan felt seal, P/N 900F3441025–103, is not installed, replace the installed seal with an airworthy NOTAR fan felt seal, P/N 900F3441025–103, before further flight; and • Install a thruster extension kit in accordance with specified portions of the service bulletin described previously. We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 31 helicopters of U.S. registry. The estimated lost revenue attributable to the gross weight reduction would be $1,750,000 per helicopter over the life of the helicopter. It would take approximately 1⁄2 work hour per helicopter to insert the proposed AD into the Limitations section of the RFM; 8 work hours to adjust the directional control system rigging; 8 work hours to install a NOTAR fan felt seal; and 24 work hours to install a thruster extension kit at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. The NOTAR fan felt seal and thruster extension kit would cost approximately $16,000. However, the manufacturer has stated that they would provide the fan felt seal and the thruster extension kit to all operators at no cost to them and that they will also provide each affected operator a credit for the labor costs for a total of 32 work hours for those work hours required to perform the directional control rigging adjustment (8 work hours) and installation of the thruster extension kit (24 work hours). Based on these figures, the total estimated cost impact of this proposed AD on U.S. operators would be $1,920, assuming (1) the entire fleet chooses to modify their affected helicopter in accordance with the optional terminating action provision of this proposal and there is no reduction in E:\FR\FM\28JYP1.SGM 28JYP1 43648 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 145 / Monday, July 28, 2008 / Proposed Rules gross weight necessary, (2) the manufacturer covers all the costs of the parts and the labor costs associated with the rigging adjustment and installation of the thruster extension kit and (3) only 3 helicopters need to have a new fan felt seal installed. Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows: Regulatory Findings 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: We have determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. Additionally, this proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the 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); and 3. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. We prepared a draft economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD. See the AD docket to examine the draft economic evaluation. Authority for This Rulemaking yshivers on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:00 Jul 25, 2008 Jkt 214001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES [Docket No. FAA–2008–0071; Directorate Identifier 2006–SW–27–AD] Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive to read as follows: MD Helicopters, Inc.: Docket No. FAA–2008– 0772; Directorate Identifier 2008–SW– 30–AD. Applicability: Model MD900 (including MD902 Configuration) helicopters that have not complied with MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) Service Bulletin SB900–099 R1, dated December 27, 2006, certificated in any category. Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously. To prevent loss of directional control of the helicopter, accomplish the following: (a) Within 30 days, reduce the gross weight limit to a maximum gross weight limit of 5,400 pounds by inserting a copy of this AD into the Limitations section of the RFM. (b) As an optional terminating action for the weight reduction mandated by paragraph (a) of this AD, accomplish the following: (1) Determine if a NOTAR fan felt seal part number (P/N) 900F3441025–103 is installed. If a NOTAR fan felt seal, P/N 900F3441025– 103, is not installed, replace the installed seal with an airworthy NOTAR fan felt seal, P/N 900F3441025–103, before further flight. (2) Install a thruster extension kit in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph B. (3). through (17). of MDHI SB900–099 R1, dated December 27, 2006 (SB), before further flight. Contacting the manufacturer is not required by this AD. (c) 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 Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, Attn: Chip Adam, Flight Test Pilot, FAA, Flight Test Branch, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712–4137, telephone (562) 627– 5369, fax (562) 627–5210, for information about previously approved alternative methods of compliance. (d) Special flight permits will not be issued. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 8, 2008. Mark R. Schilling, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E8–17262 Filed 7–25–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Model 222, 222B, 222U, 230, and 430 Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document proposes superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) helicopters. That AD currently requires certain checks and inspections of the tail rotor blades. If a crack is found, the existing AD requires replacing the tail rotor blade (blade) with an airworthy blade before further flight. This action would require the same checks and inspections until they are required to be replaced and would remove certain serial numbered and specifically coded tail rotor blades from the applicability of the AD. This proposal is prompted by the approved rework of certain tail rotor blades and two newly redesigned tail rotor blades, which, if installed, constitutes terminating action for the inspection requirements. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to detect a crack in a blade, and to prevent loss of a blade and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Comments must be received on or before September 26, 2008. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, 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 DATES: E:\FR\FM\28JYP1.SGM 28JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 145 (Monday, July 28, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43646-43648]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-17262]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2008-0772; Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-30-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; MD Helicopters, Inc. Model MD900 
(including the MD902 Configuration) Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: This document proposes adopting a new airworthiness directive 
(AD) for the specified MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) model helicopters 
that would require, within 30 days, reducing the current gross weight 
limit to a maximum gross weight limit of 5,400 pounds and inserting a 
copy of this AD into the Limitations section of the Rotorcraft Flight 
Manual (RFM) or making certain optional modifications that constitute 
terminating actions. This

[[Page 43647]]

proposal is prompted by flight tests that show that the information 
currently listed in the Limitations section of the RFM is inconsistent 
with the actual performance of the helicopter. The actions specified by 
the proposed AD are intended to prevent loss of directional control of 
the helicopter.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 26, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on 
this proposed AD:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, 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 MD Helicopters Inc., Attn: Customer Support Division, 4555 E. 
McDowell Rd., Mail Stop M615, Mesa, Arizona 85215-9734, telephone 1-
800-388-3378, fax 480-346-6813, or on the Web at http://
www.mdhelicopters.com.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chip Adam, Flight Test Pilot, FAA, Los 
Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, Flight Test Branch, 3960 
Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712-4137, telephone (562) 627-
5369, fax (562) 627-5210.

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-2008-0772, 
Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-30-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://
www.regulations.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.

