Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Incorporated Helicopters, 23638-23643 [2012-9569]

Download as PDF 23638 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules required by this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $45,723 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the AD to U.S. operators to be $20,506,188. PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES Authority for This Rulemaking § 39.13 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. 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 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 above, 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, 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. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 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 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. [Amended] Pratt & Whitney Division: Docket No. FAA– 2012–0228; Directorate Identifier 2012– NE–09–AD. (a) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by June 19, 2012. (b) Affected ADs None. (d) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by 58 reports of cracked 1st stage HPT air seal rings, including 15 in-flight engine shutdowns. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the 1st stage HPT air seal ring, which could lead to an internal oil fire, uncontained engine failure, and damage to the airplane. (e) Compliance Comply with this AD the next time that the engine is separated at the M-flange and the HPT module is removed from the engine. (1) Remove the 1st stage HPT seal support, P/N 55K601 or P/N 50K532, from service and replace it with a 1st stage HPT seal support, P/N 50K153. (2) Remove the 1st stage HPT air seal ring from the engine and fluorescent-penetrantinspect, or eddy current-inspect, it for cracks. If found cracked, remove the 1st stage HPT air seal ring from service. (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) The Manager, Engine Certification Office, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. (g) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact James Gray, Aerospace Engineer, Engine & Propeller Directorate, FAA, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781–238–7742; fax: 781–238– 7199; email: james.e.gray@faa.gov. Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on April 16, 2012. Peter A. White, Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–9545 Filed 4–19–12; 8:45 am] (c) Applicability This AD applies to the following Pratt & Whitney Division turbofan engines: (1) PW4000–94″ engine models PW4050, PW4052, PW4056, PW4152, PW4156, PW4650, PW4060, PW4060A, PW4060C, PW4062, PW4062A, PW4156A, PW4158, PW4160, PW4460, and PW4462, including models with any dash-number suffix, with a 1st stage high-pressure turbine (HPT) seal support part number (P/N) 55K601 or P/N 50K532, installed. (2) PW4000–100″ engine models PW4164, PW4164C, PW4164C/B, PW4168, and PW4168A with a 1st stage HPT seal support P/N 55K601 or P/N 50K532, installed. PO 00000 (2) Pratt & Whitney Service Bulletin (SB) No. PW4ENG 72–721, Revision 2, dated November 30, 2011, and SB No. PW4G–100– 72–166, Revision 2, dated December 2, 2011, pertain to the subject of this AD. (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Pratt & Whitney, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108; phone: 860– 565–8770; fax: 860–565–4503. (4) You may review copies of the service information at the FAA, New England Region, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781–238–7125. Sfmt 4702 BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0415; Directorate Identifier 2008–SW–065–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Incorporated Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI) Model 204B, 205A, 205A–1, 205B, and 212 helicopters. The existing AD currently requires conducting various inspections associated with the main rotor grip (grip). If a crack is found, that AD requires replacing the grip before further flight. If delamination of the buffer pad on the grip tang inner surface is found, that AD requires inspecting the grip surface for corrosion or other damage and repairing or replacing the grip if corrosion or other damage is found. That AD also requires determining and recording the hours time-in-service (TIS) and the engine start/stop cycles for each grip on a component history card or equivalent record. Additionally, that AD requires you to report certain inspection results to the FAA. Since we issued that AD, additional cracks in grips have been found. Analysis of these events has shown that a retirement life is needed for certain grips, and the AD SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules applicability needs to be expanded to include additional grips similar in design, as well as to include the Model 210 helicopter, which was issued an FAA type certificate after the existing AD was issued. The proposed actions are intended to prevent failure of a grip, separation of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 19, 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 be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact BHTI, 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 service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. DATES: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Kohner, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222–5170, fax (817) 222–5783, email mike.kohner@faa.gov or 7-avs-asw170@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 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 On December 31, 2002, we issued AD 2003–01–04, Amendment 39–13015 (68 FR 1955, January 15, 2003), for the BHTI Model 204B, 205A, 205A–1, 205B, and 212 helicopters. That AD requires the following actions: • Within 10 hours TIS, determining and recording the hours TIS and the engine start/stop cycles for each grip on a component history card or equivalent record. On the single-engine model helicopters, one ‘‘engine start/stop cycle’’ occurs when the engine is started. On the Model 212 helicopter, one ‘‘engine start/stop cycle’’ occurs when either one or both engines are started. The intent is to add one ‘‘engine start/stop cycle’’ each time helicopter power starts the main rotor system turning. • Within 10 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, visually inspecting the exposed surfaces of the upper and lower tangs of each grip for a crack, using a 10-power or higher magnifying glass. • At specified intervals, depending on the hours TIS or the engine start/stop cycles, whichever occurs first, conducting initial and repetitive ultrasonic (UT) inspections of each grip in accordance with the Nondestructive Inspection Procedure, Log No. 00–340, Revision E, dated April 9, 2002. • At intervals not to exceed 1,200 hours TIS or 24 months, whichever occurs first, inspecting each buffer pad on the tang inner surfaces for PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 23639 delamination and removing the buffer pad and inspecting the grip surface for corrosion and other damage if delamination is found. • Within 2,400 hours TIS or at the next overhaul of the main rotor hub, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,400 