Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell) Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B, and 212 Helicopters, 67628-67631 [2011-28361]

Download as PDF 67628 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 212 / Wednesday, November 2, 2011 / Proposed Rules Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 21, 2011. Kalene C. Yanamura, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2011–28368 Filed 11–1–11; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2011–1188; Directorate Identifier 2008–SW–46–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell) Model 204B, 205A, 205A–1, 205B, and 212 Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: This document proposes superseding four existing airworthiness directives (ADs) for the specified Bell model helicopters. Two of the existing ADs require an initial and repetitive inspection of certain part-numbered main rotor yokes installed on Bell Model 204B, 205A–1, and 212 helicopters. Two other existing ADs also establish a retirement life of 3,600 hours time-in-service (TIS) for certain partnumbered main rotor yokes installed on the Bell Model 204, 205 series, and 212 series helicopters. Those ADs were prompted by reports of cracks in the main rotor yoke (yoke). This action would retain the requirements of the existing ADs and would apply these inspections and retirement lives to additional part-numbered yokes. This action would also increase the inspection frequency for certain yokes installed on a Bell Model 205B or 212 helicopter and would require replacing any unairworthy yoke. This proposal is prompted by the need to expand the applicability to include yokes produced under a Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) whose design approval was based on identicality with the affected Bell yoke parts and a recent discovery of a cracked yoke. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent cracking of a yoke, failure of the yoke, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 3, 2012. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:10 Nov 01, 2011 Jkt 226001 • 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, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101, telephone (817) 280–3391, fax (817) 280–6466, or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Kohner, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222–5170, fax (817) 222–5783. 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–2011–1188, Directorate Identifier 2008–SW–46–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 DOTs complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78). Examining the Docket You may examine the docket that contains the proposed AD, any comments, and other information on the PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 internet at http://www.regulations.gov or 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 On September 13, 1979, we issued AD 79–20–05, Docket No. 79–ASW–25, Amendment 39–3572 (44 FR 55556, September 27, 1979) for Bell Model 204B, 205A–1, and 212 helicopters. That AD requires an initial and repetitive inspection at 2,400-hour intervals and corrosion protection and sealing of the yoke, P/N 204–011–102, of the main rotor hub assembly (hub), P/N 204–012–101. We issued Amendment 39–3626, November 21, 1979 (44 FR 70123, December 6, 1979) and Amendment 39–3662 January 3, 1980 (45 FR 6922, January 31, 1980) to AD 79–20–05. The amendments to the AD deleted references to the radius in the bottom of the pillow block bushing holes because the cracks did not initiate there. The cracks originated in the side of the hole near the top or through the center section of the yoke adjacent to the data plate. On August 26, 1981, we issued AD 81–19–01, Amendment 39–4207, Docket 81–ASW–38 (46 FR 45595, September 14, 1981) for Bell Model 212 series helicopters. We also issued AD 81–19– 02, Amendment 39–4208, Docket 81– ASW–40 (46 FR 45595, September 14, 1981) for Bell Model 204 and 205 series helicopters. These ADs established a retirement life of 3,600 hours TIS for certain yokes installed on these model helicopters. These yokes previously did not have a retirement life. AD 81–19–01 also reduced the yoke retirement life below 3,600 hours TIS for those yokes installed on Model 212 helicopters used in external load operations involving more than four lifts per hour by requiring the operators to log additional hours for these type operations against the retirement life of the yoke. These ADs were prompted by three field reports of cracked yokes. These ADs were intended to establish retirement lives to prevent yoke failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. On March 4, 1993, we issued AD 93– 05–01, Amendment 39–8507, Docket No. 92–ASW–13 (58 FR 13700, March 15, 1993), for the Bell Model 212 helicopters to require repetitive inspections of yoke, P/N 204–011–102 E:\FR\FM\02NOP1.SGM 02NOP1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 212 / Wednesday, November 2, 2011 / Proposed Rules (all dash numbers). That action was prompted by 12 reports of cracking at the pillow block holes on yokes installed on Model 212 helicopters. That AD was intended to detect corrosion pitting and a crack in the pillow block bolt bushing holes of the yoke and to prevent failure of the main rotor system and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. After issuing ADs 79–20–05, 81–19– 01, and 81–19–02, Bell has introduced a replacement stainless steel yoke, P/N 212–011–102. Bell issued Alert Service Bulletins (ASBs) Nos. 204–92–36, 205– 92–51, and 212–92–80, all dated October 23, 1992. The ASBs specify replacing the yoke, P/N 204–011–102 (all dash numbers), by December 31, 1993. These ASBs also specify replacing the yoke with yoke, P/N 212–011–102– 105 or –109, depending on the helicopter configuration. The replacement stainless steel yokes have improved design characteristics addressing the corrosion problems and are not subject to any heavy lift cycle counting required for previous yokes installed on the Model 205B and 212 helicopters. The FAA also issued PMAs to Air Services International (ASI) for yokes, P/N ASI–4011–102, and to Arizona Aeroparts International (AAI) for yokes, P/N AAI–4011–102, both based on identicality with the Bell-manufactured