Airworthiness Directives; Aeronautical Accessories Inc. High Landing Gear Aft Crosstube Assembly, 5420-5423 [2012-2423]

Download as PDF 5420 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 23 / Friday, February 3, 2012 / Proposed Rules 4. 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 an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 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. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new Airworthiness Directive (AD): Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation: Docket No. FAA–2012–0085; Directorate Identifier 2011–SW–004–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky) Model S–61A, D, E, L, N, NM, R, and V helicopters with a fuel system 40 micron fuel filter element, part number (P/N) 52–0505–2 or 52–01064–1, certificated in any category. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as contaminants present in the engine fuel control units (FCUs). This AD was prompted by a National Transportation Safety Board review of in-service events where engine performance degradation occurred. This condition could result in particulate contamination in the FCU, which could lead to malfunction of an internal valve, power loss at a critical phase of flight, and loss of control of the helicopter. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (c) Compliance You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. (d) Required Actions (1) Within 150 hours time-in-service, do the following: (i) Replace each forward and aft fuel system 40 micron fuel filter element with a 10 micron fuel filter element, P/N AM52– 01064–1. (ii) Re-identify the fuel filter, P/N 52– 2145–009, and fuel control assembly bracket as follows: VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:47 Feb 02, 2012 Jkt 226001 (A) On the fuel filter identification plate, cross out the last two digits (‘‘09’’) of the existing fuel filter P/N 52–2145–009, and replace those last two digits with ‘‘14’’ to reidentify the fuel filter as P/N 52–2145–014. (B) Change the existing fuel control assembly part number on the fuel control assembly bracket to re-identify it as follows: (1) Change fuel control assembly P/N S6130–63209–001 to P/N S6130–63209–041. (2) Change fuel control assembly P/N S6130–63209–002 to P/N S6130–63209–042. (3) Change fuel control assembly P/N S6130–63209–003 to P/N S6130–63209–043. (4) Change fuel control assembly P/N S6130–63209–004 to P/N S6130–63209–044. (e) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC) (1) The Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Kirk Gustafson, Aerospace Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, Engine and Propeller Directorate, FAA,12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; telephone (781) 238–7190; email kirk.gustafson@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a Part 119 operating certificate or under Part 91, Subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Alert Service Bulletin No. 61B30–16, dated February 2, 1010, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For this service information, contact Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Attn: Manager, Commercial Technical Support, mailstop s581a, 6900 Main St., Stratford, CT; telephone (203) 383– 4866; email tsslibrary@sikorsky.com, or at http://www.sikorsky.com. You may review copies of this information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. (g) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2800, Fuel system. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 23, 2012. Kim Smith, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–2421 Filed 2–2–12; 8:45 am] PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0083; Directorate Identifier 2010–SW–022–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Aeronautical Accessories Inc. High Landing Gear Aft Crosstube Assembly Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the Aeronautical Accessories Inc. (AAI) High Landing Gear Aft Crosstube Assembly (aft crosstube) installed on certain Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell) and Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) model helicopters as an approved Bell part installed during production or based on a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). This proposed AD is prompted by three reports of failed crosstubes because of cracks. The proposed actions are intended to prevent failure of a crosstube, collapse of the landing gear, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. SUMMARY: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 3, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ‘‘Mail’’ address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. DATES: (f) Additional Information BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket 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 AD docket contains this proposed AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone (800) 647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 23 / Friday, February 3, 2012 / Proposed Rules be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Aeronautical Accessories, Inc., P.O. Box 3689, Bristol, Tennessee 37625–3689, telephone (423) 538–5151 or 1–800–251–7094, fax (423) 538–8469 or at http://www.aeroaccess.com. You may also get service information 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. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, TX 76137. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137, telephone (817) 222–5170, email martin.r.crane@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Comments Invited We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive. Discussion This document proposes adopting a new AD for AAI aft crosstubes installed during production or based on STC SR01502AT on certain Bell and Agusta model helicopters. This proposal would require certain recurring visual, VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:47 Feb 02, 2012 Jkt 226001 dimensional, and fluorescent penetrant inspections of each aft crosstube. If there is a crack, the AD would require, before further flight, replacing any cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube. This proposal would also require establishing a life limit for one of the affected part-numbered aft crosstubes (as the later part-numbered aft crosstube already has limits established) and creating a component history card or equivalent record for aft crosstube part number (P/N) 412–321– 304. This proposal is prompted by three reports of failed aft crosstubes. This condition, if not corrected, could result in collapse of the landing gear, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. FAA’s Determination We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. Related Service Information We have reviewed AAI Alert Service Bulletin No. AA–07109, dated April 3, 2008 (ASB), which specifies recurring inspections and maintenance of each aft crosstube, P/N 412–321–104, installed as an approved part by Bell during production, and P/N 412–321–304, installed under STC SR01052AT, on Bell Model 412, 412EP, and 412CF and Agusta Model AB412 and AB412EP helicopters. The ASB specifies establishing a high aft crosstube, P/N 412 321–304, ‘‘takeoff/landing’’ life limit of 20,000. Also, the ASB specifies that operators should follow helicopter towing instructions to prevent crosstube damage or failure as a result of ground handling or towing. We have also reviewed Bell ASB 412– 08–129, dated May 12, 2008, for Bell Model 412 and 412EP helicopters, serial numbers 33001 through 33213, 36001 and subsequent, with an aft crosstube P/ N 412–321–104 installed. Bell issued its ASB ‘‘to achieve complete distribution of AA–07109 vendor bulletin to the current affected model distribution list.’’ Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require: • Within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS), establishing a life limit of 20,000 takeoffs and landings for aft crosstube P/N 412 321 304; creating a component history card or equivalent record; and determining and recording the total number of takeoffs and landings for each aft crosstube. • Within the next 450 takeoffs and landings, if an aft crosstube has reached PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5421 20,000 or more takeoffs and landings, replacing it with an airworthy aft crosstube. • At specified intervals, preparing the aft crosstube inspection areas and inspecting each aft crosstube for a crack. If there are no cracks, thereafter at specified intervals, priming and cleaning the inspection area, and inspecting each aft crosstube for a crack. If there is a crack, before further flight, replacing the cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube. • At specified intervals, determining the horizontal deflection of each aft crosstube from the centerline of the helicopter (BL 0.0) to the outside of the skid tubes. If the measured horizontal deflection exceeds aft crosstube limits, replacing the aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube. • At specified intervals, removing the aft crosstube assembly, removing paint and sealant, and fluorescent penetrant inspecting each aft crosstube for a crack. If there are no cracks, priming and painting the inspection area. If there is a crack, before further flight, replacing each cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube. This proposed AD would revise the Airworthiness Limitations section of the applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) by establishing a new retirement life of 20,000 takeoffs and landings for aft crosstube P/N 412– 321–304 by making pen and ink changes or inserting a copy of the AD into the maintenance manual or the ICAs. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 115 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We also estimate that the proposed actions would take about: • 1 hour to create a component history card or equivalent record and determine and record the number of accumulated takeoffs and landings for each affected aft crosstube; • 3 hours to prepare the area for a visual inspection; • 1⁄2 hour to do the repetitive visual inspections, assuming 14 repetitive visual inspections per year; • 1 hour to do a dimensional inspection of the skid gear, assuming 3 inspections per year; • 24 hours to prepare and fluorescent penetrant inspect the aft crosstube, assuming 2 inspections per year; and • 10 hours to replace an aft crosstube, if necessary, assuming 3 aft crosstubes would be replaced. The average labor rate is $85 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $9,315 per aft crosstube. Based on these E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1 5422 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 23 / Friday, February 3, 2012 / Proposed Rules figures, we estimate the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $636,545. PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 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. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Regulatory Findings We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; 2. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); 3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and 4. 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 an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:47 Feb 02, 2012 Jkt 226001 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. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD: Aeronautical Accessories, Inc.: Docket No. FAA–2012–0083; Directorate Identifier 2010–SW–022–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to High Landing Gear Aft Crosstube Assembly (aft crosstube) part number (P/N) 412–321–104 and P/N 412– 321–304, installed on Agusta S.p.A. Model AB412 and AB412EP and Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Model 412, 412CF, and 412EP helicopters, certificated in any category. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a cracked aft crosstube which could result in collapse of the landing gear, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Compliance You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. (d) Required Actions (1) Within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) establish a life limit of 20,000 takeoffs and landings for each aft crosstube P/N 412–321– 304. For the purposes of this AD, a takeoff and landing is defined as the cycle from when the helicopter gets light on the skids (takeoff) unloading the aft crosstube and then settles on the skids again (landing) reloading the aft crosstubes. Either the number of landings or takeoffs may be counted. (i) Create a component history card or equivalent record. (ii) Determine and record on the history card or equivalent record the total number of takeoffs and landings for each aft crosstube. If the takeoff and landing information is unavailable, estimate the number by multiplying the airframe hours by 10. (2) Within the next 450 takeoffs and landings, if an aft crosstube has reached 20,000 or more takeoffs and landings, replace it with an airworthy aft crosstube. (3) Before reaching 2,500 takeoffs and landings or for an aft crosstube with 2,500 or more takeoffs and landings, within 50 hours TIS or within the next 250 takeoffs and landings, whichever occurs first, prepare the aft crosstube inspection areas as depicted in Figure 1 of Aeronautical Accessories, Inc. (AAI) Alert Service Bulletin No. AA–07109, dated April 3, 2008 (ASB), by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Part B, paragraphs 1 through 4, of the ASB. Using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect the prepared areas of each aft crosstube for a crack. If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube. If there are no cracks, after completing the aft crosstube inspection, PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 prime and paint the inspection area by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Part