hours TIS, inspecting the surface of each affected grip for corrosion or other damage and conducting a fluorescent-penetrant inspection (FPI) of the grip for a crack. • Before further flight, replacing any grip that has a crack, corrosion, or other damage with an airworthy grip, or repairing a grip with corrosion or other damage if the corrosion or other damage is within certain limits. • Reporting certain inspection results and information to the FAA in accordance with Appendix 1 of the AD. AD 2003–01–04 was prompted by three in-flight grip failures and two cracked grips discovered during a 1,200hour TIS inspection and on a scheduled 2,400-hour TIS overhaul, which brought the total to 13 grips that had cracked in the lower tang. No anomalies or damage to the blade, blade bolt bore, or buffer pad tang surface were found in the two cracked grips found during the inspection and overhaul. Cracking on all of the grips has been attributed to mechanical damage from improper blade bolt bushing installation, improper rework of the buffer pad tang surface, or subsurface fatigue damage. All of the fatigue cracks occurred on grip part numbers (P/N) 204–011–121– 009 and –121, installed on BHTI Model 212 helicopters. Grip P/Ns 204–011– 121–005, –113, and –117, installed on BHTI Model 204B, 205A, 205A–1, and 205B helicopters, were also included because the grips are very similar in design and are subjected to the same forces and loads as the grips installed on BHTI Model 212 helicopters. We issued that AD to prevent failure of a grip, separation of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued Since issuing the existing AD, small cracks in three grips, initiating in the blade bolt bore, have been detected during UT inspections. Additionally, one crack in another grip was discovered visually, another crack was found after an in-flight vibration developed, and one grip fractured during flight. This brings the total to 19 grips that have cracked in the lower tang. Based on these additional discoveries of cracked grips and subsequent analyses performed by the manufacturer, we have determined the following: E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 23640 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules • The applicability of the AD needs to be expanded to include replacement grip P/N ASI–4011–121–9, produced under a part manufacturing approval (PMA) issued by the FAA, because the design approval for this grip was based on its design being identical to the original BHTI-manufactured grip, P/N 204–011–121–009; • The applicability of the AD needs to be expanded to include any Model 204B, 205A, 205A–1, and 212 helicopters with grip P/N 204–011–121– 009, –121, or ASI–4011–121–9 installed; • The applicability of the AD needs to be expanded to include the Model 210 helicopter, which has a grip P/N 204– 011–121–009 and –121, installed. This model was not included in AD 2003– 01–04 because the FAA issued the BHTI Model 210 type certificate after AD 2003–01–04 was issued; • A retirement life is needed for grip P/Ns 204–011–121–009, 204–011–121– 121, and ASI–4011–121–9. These grips, installed on Model 205B, 210, and 212 helicopters, are currently unlimited in service life and are only required to be replaced when damaged or corroded beyond repair. Early failures of these grips, which have not been attributed to mechanical damage, have indicated a need to establish retirement lives to avoid possible cracking in the future; • The procedure for calculating the total hours TIS for any grip where the hours TIS cannot be determined from the helicopter records should be modified to more accurately account for the actual usage of the fleet and clarify the intent of the AD; and • The reporting of inspection findings to the FAA is no longer needed. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS FAA’s Determination We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other helicopters of these same type designs. Related Service Information We reviewed the following BHTI service information: • Operations Safety Notices 204–85– 6, 205–85–9, and 212–85–13, all dated November 14, 1985, which describe a grip with a crack in the lower tang that was returned by an operator; • Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 212–94–92, Revision A, dated March 13, 1995, which describes procedures for inspection and overhaul requirements of certain grips; • ASB No. 204–02–58, dated November 26, 2002; ASB No. 205–02– 88, dated November 26, 2002; and ASB No. 210–08–02, dated September 10, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 2008. These ASBs specify a UT inspection of certain grips; • ASB No. 205B–02–39, Revision B, dated November 22, 2002 and ASB No. 212–02–116, Revision A, dated October 30, 2002, which specify a UT inspection of certain grips and include the Nondestructive Inspection Procedure, Log No. 00–340, Revision E, dated April 9, 2002; and • Information Letter 204–08–23, 205– 08–38, 205B–08–21, and 212–08–62, Revision A, dated July 23, 2008 (one letter issued with 4 identification numbers), which describes a new, improved replacement grip, P/N 204– 011–121–125, that would not require the repetitive UT inspections and would have a retirement life of 25,000 hours TIS or a 500,000 Retirement Index Number (RIN), whichever comes first. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2003–01–04, and would require additional actions. The proposed requirements are as follows: • Within 10 hours TIS, determining and recording the hours TIS and the engine start/stop cycles for each grip on a component history card or equivalent record. For each month that the hours TIS cannot be determined, this proposed AD would assume 50 hours TIS. • Within 10 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, visually inspecting the exposed surfaces of the upper and lower tangs of each grip for a crack, using a 10-power or higher magnifying glass. • At specified intervals, depending on the hours TIS or the engine start/stop cycles, whichever occurs first, conducting initial and repetitive UT inspections of each grip, in accordance with the Nondestructive Inspection Procedure, Log No. 00–340, Revision E, dated April 9, 2002. • At intervals not to exceed 1,200 hours TIS or 24 months, whichever occurs first, inspecting each buffer pad on the tang inner surfaces for delamination, and removing the buffer pad and inspecting the grip surface for corrosion and other damage if delamination is found. • Within 2,400 hours TIS or at the next overhaul of the main rotor hub, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,400 hours TIS, inspecting the surface of each affected grip for corrosion or other damage and conducting an FPI of the grip for a crack. • Before further flight, replacing any grip that has a crack, corrosion, or other damage with an airworthy grip, or PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 repairing a grip with corrosion or other damage if the corrosion or other damage is within certain limits. • Before further flight, removing any grip, P/N 204–011–121–009 or ASI– 4011–121–9, that has 15,000 or more hours TIS; • Before further flight, removing any grip, P/N 204–011–121–121, that has 25,000 or more hours TIS; • Revising the Airworthiness Limitations sections of the applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by establishing a new retirement life of 15,000 hours TIS for grip, P/N 204–011–121–009 or ASI– 4011–121–9, and 25,000 hours TIS for grip, P/N 204–011–121–121; and • Recording the applicable hours TIS life limits for grips, P/N 204–011–121– 009, ASI–4011–121–9, and 204–011– 121 on the applicable component history card or equivalent record. Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Information This proposed AD requires life limits for grips, P/N 204–011–121–009, 204– 011–121–121, and ASI–4011–121–9. The manufacturer’s service bulletins do not specify a service life for these grips. Also, this proposed AD applies to grip P/N ASI–4011–121–9, which is produced under a parts manufacturing approval, and the manufacturer’s service bulletins do not address this particular grip. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 700 helicopters of U.S. registry, and it would take approximately 7 work hours to create and maintain the records, 6.25 work hours to conduct the inspections, and 20 work hours to replace a set of grips at an average labor rate of $85 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $56,385 for a replacement set of grips. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $6,596,875 for the entire fleet, assuming the grip set (2 grips) must be replaced on 100 helicopters. 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: E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules 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 helicopters 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, 23641 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 removing Amendment 39–13015 (68 FR 1955, January 15, 2003), and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI): Docket No. FAA–2012–0415; Directorate Identifier 2008–SW–065–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to the following model helicopters with the listed part-numbered main rotor grips installed, certificated in any category: TABLE 1—HELICOPTER MODEL AND MAIN ROTOR GRIP (GRIP) PART NUMBERS AFFECTED Model With the following grip part number (P/N) 204B ............................................................................ 204B, 205A, and 205A–1 ........................................... 205A and 205A–1 ....................................................... 205B ............................................................................ 210 .............................................................................. 212 .............................................................................. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the main rotor grip (grip), which could result in failure of a grip, separation of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Other Affected ADs This AD supersedes AD 2003–01–04, Amendment 39–13015 (68 FR 1955, January 15, 2003). (d) Compliance tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 204–011–121–005 if the grip was ever installed on a Model 205B helicopter. 204–011–121–009, –117, –121 or ASI–4011–121–9. 204–011–121–005 or –113 if the grip was ever installed on a Model 205B helicopter. 204–011–121–005, –009, –113, –117, or –121. 204–011–121–009 or –121. 204–011–121–009, –121, or ASI–4011–121–9. specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. (e) Required Actions (1) Within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS), create a component history card or equivalent record and determine and record the total hours TIS for each grip. If the total hours TIS cannot be determined from the helicopter records, assume and record 50 hours TIS for each month for which the hours cannot be determined. Continue to count and record the hours TIS and begin to count and record the number of times the helicopter engine(s) are started (engine start/ stop cycles). PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (2) Within 10 hours TIS, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, without removing the main rotor blades: (i) Clean the exposed surfaces of the upper and lower tangs of each grip with denatured alcohol, and wipe dry. (ii) Using a 10-power or higher magnifying glass, visually inspect the exposed surfaces of the upper and lower tangs of each grip for a crack. Pay particular attention to the lower surface of each lower grip tang from the main rotor blade bolt-bushing flange to the leading and trailing edge of each grip tang. See Figure 1 of this AD. E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 23642 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules TABLE 2—ULTRASONIC INSPECTION INTERVALS Within 30 days, or the following hours TIS for the grip, whichever occurs later: 204–011–121–009 or ASI–4011–121–9 .................................................................... 204–011–121–121 ..................................................................................................... 204–011–121–005 or –113, if the grip was EVER installed on a Model 205B helicopter ..................................................................................................................... 204–011–121–117, if the grip was NEVER installed on a Model 205B helicopter .. 204–011–121–117, if the grip was EVER installed on a Model 205B helicopter ..... The UT inspection of the grip must be performed by a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) UT Level I Special, Level II, or Level VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 4,000 500 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 400 150 1,600 600 4,000 4,000 500 III inspector who is qualified under the guidelines established by MIL–STD–410E, ATA Specification 105, AIA–NAS–410, or an PO 00000 Engine start/stop cycles Hours TIS 400 150 150 1,600 600 600 FAA-accepted equivalent for qualification standards of NDT Inspection/Evaluation Personnel. E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 EP20AP12.001</GPH> tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS UT inspect grip, P/N: Thereafter, at intervals not to exceed the following hours TIS or engine start/stop cycles, whichever occurs first: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 77 / Friday, April 20, 2012 / Proposed Rules Note 1: You can find the Nondestructive Inspection Procedure attached to BHTI Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 205B–02–39, Revision B, dated November 22, 2002, or BHTI ASB No. 212 02–116, Revision A, dated October 30, 2002. (4) At intervals not to exceed 1,200 hours TIS or 24 months, whichever occurs first: (i) Remove each main rotor blade, and (ii) Inspect each grip buffer pad on the inner surfaces of each grip tang for delamination (see Figure 1 of this AD). If there is any delamination, remove the buffer pad and inspect the grip surface for corrosion or other damage. Note 2: This inspection interval coincides with the main rotor tension-torsion strap replacement times. (5) Within 2,400 hours TIS, or at the next overhaul of the main rotor hub, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,400 hours TIS: (i) Remove each main rotor blade. (ii) Remove each grip buffer pad (if installed) from the