yoke, P/N 204–011–102. The yokes manufactured under the PMAs are eligible for installation on Bell Model 204B, 205A, 205A–1, and 212 helicopters. Transport Canada recently contacted the FAA about a PMA yoke, P/N AAI– 4011–102–125, manufactured by AAI. A Canadian operator reported this part was no longer supported by the PMAmanufacturer. The Canadian operator was trying to determine if the inspections in the existing ADs applicable to the Bell yoke, P/N 204– 011–102, needed to be performed on the PMA-manufactured yokes as well. Both of these PMA companies have gone out of business. There is no longer an FAAapproved PMA holder for these PMA yokes. This results in no continued operational safety oversight of the PMA parts by the manufacturer that produced the parts that were sold to operators. Because the PMA yokes are identical to the Bell parts, these yokes are susceptible to the same cracking conditions found in the same Bell partnumbered yokes. This AD action proposes to give operators credit for the accumulated operating time on yokes, P/N 204–011– 102 (all dash numbers), previously determined and recorded by following VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:10 Nov 01, 2011 Jkt 226001 ADs 81–19–01 or 81–19–02; or the applicable Bell Model 204B, 205A–1, 205B, or 212 maintenance manuals, which results in equal or higher accumulated factored hours TIS. However, these values must be included for previously accumulated service time in the calculations of the accumulated total factored hours TIS. Any additional factored hours TIS would be determined for each yoke using the hours TIS factors in the proposed AD. This proposal is prompted by the need to expand the applicability to include yokes produced under a PMA whose design approval was based on identicality with the affected Bell yoke parts and also a recent discovery of a cracked yoke on a Bell Model 212 helicopter. The previously described unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs. We estimate 25 to 30 of the yokes manufactured under a PMA may still be installed on helicopters operating in the U.S. Therefore, the proposed AD would supersede the previously issued ADs and would require: • For helicopters with yoke, P/N AAI–4011–102 (all dash numbers) and ASI–4011–102 (all dash numbers), installed, within 100 hours TIS, unless accomplished previously, creating a component history card or equivalent record for each yoke; determining the model for each helicopter on which the yoke has been installed from the time the yoke had zero hours TIS; calculating the factored hours TIS for each type of operation and rate of external load lifts and takeoffs for each hour TIS accumulated on each yoke; and recording the accumulated total factored hours TIS on the component history card or equivalent record for each yoke. Continuing to factor the hours TIS for each yoke and recording the additional factored hours TIS on the component history card or equivalent record. Tracking these factored hours TIS is only for the purpose of establishing a retirement life and not to be counted against the hours TIS used to track inspection intervals. • For helicopters with yoke, P/N 204– 011–102 (all dash numbers), installed, before further flight, unless accomplished previously: Æ Calculating the total factored hours TIS on the yoke for hours TIS accumulated before the effective date of this AD using the same requirements as ADs 81–19–01 and 81–19–02, which establishes the starting point for the new factoring of hours TIS contained in this AD. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 67629 Æ Calculating and recording the factored hours TIS on the yoke for hours TIS accumulated after the effective date of this AD using the same requirements as used for calculating the total factored hours TIS in this AD for yokes, P/N AAI–4011–102 (all dash numbers) and ASI–4011–102 (all dash numbers). • Revising the Airworthiness Limitations section of the applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAs) by establishing or continuing a retirement life of 3,600 Total Factored Hours TIS for each yoke. • Recording a life limit of 3,600 Total Factored Hours TIS for each yoke on the component history card or equivalent record. • Within 100 hours TIS or 600 hours TIS since the last magnetic particle inspection (MPI) of the yoke, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 hours TIS, for any yoke installed on any Model 205B or 212 helicopter: Æ Removing the yoke from the hub. Using a 5-power or higher magnifying glass, visually inspecting each pillow block bushing hole, spindle radius, and center section web for any corrosion or mechanical damage. Æ Performing an MPI of each yoke for a crack. • Within 100 hours TIS or 2,400 hours TIS since the last MPI of the yoke, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,400 hours TIS, for any yoke installed on any Model 204B, 205A, or 205A–1 helicopter: Æ Removing the yoke from the hub. Using a 5-power or higher magnifying glass, visually inspect each pillow block bushing hole, spindle radius, and center section web for any corrosion or mechanical damage. Æ Performing an MPI of each yoke for a crack. • Before further flight, replacing each yoke with an airworthy yoke if: Æ The yoke has 3,600 or more Total Factored Hours TIS; Æ The Total Factored Hours TIS for the yoke is unknown and cannot be determined; Æ The yoke has any corrosion or mechanical damage that exceeds any of the maximum repair damage limits; or Æ The yoke has a crack. We estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 15 helicopters of U.S. registry and would take about: • 3 work hours to review the helicopter records and determine the total factored hours TIS (the cost of tracking the total factored flight hours will be negligible), • 35 work hours to remove the yoke from the helicopter and do a visual inspection and MPI, and E:\FR\FM\02NOP1.SGM 02NOP1 67630 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 212 / Wednesday, November 2, 2011 / Proposed Rules • 32 work hours to replace a yoke, at an average labor rate of $85 per work hour per helicopter. • Required parts would cost about $40,157 per helicopter. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $48,450, assuming 15 helicopters have a yoke installed requiring a review of the helicopter records and to determine the hours TIS with one visual inspection and MPI, and no yoke needs to be replaced. If we assume all the yokes in the fleet are replaced, the total cost would be about $643,155. 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. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing Amendments 39–8507 (58 FR 13700, March 15, 1993); 39–4208 (46 FR 45595, September 14, 1981); 39–4207 (46 FR 45595, September 14, 1981); 39– 3662 (45 FR 6922, January 31, 1980); 39–3626 (44 FR 70123, December 6, 1979); and 39–3572 (44 FR 55556, September 27, 1979); and by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD) to read as follows: Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc (Bell): Docket No. FAA–2011–1188; Directorate Identifier 2008–SW–46–AD. Supersedes AD 93–05–01, Amendment 39–8507, Docket No. 92–ASW–13; AD 81–19–02, Amendment 39–4208, Docket No. 81– ASW–40; AD 81–19–01, Amendment 394207, Docket No. 81–ASW–38; and AD 79–20–05, Amendments 39–3662, 39– 3626, and 39–3572, Docket No. 79– ASW–25. Applicability: Model 204B, 205A, 205A–1, 205B, and 212 helicopters, with a main rotor yoke (yoke), part number (P/N) AAI–4011– 102 (all dash numbers), ASI–4011–102 (all dash numbers), or 204–011–102 (all dash numbers), installed, certificated in any category. Compliance: Required as indicated. To prevent cracking of a yoke, failure of a yoke, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, do the following: (a) For helicopters with yoke, P/N AAI– 4011–102 (all dash numbers) and ASI–4011– 102 (all dash numbers), installed, within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS), unless accomplished previously: (1) Create a component history card or equivalent record for each yoke. (2) Determine the model for each helicopter on which the yoke has been installed from the time the yoke had zero hours TIS. (3) In accordance with the rate per hour categories shown in Table 1 of this AD, categorize the accumulated ‘‘Unfactored Hours TIS’’ on each yoke by determining the types of operation AND the rate per hour of external load lifts and takeoffs for each hour TIS accumulated on each yoke. One external load lift occurs each time the helicopter picks up an external load and drops it off. For determining the proper rate per hour category for external load operations, any external load lift in which the helicopter achieves a vertical altitude difference of greater than 200 feet indicated altitude between the pickup and drop-off point counts as two external load lifts. TABLE 1—FACTORED HOURS TIS FOR A YOKE Factored hours TIS on yoke (unfactored hours TIS × hours TIS factor) mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Helicopter model Types of operation Rate per hour of external load lifts and takeoffs Yokes installed on any Model 204B, 205A, or 205A–1 helicopter. Yokes installed on any Model 205B or 212 helicopter. All Operations ............ All .............................. 120 1 120 External Load Operations 1. 1 to 5 ......................... 105 1 105 5.1 to 8 ...................... 8.1 to 12 .................... 12.1 to 18 .................. 18.1 to 32 .................. 32.1 to 48 .................. 48.1 or above ............ Unknown ................... .................... .................... .................... 170 .................... .................... 50 1.5 2 3 5 7 9 7 .............................. .............................. .............................. 850 .............................. .............................. 350 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:10 Nov 01, 2011 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Unfactored hours TIS E:\FR\FM\02NOP1.SGM Hours TIS factor 02NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 212 / Wednesday, November 2, 2011 / Proposed Rules 67631 TABLE 1—FACTORED HOURS TIS FOR A YOKE—Continued Factored hours TIS on yoke (unfactored hours TIS × hours TIS factor) Unfactored hours TIS Internal Load Operations. Helicopter model Rate per hour of external load lifts and takeoffs All Takeoffs ............... 2,025 1 2,025 .................................... .................................... .................... .................... 3,450 Types of operation Total Factored Hours TIS on Yoke (Summation of the Factored Hours TIS). Hours TIS factor 1 For the purposes of this AD, an external load operation occurs each time a helicopter picks up an external load and drops it off. Any external load lift in which the helicopter achieves a vertical altitude difference of greater than 200 feet indicated attitude between the pick-up and drop-off point counts as two external load lifts in determining the proper rate per hour category. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Note 1: The number of unfactored hours TIS and factored hours TIS contained in Table 1 of this AD are examples and presented for illustration purposes only. (4) By reference to Table 1 of this AD, enter the ‘‘Unfactored Hours TIS’’ for each category as determined by paragraph (a)(3) of this AD. Calculate the ‘‘Factored Hours TIS’’ by multiplying the ‘‘Unfactored Hours TIS’’ by the ‘‘Hours TIS Factor.’’ Determine the accumulated ‘‘Total Factored Hours TIS’’ on each yoke by adding the factored hours TIS for each type of operation and helicopter model. Tracking the Total Factored Hours TIS is only for establishing a retirement life and not for tracking inspection intervals. (5) Record the accumulated Total Factored Hours TIS on the component history card or equivalent record for each yoke. (6) Continue to factor the hours TIS for each yoke by following paragraph (a)(2) through (a)(4) of this AD, and record the additional factored hours TIS on the component history card or equivalent record. (b) For helicopters with yoke, P/N 204– 011–102 (all dash numbers), installed, before further flight, unless accomplished previously: (1) For hours TIS accumulated before the effective date of this AD, calculate and record the Total Factored Hours TIS as follows: (i) For the Model 212 helicopters, 1 hour TIS in which passenger or internal cargo was carried equals 1 factored hour TIS; 1 hour TIS where more than 4 external load lifts occurred equals 5 factored hours TIS. (ii) For