B, paragraphs 6 and 7, of the ASB. (4) Thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 450 takeoffs and landings, clean the inspection area. Using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect the clear-coated area of the aft crosstube for a crack. (5) If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube. (6) Within 30 days or before reaching 2,500 takeoffs and landings, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,500 takeoffs and landings or 12 months, whichever occurs first, determine the horizontal deflection of each aft crosstube from the centerline of the helicopter (BL 0.0) to the outside of the skid tubes by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Part D, paragraphs 1 through 3, of the ASB. If the measured aft crosstube horizontal deflection depicted in Figure 2 of the ASB is less than 57 inches (1448 mm) or greater than 59 inches (1499 mm), replace the aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube. (7) Within 3 months or on or before reaching 7,500 takeoffs and landings, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 5,000 takeoffs and landings: (i) Remove the aft crosstube assembly by removing the aft crosstube support beam assembly, P/N 604–030–001, and both aft crosstube clamp assemblies, P/N 604–027– 002. (ii) Remove paint and sealant from the aft crosstube outboard of the upper center support to top of saddles, both sides, as depicted in Figure 3 of the ASB. (iii) Fluorescent penetrant inspect each aft crosstube outboard of the upper center support as depicted in Figure 3 of the ASB for a crack. (iv) If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube. (8) Revise the helicopter Airworthiness Limitations section of the applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) by establishing a new retirement life of 20,000 takeoff and landings for aft crosstube P/N 412–321–304 by making pen and ink changes or inserting a copy of this AD into the maintenance manual or the ICAs. (e) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC) (1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222–5170, email martin.r.crane@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a Part 119 operating certificate or under Part 91, Subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 23 / Friday, February 3, 2012 / Proposed Rules (f) Additional Information The FAA approved AAI Instructions for Continued Airworthiness Report Number AA–01136 and the Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No. 412–08–129, dated May 12, 2008, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about inspecting the aft crosstube for a crack. (g) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 32: Landing Gear. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 23, 2012. Kim Smith, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–2423 Filed 2–2–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0087; Directorate Identifier 2011–SW–029–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Limited (Bell) Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the Bell Model 206, 206A, 206A–1, 206B, 206B–1, 206L, 206L–1, 206L–3, and 206L–4 helicopters with Aviation Specialties Unlimited Inc. (ASU) Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) lighting modified by Supplemental Type Certificate SR01383SE (STC). This proposed AD is prompted by the finding that an unfiltered turbine outlet temperature (TOT) indicator overtemperature warning light, when illuminated, created glare and reflections that could degrade the pilot’s view while using night vision goggles thereby creating an unsafe condition. The proposed actions are intended to modify any unfiltered TOT indicator unit over-temperature warning light by installing a filter to prevent degradation of the pilot’s vision while using night vision goggles and to prevent subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 3, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: DATES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:47 Feb 02, 2012 Jkt 226001 • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket 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 AD docket contains this proposed AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone: (800) 647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Aviation Specialties Unlimited Inc., 4632 Aeronca Street, Boise, Idaho 83705, telephone (208) 426–8117, fax (208) 426–8975 or http://www.asu-nvg.com/. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd. Room 663, Fort Worth, TX 76137. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Arrigotti, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, Airframe Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057, telephone (425) 917–6426, fax (425) 917–6590; email kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5423 filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive. Discussion We propose to adopt a new AD for the specified Bell model helicopters with an ASU Night Vision Lighting Imaging System installed per STC SR01383SE. This proposed AD is prompted by the finding that an unfiltered TOT indicator over-temperature warning light, when illuminated, created glare and reflections that could degrade the pilot’s view while the pilot is using night vision goggles. This proposed AD would require determining the date of the STC installation, determining whether each helicopter has a TOT indicator unit with an internal over-temperature warning light. If an unfiltered TOT indicator over-temperature warning light is installed, this AD would require installing an NVIS filter. The proposed actions are intended to modify any unfiltered TOT indicator unit overtemperature warning light by installing a filter to prevent degradation of the pilot’s vision while using night vision goggles and to prevent subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. FAA’s Determination We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters with NVIS lighting installed per STC SR01383SE on or before April 6, 2011. Relevant Service Information We reviewed ASU’s Alert Service Bulletin No. ASU 206–2010–11–1, dated November 4, 2010 (ASB) for the Bell Helicopter Textron 206 series helicopters. The ASB states to visually inspect each helicopter to determine if the TOT indicator/gauge has an internal over-temperature warning light installed. If the over-temperature warning light is internal, the ASB specifies notifying ASU. ASU states it will immediately ship an NVIS filter, part number (P/N) ASU–TOTGAG–1. E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 23 (Friday, February 3, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5420-5423]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2423]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0083; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-022-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Aeronautical Accessories Inc. High 
Landing Gear Aft Crosstube Assembly