inner surfaces of each grip tang. (iii) Visually inspect the grip tang surfaces for corrosion or other damage. (iv) Fluorescent-penetrant inspect (FPI) the grip for a crack, paying particular attention to the upper and lower grip tangs. When inspecting any grip, P/N 204–011–121–005, –009, –113, or ASI–4011–121–9, pay particular attention to the leading and trailing edges of the grip barrel. Note 3: FPI procedures are contained in BHTI Standard Practices Manual, BHT–ALL– SPM. (6) Before further flight: (i) Replace any cracked grip with an airworthy grip. (ii) Replace any grip with any corrosion or other damage with an airworthy grip, or repair the grip if the corrosion or other damage is within the maximum repair damage limitations found in the applicable Component and Repair Overhaul Manual. (iii) Replace any grip, P/N 204–011–121– 009 or ASI–4011–121–9, which has been in service for 15,000 or more hours TIS. (iv) Replace any grip, P/N 204–011–121– 121, which has been in service for 25,000 or more hours TIS. (7) Revise the Airworthiness Limitations sections of the applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAs) by establishing a new retirement life of 15,000 hours TIS for grip P/N 204–011–121–009 or ASI–4011–121–9, and 25,000 hours TIS for grip P/N 204–011– 121–121, by making pen and ink changes or inserting a copy of this AD into the applicable maintenance manual or ICAs. (8) Record a 15,000 hours TIS life limit for each grip P/N 204–011–121–009 or ASI– 4011–121–9, and a 25,000 hours TIS life limit for each grip P/N 204–011–121–121, on the applicable component history card or equivalent record. (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Michael Kohner, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:09 Apr 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222–5170, fax (817) 222–5783, email mike.kohner@faa.gov or 7-avs-asw170@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. (g) Additional Information (1) BHTI ASB No. 212–94–92, Revision A, dated March 13, 1995; BHTI ASB No. 212– 02–116, Revision A, dated October 30, 2002; BHTI 205B–02–39, Revision B, dated November 22, 2002; BHTI ASB No. 204–02– 58 and ASB No. 205–02–88, both dated November 26, 2002; BHTI ASB No. 210–08– 02, dated September 10, 2008; BHTI Operations Safety Notice 204–85–6, 205–85– 9, and 212–85–13, all dated November 14, 1985; and BHTI Information Letter, 204–08– 23, 205–08–38, 205B–08–21, and 212–08–62, Revision A, dated July 23, 2008; none of which are incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact BHTI, 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 this information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. (h) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6220: Main Rotor Head. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 11, 2012. Lance T. Gant, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–9569 Filed 4–19–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P POSTAL SERVICE 39 CFR Part 111 Advance Notice of Implementation of Full-Service Intelligent Mail Required for Automation Prices Postal Service. Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: The Postal Service is planning to move to the Full-Service Intelligent Mail® option to access automation prices for letters, postcards and flats, effective January 2014. The ‘‘FullService’’ Intelligent Mail program requires use of unique Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMbTM) applied to letter, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 23643 postcard and flat mailpieces, trays, sacks, and containers, such as pallets, and submission of electronic mailing documentation. This plan includes the transition to the use of eDocumentation, along with additional information to support the By/For relationships, and replacement of the 10/24 transition tray label with the full use of the 24-digit tray label Intelligent Mail barcode format. This Federal Register document provides advance information to help mailers prepare and plan for the transition to Full-Service and asks for information about the possible challenges mailers perceive to moving to Full-Service, the operational changes they will have to make, the costs and benefits of those changes, and steps the Postal Service could take to assist mailers in moving to Full-Service. The USPSTM looks forward to mailer feedback on all aspects of this plan. In addition, the USPS strongly encourages current Full-Service users to provide feedback about the benefits and valueadded they have experienced by converting to Full-Service. DATES: Comments on this advance notice of proposed rulemaking are due June 4, 2012. ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the Manager, Product Classification, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Room 4446, Washington, DC 20260–5015. Comments and questions can also be emailed to mailingstandards@usps.gov using the subject line ‘‘Full-Service January 2014.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ana Cikowski; email: ana.cikowski@usps.gov; phone: 202– 268–8079. Himesh Patel; email: himesh.a.patel@usps.gov; phone: 703–280–7498. William Chatfield; email: william.a.chatfield@usps.gov; phone: 202–268–7278. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background In January 2009, USPS offered the mailing industry two Intelligent Mail barcode (IMbTM) options for automation discounts. The options included the ‘‘Full-Service’’ option, requiring unique IMbs, and the ‘‘basic’’ IMb option, which does not require unique barcodes. Currently, a large number of mailers are using the Full-Service and basic IMb options and enjoy the additional benefits and value of using these options. As part of the transformation of data visibility and continued evolution of E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 77 (Friday, April 20, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23638-23643]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-9569]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0415; Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-065-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Incorporated 
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to supersede an existing airworthiness directive 
(AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI) Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 
205B, and 212 helicopters. The existing AD currently requires 
conducting various inspections associated with the main rotor grip 
(grip). If a crack is found, that AD requires replacing the grip before 
further flight. If delamination of the buffer pad on the grip tang 
inner surface is found, that AD requires inspecting the grip surface 
for corrosion or other damage and repairing or replacing the grip if 
corrosion or other damage is found. That AD also requires determining 
and recording the hours time-in-service (TIS) and the engine start/stop 
cycles for each grip on a component history card or equivalent record. 
Additionally, that AD requires you to report certain inspection results 
to the FAA. Since we issued that AD, additional cracks in grips have 
been found. Analysis of these events has shown that a retirement life 
is needed for certain grips, and the AD