Examining the Docket

    You may examine the docket that contains the proposed AD, any 
comments, and other information in person at the Docket Operations 
office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. The Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is 
located in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the West Building at the 
street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be 
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Discussion

    This proposed amendment would apply to MDHI Model MD900 (including 
the MD902 Configuration) helicopters. This proposed amendment is 
prompted by flight tests related to a proposed type design change that 
showed that the critical wind azimuth in hover calculated during 
original certification as depicted in the Limitations section of the 
RFM is in error. RFM Figure 2-2, ``Controllability Envelope and 
Critical Azimuth for Crosswind Operation,'' which shows an envelope of 
adequate control capability for weights up to the maximum weight in 
winds of 17 knots or less from any azimuth and in winds of 15 knots or 
less from the 120[deg] to 135[deg] azimuth region, is inconsistent with 
the actual performance of the helicopter as demonstrated in recent 
flight tests. Use of this incorrect information could lead a pilot to 
believe that, at gross weights and altitudes at or near the upper 
boundary of the envelope, the helicopter is fully controllable with 
sustained crosswinds or winds within the critical wind azimuth area; 
the recent flight tests have shown otherwise. This condition, if not 
corrected, could result in loss of directional control of the 
helicopter.
    We have reviewed MDHI SB900-099 R1, dated December 27, 2006, which 
describes procedures for adjusting the directional control system 
rigging, installing a thruster extension kit, and verifying that a 
NOTAR fan felt seal, part number (P/N) 900F3441025-103 is installed. 
The SB specifies that failure to comply with the procedures may result 
in reduced anti-torque control during certain combinations of high 
gross weight, density altitude, and wind critical conditions. The SB 
also indicates that the maximum gross weight of the helicopter will be 
lowered if the SB is not complied with.
    This unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other 
helicopters of the same type designs. Therefore, the proposed AD would 
require, for helicopters that have not complied with MDHI SB900-099 R1, 
reducing the gross weight limit to a maximum gross weight limit of 
5,400 pounds and inserting a copy of the AD into the Limitations 
section of the RFM. These actions would be required within 30 days. The 
proposed AD would also include optional terminating actions for the 
weight reduction. Those terminating actions would be to:
     Determine if a NOTAR fan felt seal part number (P/N) 
900F3441025-103 is installed. If a NOTAR fan felt seal, P/N 
900F3441025-103, is not installed, replace the installed seal with an 
airworthy NOTAR fan felt seal, P/N 900F3441025-103, before further 
flight; and
     Install a thruster extension kit in accordance with 
specified portions of the service bulletin described previously.
    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 31 helicopters of 
U.S. registry. The estimated lost revenue attributable to the gross 
weight reduction would be $1,750,000 per helicopter over the life of 
the helicopter. It would take approximately \1/2\ work hour per 
helicopter to insert the proposed AD into the Limitations section of 
the RFM; 8 work hours to adjust the directional control system rigging; 
8 work hours to install a NOTAR fan felt seal; and 24 work hours to 
install a thruster extension kit at an average labor rate of $80 per 
work hour. The NOTAR fan felt seal and thruster extension kit would 
cost approximately $16,000. However, the manufacturer has stated that 
they would provide the fan felt seal and the thruster extension kit to 
all operators at no cost to them and that they will also provide each 
affected operator a credit for the labor costs for a total of 32 work 
hours for those work hours required to perform the directional control 
rigging adjustment (8 work hours) and installation of the thruster 
extension kit (24 work hours). Based on these figures, the total 
estimated cost impact of this proposed AD on U.S. operators would be 
$1,920, assuming (1) the entire fleet chooses to modify their affected 
helicopter in accordance with the optional terminating action provision 
of this proposal and there is no reduction in

[[Page 43648]]

gross weight necessary, (2) the manufacturer covers all the costs of 
the parts and the labor costs associated with the rigging adjustment 
and installation of the thruster extension kit and (3) only 3 
helicopters need to have a new fan felt seal installed.

Regulatory Findings

    We have determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. Additionally, this proposed 
AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the 
relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the 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); and
    3. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    We prepared a draft economic evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this proposed AD. See the AD docket to examine the draft 
economic evaluation.

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 adding a new airworthiness directive 
to read as follows:

MD Helicopters, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2008-0772; Directorate 
Identifier 2008-SW-30-AD.

    Applicability: Model MD900 (including MD902 Configuration) 
helicopters that have not complied with MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) 
Service Bulletin SB900-099 R1, dated December 27, 2006, certificated 
in any category.
    Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished 
previously.
    To prevent loss of directional control of the helicopter, 
accomplish the following:
    (a) Within 30 days, reduce the gross weight limit to a maximum 
gross weight limit of 5,400 pounds by inserting a copy of this AD 
into the Limitations section of the RFM.
    (b) As an optional terminating action for the weight reduction 
mandated by paragraph (a) of this AD, accomplish the following:
    (1) Determine if a NOTAR fan felt seal part number (P/N) 
900F3441025-103 is installed. If a NOTAR fan felt seal, P/N 
900F3441025-103, is not installed, replace the installed seal with 
an airworthy NOTAR fan felt seal, P/N 900F3441025-103, before 
further flight.
    (2) Install a thruster extension kit in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph B. (3). through (17). of MDHI 
SB900-099 R1, dated December 27, 2006 (SB), before further flight. 
Contacting the manufacturer is not required by this AD.
    (c) 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 Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 
Attn: Chip Adam, Flight Test Pilot, FAA, Flight Test Branch, 3960 
Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712-4137, telephone (562) 
627-5369, fax (562) 627-5210, for information about previously 
approved alternative methods of compliance.
    (d) Special flight permits will not be issued.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 8, 2008.
Mark R. Schilling,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
 [FR Doc. E8-17262 Filed 7-25-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P