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the 
Aeronautical Accessories Inc. (AAI) High Landing Gear Aft Crosstube 
Assembly (aft crosstube) installed on certain Bell Helicopter Textron, 
Inc. (Bell) and Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) model helicopters as an approved 
Bell part installed during production or based on a Supplemental Type 
Certificate (STC). This proposed AD is prompted by three reports of 
failed crosstubes because of cracks. The proposed actions are intended 
to prevent failure of a crosstube, collapse of the landing gear, and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 3, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
     Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ``Mail'' address between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket 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 AD docket contains this proposed AD, the economic 
evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is 
in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will

[[Page 5421]]

be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact 
Aeronautical Accessories, Inc., P.O. Box 3689, Bristol, Tennessee 
37625-3689, telephone (423) 538-5151 or 1-800-251-7094, fax (423) 538-
8469 or at http://www.aero-access.com. You may also get service 
information 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. You may review copies of the 
referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, TX 
76137.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 
Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137, telephone (817) 222-5170, email 
martin.r.crane@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to 
the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might 
result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To 
ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters 
should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed 
electronically, commenters should submit only one time.
    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as 
a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel 
concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we 
will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for 
comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has 
closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. 
We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

Discussion

    This document proposes adopting a new AD for AAI aft crosstubes 
installed during production or based on STC SR01502AT on certain Bell 
and Agusta model helicopters. This proposal would require certain 
recurring visual, dimensional, and fluorescent penetrant inspections of 
each aft crosstube. If there is a crack, the AD would require, before 
further flight, replacing any cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy 
aft crosstube. This proposal would also require establishing a life 
limit for one of the affected part-numbered aft crosstubes (as the 
later part-numbered aft crosstube already has limits established) and 
creating a component history card or equivalent record for aft 
crosstube part number (P/N) 412-321-304. This proposal is prompted by 
three reports of failed aft crosstubes. This condition, if not 
corrected, could result in collapse of the landing gear, and subsequent 
loss of control of the helicopter.

FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant 
information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is 
likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Related Service Information

    We have reviewed AAI Alert Service Bulletin No. AA-07109, dated 
April 3, 2008 (ASB), which specifies recurring inspections and 
maintenance of each aft crosstube, P/N 412-321-104, installed as an 
approved part by Bell during production, and P/N 412-321-304, installed 
under STC SR01052AT, on Bell Model 412, 412EP, and 412CF and Agusta 
Model AB412 and AB412EP helicopters. The ASB specifies establishing a 
high aft crosstube, P/N 412 321-304, ``takeoff/landing'' life limit of 
20,000. Also, the ASB specifies that operators should follow helicopter 
towing instructions to prevent crosstube damage or failure as a result 
of ground handling or towing.
    We have also reviewed Bell ASB 412-08-129, dated May 12, 2008, for 
Bell Model 412 and 412EP helicopters, serial numbers 33001 through 
33213, 36001 and subsequent, with an aft crosstube P/N 412-321-104 
installed. Bell issued its ASB ``to achieve complete distribution of 
AA-07109 vendor bulletin to the current affected model distribution 
list.''

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require:
     Within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS), establishing a life 
limit of 20,000 takeoffs and landings for aft crosstube P/N 412 321 
304; creating a component history card or equivalent record; and 
determining and recording the total number of takeoffs and landings for 
each aft crosstube.
     Within the next 450 takeoffs and landings, if an aft 
crosstube has reached 20,000 or more takeoffs and landings, replacing 
it with an airworthy aft crosstube.
     At specified intervals, preparing the aft crosstube 
inspection areas and inspecting each aft crosstube for a crack. If 
there are no cracks, thereafter at specified intervals, priming and 
cleaning the inspection area, and inspecting each aft crosstube for a 
crack. If there is a crack, before further flight, replacing the 
cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube.
     At specified intervals, determining the horizontal 
deflection of each aft crosstube from the centerline of the helicopter 
(BL 0.0) to the outside of the skid tubes. If the measured horizontal 
deflection exceeds aft crosstube limits, replacing the aft crosstube 
with an airworthy aft crosstube.
     At specified intervals, removing the aft crosstube 
assembly, removing paint and sealant, and fluorescent penetrant 
inspecting each aft crosstube for a crack. If there are no cracks, 
priming and painting the inspection area. If there is a crack, before 
further flight, replacing each cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy 
aft crosstube.
    This proposed AD would revise the Airworthiness Limitations section 
of the applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness (ICA) by establishing a new retirement life of 20,000 
takeoffs and landings for aft crosstube P/N 412-321-304 by making pen 
and ink changes or inserting a copy of the AD into the maintenance 
manual or the ICAs.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 115 helicopters of 
U.S. Registry.
    We also estimate that the proposed actions would take about:
     1 hour to create a component history card or equivalent 
record and determine and record the number of accumulated takeoffs and 
landings for each affected aft crosstube;
     3 hours to prepare the area for a visual inspection;
     \1/2\ hour to do the repetitive visual inspections, 
assuming 14 repetitive visual inspections per year;
     1 hour to do a dimensional inspection of the skid gear, 
assuming 3 inspections per year;
     24 hours to prepare and fluorescent penetrant inspect the 
aft crosstube, assuming 2 inspections per year; and
     10 hours to replace an aft crosstube, if necessary, 
assuming 3 aft crosstubes would be replaced.
    The average labor rate is $85 per work hour. Required parts would 
cost about $9,315 per aft crosstube. Based on these

[[Page 5422]]

figures, we estimate the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. 
operators to be $636,545.

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.

Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship 
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866;
    2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);
    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that 
it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and
    4. 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 an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply 
with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

    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. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new AD:

Aeronautical Accessories, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2012-0083; 
Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-022-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to High Landing Gear Aft Crosstube Assembly (aft 
crosstube) part number (P/N) 412-321-104 and P/N 412-321-304, 
installed on Agusta S.p.A. Model AB412 and AB412EP and Bell 
Helicopter Textron, Inc., Model 412, 412CF, and 412EP helicopters, 
certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a cracked aft crosstube 
which could result in collapse of the landing gear, and subsequent 
loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this 
AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been 
accomplished prior to that time.