[[Page 23639]]

applicability needs to be expanded to include additional grips similar 
in design, as well as to include the Model 210 helicopter, which was 
issued an FAA type certificate after the existing AD was issued. The 
proposed actions are intended to prevent failure of a grip, separation 
of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 19, 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 be available in the AD 
docket shortly after receipt.
    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact 
BHTI, 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 service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, 
Texas 76137.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Kohner, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort 
Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-5170, fax (817) 222-5783, email 
mike.kohner@faa.gov or 7-avs-asw-170@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

    On December 31, 2002, we issued AD 2003-01-04, Amendment 39-13015 
(68 FR 1955, January 15, 2003), for the BHTI Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 
205B, and 212 helicopters. That AD requires the following actions:
     Within 10 hours TIS, determining and recording the hours 
TIS and the engine start/stop cycles for each grip on a component 
history card or equivalent record. On the single-engine model 
helicopters, one ``engine start/stop cycle'' occurs when the engine is 
started. On the Model 212 helicopter, one ``engine start/stop cycle'' 
occurs when either one or both engines are started. The intent is to 
add one ``engine start/stop cycle'' each time helicopter power starts 
the main rotor system turning.
     Within 10 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 25 hours TIS, visually inspecting the exposed surfaces of the 
upper and lower tangs of each grip for a crack, using a 10-power or 
higher magnifying glass.
     At specified intervals, depending on the hours TIS or the 
engine start/stop cycles, whichever occurs first, conducting initial 
and repetitive ultrasonic (UT) inspections of each grip in accordance 
with the Nondestructive Inspection Procedure, Log No. 00-340, Revision 
E, dated April 9, 2002.
     At intervals not to exceed 1,200 hours TIS or 24 months, 
whichever occurs first, inspecting each buffer pad on the tang inner 
surfaces for delamination and removing the buffer pad and inspecting 
the grip surface for corrosion and other damage if delamination is 
found.
     Within 2,400 hours TIS or at the next overhaul of the main 
rotor hub, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 2,400 hours TIS, inspecting the surface of each affected grip 
for corrosion or other damage and conducting a fluorescent-penetrant 
inspection (FPI) of the grip for a crack.
     Before further flight, replacing any grip that has a 
crack, corrosion, or other damage with an airworthy grip, or repairing 
a grip with corrosion or other damage if the corrosion or other damage 
is within certain limits.
     Reporting certain inspection results and information to 
the FAA in accordance with Appendix 1 of the AD.
    AD 2003-01-04 was prompted by three in-flight grip failures and two 
cracked grips discovered during a 1,200-hour TIS inspection and on a 
scheduled 2,400-hour TIS overhaul, which brought the total to 13 grips 
that had cracked in the lower tang. No anomalies or damage to the 
blade, blade bolt bore, or buffer pad tang surface were found in the 
two cracked grips found during the inspection and overhaul. Cracking on 
all of the grips has been attributed to mechanical damage from improper 
blade bolt bushing installation, improper rework of the buffer pad tang 
surface, or subsurface fatigue damage. All of the fatigue cracks 
occurred on grip part numbers (P/N) 204-011-121-009 and -121, installed 
on BHTI Model 212 helicopters. Grip P/Ns 204-011-121-005, -113, and -
117, installed on BHTI Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, and 205B helicopters, 
were also included because the grips are very similar in design and are 
subjected to the same forces and loads as the grips installed on BHTI 
Model 212 helicopters. We issued that AD to prevent failure of a grip, 
separation of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued

    Since issuing the existing AD, small cracks in three grips, 
initiating in the blade bolt bore, have been detected during UT 
inspections. Additionally, one crack in another grip was discovered 
visually, another crack was found after an in-flight vibration 
developed, and one grip fractured during flight. This brings the total 
to 19 grips that have cracked in the lower tang. Based on these 
additional discoveries of cracked grips and subsequent analyses 
performed by the manufacturer, we have determined the following:

[[Page 23640]]

     The applicability of the AD needs to be expanded to 
include replacement grip P/N ASI-4011-121-9, produced under a part 
manufacturing approval (PMA) issued by the FAA, because the design 
approval for this grip was based on its design being identical to the 
original BHTI-manufactured grip, P/N 204-011-121-009;
     The applicability of the AD needs to be expanded to 
include any Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, and 212 helicopters with grip P/N 
204-011-121-009, -121, or ASI-4011-121-9 installed;
     The applicability of the AD needs to be expanded to 
include the Model 210 helicopter, which has a grip P/N 204-011-121-009 
and -121, installed. This model was not included in AD 2003-01-04 
because the FAA issued the BHTI Model 210 type certificate after AD 
2003-01-04 was issued;
     A retirement life is needed for grip P/Ns 204-011-121-009, 
204-011-121-121, and ASI-4011-121-9. These grips, installed on Model 
205B, 210, and 212 helicopters, are currently unlimited in service life 
and are only required to be replaced when damaged or corroded beyond 
repair. Early failures of these grips, which have not been attributed 
to mechanical damage, have indicated a need to establish retirement 
lives to avoid possible cracking in the future;
     The procedure for calculating the total hours TIS for any 
grip where the hours TIS cannot be determined from the helicopter 
records should be modified to more accurately account for the actual 
usage of the fleet and clarify the intent of the AD; and
     The reporting of inspection findings to the FAA is no 
longer needed.

FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant 
information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is 
likely to exist or develop in other helicopters of these same type 
designs.

Related Service Information

    We reviewed the following BHTI service information:
     Operations Safety Notices 204-85-6, 205-85-9, and 212-85-
13, all dated November 14, 1985, which describe a grip with a crack in 
the lower tang that was returned by an operator;
     Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 212-94-92, Revision A, 
dated March 13, 1995, which describes procedures for inspection and 
overhaul requirements of certain grips;
     ASB No. 204-02-58, dated November 26, 2002; ASB No. 205-
02-88, dated November 26, 2002; and ASB No. 210-08-02, dated September 
10, 2008. These ASBs specify a UT inspection of certain grips;
     ASB No. 205B-02-39, Revision B, dated November 22, 2002 
and ASB No. 212-02-116, Revision A, dated October 30, 2002, which 
specify a UT inspection of certain grips and include the Nondestructive 
Inspection Procedure, Log No. 00-340, Revision E, dated April 9, 2002; 
and
     Information Letter 204-08-23, 205-08-38, 205B-08-21, and 
212-08-62, Revision A, dated July 23, 2008 (one letter issued with 4 
identification numbers), which describes a new, improved replacement 
grip, P/N 204-011-121-125, that would not require the repetitive UT 
inspections and would have a retirement life of 25,000 hours TIS or a 
500,000 Retirement Index Number (RIN), whichever comes first.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2003-01-
04, and would require additional actions. The proposed requirements are 
as follows:
     Within 10 hours TIS, determining and recording the hours 
TIS and the engine start/stop cycles for each grip on a component 
history card or equivalent record. For each month that the hours TIS 
cannot be determined, this proposed AD would assume 50 hours TIS.
     Within 10 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 25 hours TIS, visually inspecting the exposed surfaces of the 
upper and lower tangs of each grip for a crack, using a 10-power or 
higher magnifying glass.
     At specified intervals, depending on the hours TIS or the 
engine start/stop cycles, whichever occurs first, conducting initial 
and repetitive UT inspections of each grip, in accordance with the 
Nondestructive Inspection Procedure, Log No. 00-340, Revision E, dated 
April 9, 2002.
     At intervals not to exceed 1,200 hours TIS or 24 months, 
whichever occurs first, inspecting each buffer pad on the tang inner 
surfaces for delamination, and removing the buffer pad and inspecting 
the grip surface for corrosion and other damage if delamination is 
found.
     Within 2,400 hours TIS or at the next overhaul of the main 
rotor hub, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 2,400 hours TIS, inspecting the surface of each affected grip 
for corrosion or other damage and conducting an FPI of the grip for a 
crack.
     Before further flight, replacing any grip that has a 
crack, corrosion, or other damage with an airworthy grip, or repairing 
a grip with corrosion or other damage if the corrosion or other damage 
is within certain limits.
     Before further flight, removing any grip, P/N 204-011-121-
009 or ASI-4011-121-9, that has 15,000 or more hours TIS;
     Before further flight, removing any grip, P/N 204-011-121-
121, that has 25,000 or more hours TIS;
     Revising the Airworthiness Limitations sections of the 
applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness by establishing a new retirement life of 15,000 hours TIS 
for grip, P/N 204-011-121-009 or ASI-4011-121-9, and 25,000 hours TIS 
for grip, P/N 204-011-121-121; and
     Recording the applicable hours TIS life limits for grips, 
P/N 204-011-121-009, ASI-4011-121-9, and 204-011-121 on the applicable 
component history card or equivalent record.

Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Information

    This proposed AD requires life limits for grips, P/N 204-011-121-
009, 204-011-121-121, and ASI-4011-121-9. The manufacturer's service 
bulletins do not specify a service life for these grips. Also, this 
proposed AD applies to grip P/N ASI-4011-121-9, which is produced under 
a parts manufacturing approval, and the manufacturer's service 
bulletins do not address this particular grip.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 700 helicopters of 
U.S. registry, and it would take approximately 7 work hours to create 
and maintain the records, 6.25 work hours to conduct the inspections, 
and 20 work hours to replace a set of grips at an average labor rate of 
$85 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $56,385 for 
a replacement set of grips. Based on these figures, we estimate the 
total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $6,596,875 
for the entire fleet, assuming the grip set (2 grips) must be replaced 
on 100 helicopters.

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:

[[Page 23641]]

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 helicopters 
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 removing Amendment 39-13015 (68 FR 
1955, January 15, 2003), and adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI): Docket No. FAA-2012-0415; 
Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-065-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to the following model helicopters with the 
listed part-numbered main rotor grips installed, certificated in any 
category:

                   Table 1--Helicopter Model and Main Rotor Grip (Grip) Part Numbers Affected
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  With the following grip part
                                    Model                                                 number (P/N)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
204B.........................................................................  204-011-121-005 if the grip was
                                                                                ever installed on a Model 205B
                                                                                helicopter.
204B, 205A, and 205A-1.......................................................  204-011-121-009, -117, -121 or
                                                                                ASI-4011-121-9.
205A and 205A-1..............................................................  204-011-121-005 or -113 if the
                                                                                grip was ever installed on a
                                                                                Model 205B helicopter.
205B.........................................................................  204-011-121-005, -009, -113, -
                                                                                117, or -121.
210..........................................................................  204-011-121-009 or -121.
212..........................................................................  204-011-121-009, -121, or ASI-
                                                                                4011-121-9.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the main 
rotor grip (grip), which could result in failure of a grip, 
separation of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of 
the helicopter.

(c) Other Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2003-01-04, Amendment 39-13015 (68 FR 
1955, January 15, 2003).

(d) 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.

(e) Required Actions

    (1) Within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS), create a component 
history card or equivalent record and determine and record the total 
hours TIS for each grip. If the total hours TIS cannot be determined 
from the helicopter records, assume and record 50 hours TIS for each 
month for which the hours cannot be determined. Continue to count 
and record the hours TIS and begin to count and record the number of 
times the helicopter engine(s) are started (engine start/stop 
cycles).
    (2) Within 10 hours TIS, and thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 25 hours TIS, without removing the main rotor blades:
    (i) Clean the exposed surfaces of the upper and lower tangs of 
each grip with denatured alcohol, and wipe dry.
    (ii) Using a 10-power or higher magnifying glass, visually 
inspect the exposed surfaces of the upper and lower tangs of each 
grip for a crack. Pay particular attention to the lower surface of 
each lower grip tang from the main rotor blade bolt-bushing flange 
to the leading and trailing edge of each grip tang. See Figure 1 of 
this AD.