the Model 204 and 205 series helicopters, 1 hour TIS equals 1 factored hour TIS. Note 2: Paragraph (b)(1) gives credit to the operators for compliance with ADs 81–19–01 and 81–19–02 in establishing the starting point for the new factoring of hours TIS contained in this AD. Note 3: The accumulated Total Factored Hours TIS for yoke, P/N 204–011–102 (all dash numbers), calculated in accordance with the applicable Bell Model 204B, 205A– 1, 205B, or 212 maintenance manuals, which results in an equal or higher accumulated Total Factored Hours TIS is an acceptable alternative to meeting the factoring requirements of AD 81–19–01 (contained in Bell ASB 212–81–23, dated June 22, 1981, for the Model 212 helicopters) and AD 81–19– 02 (contained in Bell ASBs 204–81–11 and VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:10 Nov 01, 2011 Jkt 226001 205–81–16, both dated June 22, 1981, for the Model 204 and 205 series helicopters). (2) For hours TIS accumulated after the effective date of this AD, calculate and record the factored hours TIS on the yoke in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) thorough (a)(6) of this AD. (c) Revise the Airworthiness Limitations section of the applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAs) by establishing a new retirement life of 3,600 Total Factored Hours TIS for each yoke, P/N AAI–4011–102 (all dash numbers), ASI–4011–102 (all dash numbers), or 204–011–102 (all dash numbers), by making pen and ink changes or inserting a copy of this AD into the Airworthiness Limitations section of the maintenance manual or ICAs. (d) Unless accomplished previously, record a life limit of 3,600 Total Factored Hours TIS for each yoke, P/N AAI–4011–102 (all dash numbers), ASI–4011–102 (all dash numbers), or 204–011–102 (all dash numbers), on the component history card or equivalent record. (e) Within 100 hours TIS or 600 hours TIS since the last magnetic particle inspection (MPI) of the yoke, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 hours TIS, for any yoke installed on any Model 205B or 212 helicopter: (1) Remove the yoke from the main rotor hub assembly (hub). Using a 5-power or higher magnifying glass, visually inspect each pillow block bushing hole, spindle radius, and center section web for any corrosion or mechanical damage. (2) Perform an MPI of each yoke for a crack. Note 4: MPI procedures are contained in Bell Standard Practices Manual BHT–ALL– SPM. (f) Within 100 hours TIS or 2,400 hours TIS since the last MPI of the yoke, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,400 hours TIS, for any yoke installed on any Model 204B, 205A, or 205A– 1 helicopter: (1) Remove the yoke from the hub. Using a 5-power or higher magnifying glass, visually inspect each pillow block bushing hole, spindle radius, and center section web for any corrosion or mechanical damage. (2) Perform an MPI of each yoke for a crack. (g) Before further flight, replace each yoke with an airworthy yoke if: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (1) The yoke has 3,600 or more Total Factored Hours TIS; or (2) The Total Factored Hours TIS for the yoke is unknown and cannot be determined; or (3) The yoke has any corrosion or mechanical damage that exceeds any of the maximum repair damage limits; or Note 5: The applicable Bell Component and Repair Overhaul Manual contains the maximum repair damage limitations. (4) The yoke has a crack. (h) 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, Rotorcraft Certification Office, FAA, ATTN: Michael Kohner, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222– 5170, fax (817) 222–5783, for information about previously approved alternative methods of compliance. (i) Special flight permits may only be issued under 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199 for the purpose of operating the helicopter to a location where the MPI requirements of paragraphs (e) or (f) of this AD can be performed. (j) The Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code is 6220: Main Rotor Head Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 21, 2011. Lance T. Gant, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2011–28361 Filed 11–1–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2011–1212; Directorate Identifier 2011–CE–034–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Cirrus Design Corporation Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\02NOP1.SGM 02NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 212 (Wednesday, November 2, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 67628-67631]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-28361]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2011-1188; Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-46-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell) 
Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B, and 212 Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: This document proposes superseding four existing airworthiness 
directives (ADs) for the specified Bell model helicopters. Two of the 
existing ADs require an initial and repetitive inspection of certain 
part-numbered main rotor yokes installed on Bell Model 204B, 205A-1, 
and 212 helicopters. Two other existing ADs also establish a retirement 
life of 3,600 hours time-in-service (TIS) for certain part-numbered 
main rotor yokes installed on the Bell Model 204, 205 series, and 212 
series helicopters. Those ADs were prompted by reports of cracks in the 
main rotor yoke (yoke). This action would retain the requirements of 
the existing ADs and would apply these inspections and retirement lives 
to additional part-numbered yokes. This action would also increase the 
inspection frequency for certain yokes installed on a Bell Model 205B 
or 212 helicopter and would require replacing any unairworthy yoke. 
This proposal is prompted by the need to expand the applicability to 
include yokes produced under a Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) whose 
design approval was based on identicality with the affected Bell yoke 
parts and a recent discovery of a cracked yoke. The actions specified 
by the proposed AD are intended to prevent cracking of a yoke, failure 
of the yoke, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 3, 2012.