(d) Required Actions

    (1) Within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) establish a life limit 
of 20,000 takeoffs and landings for each aft crosstube P/N 412-321-
304. For the purposes of this AD, a takeoff and landing is defined 
as the cycle from when the helicopter gets light on the skids 
(takeoff) unloading the aft crosstube and then settles on the skids 
again (landing) reloading the aft crosstubes. Either the number of 
landings or takeoffs may be counted.
    (i) Create a component history card or equivalent record.
    (ii) Determine and record on the history card or equivalent 
record the total number of takeoffs and landings for each aft 
crosstube. If the takeoff and landing information is unavailable, 
estimate the number by multiplying the airframe hours by 10.
    (2) Within the next 450 takeoffs and landings, if an aft 
crosstube has reached 20,000 or more takeoffs and landings, replace 
it with an airworthy aft crosstube.
    (3) Before reaching 2,500 takeoffs and landings or for an aft 
crosstube with 2,500 or more takeoffs and landings, within 50 hours 
TIS or within the next 250 takeoffs and landings, whichever occurs 
first, prepare the aft crosstube inspection areas as depicted in 
Figure 1 of Aeronautical Accessories, Inc. (AAI) Alert Service 
Bulletin No. AA-07109, dated April 3, 2008 (ASB), by following the 
Accomplishment Instructions, Part B, paragraphs 1 through 4, of the 
ASB. Using a 10X or higher magnifying glass, inspect the prepared 
areas of each aft crosstube for a crack. If there is a crack, before 
further flight, replace the cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy 
aft crosstube. If there are no cracks, after completing the aft 
crosstube inspection, prime and paint the inspection area by 
following the Accomplishment Instructions, Part B, paragraphs 6 and 
7, of the ASB.
    (4) Thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 450 takeoffs and 
landings, clean the inspection area. Using a 10X or higher 
magnifying glass, inspect the clear-coated area of the aft crosstube 
for a crack.
    (5) If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the 
cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube.
    (6) Within 30 days or before reaching 2,500 takeoffs and 
landings, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 2,500 takeoffs and landings or 12 months, whichever occurs 
first, determine the horizontal deflection of each aft crosstube 
from the centerline of the helicopter (BL 0.0) to the outside of the 
skid tubes by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Part D, 
paragraphs 1 through 3, of the ASB. If the measured aft crosstube 
horizontal deflection depicted in Figure 2 of the ASB is less than 
57 inches (1448 mm) or greater than 59 inches (1499 mm), replace the 
aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube.
    (7) Within 3 months or on or before reaching 7,500 takeoffs and 
landings, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 5,000 takeoffs and landings:
    (i) Remove the aft crosstube assembly by removing the aft 
crosstube support beam assembly, P/N 604-030-001, and both aft 
crosstube clamp assemblies, P/N 604-027-002.
    (ii) Remove paint and sealant from the aft crosstube outboard of 
the upper center support to top of saddles, both sides, as depicted 
in Figure 3 of the ASB.
    (iii) Fluorescent penetrant inspect each aft crosstube outboard 
of the upper center support as depicted in Figure 3 of the ASB for a 
crack.
    (iv) If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the 
cracked aft crosstube with an airworthy aft crosstube.
    (8) Revise the helicopter Airworthiness Limitations section of 
the applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness (ICA) by establishing a new retirement life of 20,000 
takeoff and landings for aft crosstube P/N 412-321-304 by making pen 
and ink changes or inserting a copy of this AD into the maintenance 
manual or the ICAs.

(e) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC)

    (1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Certification Office, FAA, may 
approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Martin R. Crane, 
Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft 
Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, 
telephone (817) 222-5170, email martin.r.crane@faa.gov.
    (2) For operations conducted under a Part 119 operating 
certificate or under Part 91, Subpart K, we suggest that you notify 
your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the 
manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate 
holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with 
this AD through an AMOC.

[[Page 5423]]

(f) Additional Information

    The FAA approved AAI Instructions for Continued Airworthiness 
Report Number AA-01136 and the Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service 
Bulletin No. 412-08-129, dated May 12, 2008, which are not 
incorporated by reference, contain additional information about 
inspecting the aft crosstube for a crack.

(g) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 32: Landing Gear.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 23, 2012.
Kim Smith,
Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-2423 Filed 2-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P