[[Page 23642]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP20AP12.001


                                    Table 2--Ultrasonic Inspection Intervals
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                               Thereafter, at intervals not to
                                                          Within 30 days,     exceed the following hours TIS or
                                                          or the following   engine start/stop cycles, whichever
                 UT inspect grip, P/N:                   hours TIS for the              occurs first:
                                                          grip, whichever  -------------------------------------
                                                           occurs later:                       Engine start/stop
                                                                                Hours TIS            cycles
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
204-011-121-009 or ASI-4011-121-9......................              4,000                400              1,600
204-011-121-121........................................                500                150                600
204-011-121-005 or -113, if the grip was EVER installed              4,000                400              1,600
 on a Model 205B helicopter............................
204-011-121-117, if the grip was NEVER installed on a                4,000                150                600
 Model 205B helicopter.................................
204-011-121-117, if the grip was EVER installed on a                   500                150                600
 Model 205B helicopter.................................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The UT inspection of the grip must be performed by a Non-
Destructive Testing (NDT) UT Level I Special, Level II, or Level III 
inspector who is qualified under the guidelines established by MIL-
STD-410E, ATA Specification 105, AIA-NAS-410, or an FAA-accepted 
equivalent for qualification standards of NDT Inspection/Evaluation 
Personnel.


[[Page 23643]]


    Note 1: You can find the Nondestructive Inspection Procedure 
attached to BHTI Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 205B-02-39, 
Revision B, dated November 22, 2002, or BHTI ASB No. 212 02-116, 
Revision A, dated October 30, 2002.

    (4) At intervals not to exceed 1,200 hours TIS or 24 months, 
whichever occurs first:
    (i) Remove each main rotor blade, and
    (ii) Inspect each grip buffer pad on the inner surfaces of each 
grip tang for delamination (see Figure 1 of this AD). If there is 
any delamination, remove the buffer pad and inspect the grip surface 
for corrosion or other damage.

    Note 2: This inspection interval coincides with the main rotor 
tension-torsion strap replacement times.

    (5) Within 2,400 hours TIS, or at the next overhaul of the main 
rotor hub, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 2,400 hours TIS:
    (i) Remove each main rotor blade.
    (ii) Remove each grip buffer pad (if installed) from the inner 
surfaces of each grip tang.
    (iii) Visually inspect the grip tang surfaces for corrosion or 
other damage.
    (iv) Fluorescent-penetrant inspect (FPI) the grip for a crack, 
paying particular attention to the upper and lower grip tangs. When 
inspecting any grip, P/N 204-011-121-005, -009, -113, or ASI-4011-
121-9, pay particular attention to the leading and trailing edges of 
the grip barrel.

    Note 3: FPI procedures are contained in BHTI Standard Practices 
Manual, BHT-ALL-SPM.

    (6) Before further flight:
    (i) Replace any cracked grip with an airworthy grip.
    (ii) Replace any grip with any corrosion or other damage with an 
airworthy grip, or repair the grip if the corrosion or other damage 
is within the maximum repair damage limitations found in the 
applicable Component and Repair Overhaul Manual.
    (iii) Replace any grip, P/N 204-011-121-009 or ASI-4011-121-9, 
which has been in service for 15,000 or more hours TIS.
    (iv) Replace any grip, P/N 204-011-121-121, which has been in 
service for 25,000 or more hours TIS.
    (7) Revise the Airworthiness Limitations sections of the 
applicable maintenance manuals or the Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness (ICAs) by establishing a new retirement life of 15,000 
hours TIS for grip P/N 204-011-121-009 or ASI-4011-121-9, and 25,000 
hours TIS for grip P/N 204-011-121-121, by making pen and ink 
changes or inserting a copy of this AD into the applicable 
maintenance manual or ICAs.
    (8) Record a 15,000 hours TIS life limit for each grip P/N 204-
011-121-009 or ASI-4011-121-9, and a 25,000 hours TIS life limit for 
each grip P/N 204-011-121-121, on the applicable component history 
card or equivalent record.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Certification Office, FAA, may 
approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Michael Kohner, 
Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Certification Office, 2601 
Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-5170, 
fax (817) 222-5783, email mike.kohner@faa.gov or 7-avs-asw-170@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.

(g) Additional Information

    (1) BHTI ASB No. 212-94-92, Revision A, dated March 13, 1995; 
BHTI ASB No. 212-02-116, Revision A, dated October 30, 2002; BHTI 
205B-02-39, Revision B, dated November 22, 2002; BHTI ASB No. 204-
02-58 and ASB No. 205-02-88, both dated November 26, 2002; BHTI ASB 
No. 210-08-02, dated September 10, 2008; BHTI Operations Safety 
Notice 204-85-6, 205-85-9, and 212-85-13, all dated November 14, 
1985; and BHTI Information Letter, 204-08-23, 205-08-38, 205B-08-21, 
and 212-08-62, Revision A, dated July 23, 2008; none of which are 
incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the 
subject of this AD.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact BHTI, 
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 this information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, 
Texas 76137.

(h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6220: Main Rotor 
Head.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 11, 2012.
Lance T. Gant,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-9569 Filed 4-19-12; 8:45 am]
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