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, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101, 
telephone (817) 280-3391, fax (817) 280-6466, or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Kohner, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 
2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-5170, 
fax (817) 222-5783.

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-2011-1188, 
Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-46-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 DOTs complete 
Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (65 FR 19477-78).

Examining the Docket

    You may examine the docket that contains the proposed AD, any 
comments, and other information on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov or 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

    On September 13, 1979, we issued AD 79-20-05, Docket No. 79-ASW-25, 
Amendment 39-3572 (44 FR 55556, September 27, 1979) for Bell Model 
204B, 205A-1, and 212 helicopters. That AD requires an initial and 
repetitive inspection at 2,400-hour intervals and corrosion protection 
and sealing of the yoke, P/N 204-011-102, of the main rotor hub 
assembly (hub), P/N 204-012-101. We issued Amendment 39-3626, November 
21, 1979 (44 FR 70123, December 6, 1979) and Amendment 39-3662 January 
3, 1980 (45 FR 6922, January 31, 1980) to AD 79-20-05. The amendments 
to the AD deleted references to the radius in the bottom of the pillow 
block bushing holes because the cracks did not initiate there. The 
cracks originated in the side of the hole near the top or through the 
center section of the yoke adjacent to the data plate.
    On August 26, 1981, we issued AD 81-19-01, Amendment 39-4207, 
Docket 81-ASW-38 (46 FR 45595, September 14, 1981) for Bell Model 212 
series helicopters. We also issued AD 81-19-02, Amendment 39-4208, 
Docket 81-ASW-40 (46 FR 45595, September 14, 1981) for Bell Model 204 
and 205 series helicopters. These ADs established a retirement life of 
3,600 hours TIS for certain yokes installed on these model helicopters. 
These yokes previously did not have a retirement life. AD 81-19-01 also 
reduced the yoke retirement life below 3,600 hours TIS for those yokes 
installed on Model 212 helicopters used in external load operations 
involving more than four lifts per hour by requiring the operators to 
log additional hours for these type operations against the retirement 
life of the yoke. These ADs were prompted by three field reports of 
cracked yokes. These ADs were intended to establish retirement lives to 
prevent yoke failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
    On March 4, 1993, we issued AD 93-05-01, Amendment 39-8507, Docket 
No. 92-ASW-13 (58 FR 13700, March 15, 1993), for the Bell Model 212 
helicopters to require repetitive inspections of yoke, P/N 204-011-102

[[Page 67629]]

(all dash numbers). That action was prompted by 12 reports of cracking 
at the pillow block holes on yokes installed on Model 212 helicopters. 
That AD was intended to detect corrosion pitting and a crack in the 
pillow block bolt bushing holes of the yoke and to prevent failure of 
the main rotor system and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
    After issuing ADs 79-20-05, 81-19-01, and 81-19-02, Bell has 
introduced a replacement stainless steel yoke, P/N 212-011-102. Bell 
issued Alert Service Bulletins (ASBs) Nos. 204-92-36, 205-92-51, and 
212-92-80, all dated October 23, 1992. The ASBs specify replacing the 
yoke, P/N 204-011-102 (all dash numbers), by December 31, 1993. These 
ASBs also specify replacing the yoke with yoke, P/N 212-011-102-105 or 
-109, depending on the helicopter configuration. The replacement 
stainless steel yokes have improved design characteristics addressing 
the corrosion problems and are not subject to any heavy lift cycle 
counting required for previous yokes installed on the Model 205B and 
212 helicopters.
    The FAA also issued PMAs to Air Services International (ASI) for 
yokes, P/N ASI-4011-102, and to Arizona Aeroparts International (AAI) 
for yokes, P/N AAI-4011-102, both based on identicality with the Bell-
manufactured yoke, P/N 204-011-102. The yokes manufactured under the 
PMAs are eligible for installation on Bell Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 
and 212 helicopters.
    Transport Canada recently contacted the FAA about a PMA yoke, P/N 
AAI-4011-102-125, manufactured by AAI. A Canadian operator reported 
this part was no longer supported by the PMA-manufacturer. The Canadian 
operator was trying to determine if the inspections in the existing ADs 
applicable to the Bell yoke, P/N 204-011-102, needed to be performed on 
the PMA-manufactured yokes as well. Both of these PMA companies have 
gone out of business. There is no longer an FAA-approved PMA holder for 
these PMA yokes. This results in no continued operational safety 
oversight of the PMA parts by the manufacturer that produced the parts 
that were sold to operators. Because the PMA yokes are identical to the 
Bell parts, these yokes are susceptible to the same cracking conditions 
found in the same Bell part-numbered yokes.
    This AD action proposes to give operators credit for the 
accumulated operating time on yokes, P/N 204-011-102 (all dash 
numbers), previously determined and recorded by following ADs 81-19-01 
or 81-19-02; or the applicable Bell Model 204B, 205A-1, 205B, or 212 
maintenance manuals, which results in equal or higher accumulated 
factored hours TIS. However, these values must be included for 
previously accumulated service time in the calculations of the 
accumulated total factored hours TIS. Any additional factored hours TIS 
would be determined for each yoke using the hours TIS factors in the 
proposed AD.
    This proposal is prompted by the need to expand the applicability 
to include yokes produced under a PMA whose design approval was based 
on identicality with the affected Bell yoke parts and also a recent 
discovery of a cracked yoke on a Bell Model 212 helicopter.
    The previously described unsafe condition is likely to exist or 
develop on other helicopters of these same type designs. We estimate 25 
to 30 of the yokes manufactured under a PMA may still be installed on 
helicopters operating in the U.S. Therefore, the proposed AD would 
supersede the previously issued ADs and would require:
     For helicopters with yoke, P/N AAI-4011-102 (all dash 
numbers) and ASI-4011-102 (all dash numbers), installed, within 100 
hours TIS, unless accomplished previously, creating a component history 
card or equivalent record for each yoke; determining the model for each 
helicopter on which the yoke has been installed from the time the yoke 
had zero hours TIS; calculating the factored hours TIS for each type of 
operation and rate of external load lifts and takeoffs for each hour 
TIS accumulated on each yoke; and recording the accumulated total 
factored hours TIS on the component history card or equivalent record 
for each yoke. Continuing to factor the hours TIS for each yoke and 
recording the additional factored hours TIS on the component history 
card or equivalent record. Tracking these factored hours TIS is only 
for the purpose of establishing a retirement life and not to be counted 
against the hours TIS used to track inspection intervals.
     For helicopters with yoke, P/N 204-011-102 (all dash 
numbers), installed, before further flight, unless accomplished 
previously:
    [cir] Calculating the total factored hours TIS on the yoke for 
hours TIS accumulated before the effective date of this AD using the 
same requirements as ADs 81-19-01 and 81-19-02, which establishes the 
starting point for the new factoring of hours TIS contained in this AD.
    [cir] Calculating and recording the factored hours TIS on the yoke 
for hours TIS accumulated after the effective date of this AD using the 
same requirements as used for calculating the total factored hours TIS 
in this AD for yokes, P/N AAI-4011-102 (all dash numbers) and ASI-4011-
102 (all dash numbers).
     Revising the Airworthiness Limitations section of the 
applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness (ICAs) by establishing or continuing a retirement life of 
3,600 Total Factored Hours TIS for each yoke.
     Recording a life limit of 3,600 Total Factored Hours TIS 
for each yoke on the component history card or equivalent record.
     Within 100 hours TIS or 600 hours TIS since the last 
magnetic particle inspection (MPI) of the yoke, whichever occurs later, 
and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 hours TIS, for any yoke 
installed on any Model 205B or 212 helicopter:
    [cir] Removing the yoke from the hub. Using a 5-power or higher 
magnifying glass, visually inspecting each pillow block bushing hole, 
spindle radius, and center section web for any corrosion or mechanical 
damage.
    [cir] Performing an MPI of each yoke for a crack.
     Within 100 hours TIS or 2,400 hours TIS since the last MPI 
of the yoke, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 2,400 hours TIS, for any yoke installed on any Model 204B, 205A, 
or 205A-1 helicopter:
    [cir] Removing the yoke from the hub. Using a 5-power or higher 
magnifying glass, visually inspect each pillow block bushing hole, 
spindle radius, and center section web for any corrosion or mechanical 
damage.
    [cir] Performing an MPI of each yoke for a crack.
     Before further flight, replacing each yoke with an 
airworthy yoke if:
    [cir] The yoke has 3,600 or more Total Factored Hours TIS;
    [cir] The Total Factored Hours TIS for the yoke is unknown and 
cannot be determined;
    [cir] The yoke has any corrosion or mechanical damage that exceeds 
any of the maximum repair damage limits; or
    [cir] The yoke has a crack.
    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 15 helicopters 
of U.S. registry and would take about:
     3 work hours to review the helicopter records and 
determine the total factored hours TIS (the cost of tracking the total 
factored flight hours will be negligible),
     35 work hours to remove the yoke from the helicopter and 
do a visual inspection and MPI, and

[[Page 67630]]

     32 work hours to replace a yoke, at an average labor rate 
of $85 per work hour per helicopter.
     Required parts would cost about $40,157 per helicopter.

Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the proposed AD 
on U.S. operators to be $48,450, assuming 15 helicopters have a yoke 
installed requiring a review of the helicopter records and to determine 
the hours TIS with one visual inspection and MPI, and no yoke needs to 
be replaced. If we assume all the yokes in the fleet are replaced, the 
total cost would be about $643,155.

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 removing Amendments 39-8507 (58 FR 
13700, March 15, 1993); 39-4208 (46 FR 45595, September 14, 1981); 39-
4207 (46 FR 45595, September 14, 1981); 39-3662 (45 FR 6922, January 
31, 1980); 39-3626 (44 FR 70123, December 6, 1979); and 39-3572 (44 FR 
55556, September 27, 1979); and by adding a new airworthiness directive 
(AD) to read as follows:

Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc (Bell): Docket No. FAA-2011-1188; 
Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-46-AD. Supersedes AD 93-05-01, 
Amendment 39-8507, Docket No. 92-ASW-13; AD 81-19-02, Amendment 39-
4208, Docket No. 81-ASW-40; AD 81-19-01, Amendment 39- 4207, Docket 
No. 81-ASW-38; and AD 79-20-05, Amendments 39-3662, 39-3626, and 39-
3572, Docket No. 79-ASW-25.

    Applicability: Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B, and 212 
helicopters, with a main rotor yoke (yoke), part number (P/N) AAI-
4011-102 (all dash numbers), ASI-4011-102 (all dash numbers), or 
204-011-102 (all dash numbers), installed, certificated in any 
category.
    Compliance: Required as indicated.
    To prevent cracking of a yoke, failure of a yoke, and subsequent 
loss of control of the helicopter, do the following:
    (a) For helicopters with yoke, P/N AAI-4011-102 (all dash 
numbers) and ASI-4011-102 (all dash numbers), installed, within 100 
hours time-in-service (TIS), unless accomplished previously:
    (1) Create a component history card or equivalent record for 
each yoke.
    (2) Determine the model for each helicopter on which the yoke 
has been installed from the time the yoke had zero hours TIS.
    (3) In accordance with the rate per hour categories shown in 
Table 1 of this AD, categorize the accumulated ``Unfactored Hours 
TIS'' on each yoke by determining the types of operation AND the 
rate per hour of external load lifts and takeoffs for each hour TIS 
accumulated on each yoke. One external load lift occurs each time 
the helicopter picks up an external load and drops it off. For 
determining the proper rate per hour category for external load 
operations, any external load lift in which the helicopter achieves 
a vertical altitude difference of greater than 200 feet indicated 
altitude between the pickup and drop-off point counts as two 
external load lifts.

                                     Table 1--Factored Hours TIS for a Yoke
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Factored hours
                                                   Rate per hour of                               TIS on yoke
       Helicopter model              Types of        external load    Unfactored   Hours TIS   (unfactored hours
                                    operation          lifts and      hours TIS      factor     TIS x hours TIS
                                                       takeoffs                                     factor)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yokes installed on any Model    All Operations...  All.............          120            1                120
 204B, 205A, or 205A-1
 helicopter.
Yokes installed on any Model    External Load      1 to 5..........          105            1                105
 205B or 212 helicopter.         Operations \1\.
                                                   5.1 to 8........  ...........          1.5  .................
                                                   8.1 to 12.......  ...........            2  .................
                                                   12.1 to 18......  ...........            3  .................
                                                   18.1 to 32......          170            5                850
                                                   32.1 to 48......  ...........            7  .................
                                                   48.1 or above...  ...........            9  .................
                                                   Unknown.........           50            7                350

[[Page 67631]]

 
                                Internal Load      All Takeoffs....        2,025            1              2,025
                                 Operations.
                               ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Factored Hours TIS    .................  ................  ...........  ...........              3,450
     on Yoke (Summation of the
     Factored Hours TIS).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For the purposes of this AD, an external load operation occurs each time a helicopter picks up an external
  load and drops it off. Any external load lift in which the helicopter achieves a vertical altitude difference
  of greater than 200 feet indicated attitude between the pick-up and drop-off point counts as two external load
  lifts in determining the proper rate per hour category.


    Note 1: The number of unfactored hours TIS and factored hours 
TIS contained in Table 1 of this AD are examples and presented for 
illustration purposes only.

    (4) By reference to Table 1 of this AD, enter the ``Unfactored 
Hours TIS'' for each category as determined by paragraph (a)(3) of 
this AD. Calculate the ``Factored Hours TIS'' by multiplying the 
``Unfactored Hours TIS'' by the ``Hours TIS Factor.'' Determine the 
accumulated ``Total Factored Hours TIS'' on each yoke by adding the 
factored hours TIS for each type of operation and helicopter model. 
Tracking the Total Factored Hours TIS is only for establishing a 
retirement life and not for tracking inspection intervals.
    (5) Record the accumulated Total Factored Hours TIS on the 
component history card or equivalent record for each yoke.
    (6) Continue to factor the hours TIS for each yoke by following 
paragraph (a)(2) through (a)(4) of this AD, and record the 
additional factored hours TIS on the component history card or 
equivalent record.
    (b) For helicopters with yoke, P/N 204-011-102 (all dash 
numbers), installed, before further flight, unless accomplished 
previously:
    (1) For hours TIS accumulated before the effective date of this 
AD, calculate and record the Total Factored Hours TIS as follows:
    (i) For the Model 212 helicopters, 1 hour TIS in which passenger 
or internal cargo was carried equals 1 factored hour TIS; 1 hour TIS 
where more than 4 external load lifts occurred equals 5 factored 
hours TIS.
    (ii) For the Model 204 and 205 series helicopters, 1 hour TIS 
equals 1 factored hour TIS.

    Note 2: Paragraph (b)(1) gives credit to the operators for 
compliance with ADs 81-19-01 and 81-19-02 in establishing the 
starting point for the new factoring of hours TIS contained in this 
AD.


    Note 3: The accumulated Total Factored Hours TIS for yoke, P/N 
204-011-102 (all dash numbers), calculated in accordance with the 
applicable Bell Model 204B, 205A-1, 205B, or 212 maintenance 
manuals, which results in an equal or higher accumulated Total 
Factored Hours TIS is an acceptable alternative to meeting the 
factoring requirements of AD 81-19-01 (contained in Bell ASB 212-81-
23, dated June 22, 1981, for the Model 212 helicopters) and AD 81-
19-02 (contained in Bell ASBs 204-81-11 and 205-81-16, both dated 
June 22, 1981, for the Model 204 and 205 series helicopters).

    (2) For hours TIS accumulated after the effective date of this 
AD, calculate and record the factored hours TIS on the yoke in 
accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) thorough 
(a)(6) of this AD.
    (c) Revise the Airworthiness Limitations section of the 
applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness (ICAs) by establishing a new retirement life of 3,600 
Total Factored Hours TIS for each yoke, P/N AAI-4011-102 (all dash 
numbers), ASI-4011-102 (all dash numbers), or 204-011-102 (all dash 
numbers), by making pen and ink changes or inserting a copy of this 
AD into the Airworthiness Limitations section of the maintenance 
manual or ICAs.
    (d) Unless accomplished previously, record a life limit of 3,600 
Total Factored Hours TIS for each yoke, P/N AAI-4011-102 (all dash 
numbers), ASI-4011-102 (all dash numbers), or 204-011-102 (all dash 
numbers), on the component history card or equivalent record.
    (e) Within 100 hours TIS or 600 hours TIS since the last 
magnetic particle inspection (MPI) of the yoke, whichever occurs 
later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 hours TIS, for 
any yoke installed on any Model 205B or 212 helicopter:
    (1) Remove the yoke from the main rotor hub assembly (hub). 
Using a 5-power or higher magnifying glass, visually inspect each 
pillow block bushing hole, spindle radius, and center section web 
for any corrosion or mechanical damage.
    (2) Perform an MPI of each yoke for a crack.

    Note 4: MPI procedures are contained in Bell Standard Practices 
Manual BHT-ALL-SPM.

    (f) Within 100 hours TIS or 2,400 hours TIS since the last MPI 
of the yoke, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 2,400 hours TIS, for any yoke installed on any Model 204B, 
205A, or 205A-1 helicopter:
    (1) Remove the yoke from the hub. Using a 5-power or higher 
magnifying glass, visually inspect each pillow block bushing hole, 
spindle radius, and center section web for any corrosion or 
mechanical damage.
    (2) Perform an MPI of each yoke for a crack.
    (g) Before further flight, replace each yoke with an airworthy 
yoke if:
    (1) The yoke has 3,600 or more Total Factored Hours TIS; or
    (2) The Total Factored Hours TIS for the yoke is unknown and 
cannot be determined; or
    (3) The yoke has any corrosion or mechanical damage that exceeds 
any of the maximum repair damage limits; or

    Note 5: The applicable Bell Component and Repair Overhaul Manual 
contains the maximum repair damage limitations.

    (4) The yoke has a crack.
    (h) 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, Rotorcraft Certification Office, FAA, ATTN: 
Michael Kohner, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, 
2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-
5170, fax (817) 222-5783, for information about previously approved 
alternative methods of compliance.
    (i) Special flight permits may only be issued under 14 CFR 
21.197 and 21.199 for the purpose of operating the helicopter to a 
location where the MPI requirements of paragraphs (e) or (f) of this 
AD can be performed.
    (j) The Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code is 6220: 
Main Rotor Head Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 21, 2011.

Lance T. Gant,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-28361 Filed 11-1-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P