Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Helicopters, 37790-37793 [2012-15290]

Download as PDF 37790 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2012 / Rules and Regulations Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to Attn: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–1137; fax (425) 227– 1149. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD. (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service. (3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120–0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES–200. erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES (l) Related Information Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2011–0115, dated June 17, 2011; and Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100–53–115, dated June 16, 2011; for related information. (m) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the following service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use the following service information to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100–53– 115, dated June 16, 2011. (3) For Fokker service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 231, 2150 AE Nieuw-Vennep, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)252–627–350; fax +31 (0)252–627–211; email technicalservices.fokkerservices@stork.com; Internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.com (4) You may review copies of the service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:43 Jun 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. (5) You may also review copies of the service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at an NARA facility, call 202–741– 6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/ federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 7, 2012. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–14546 Filed 6–22–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0566; Directorate Identifier 2011–SW–008–AD; Amendment 39–17065; AD 2012–11–02] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) that supersedes an existing Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) for certain Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (ECD) Model EC135 helicopters. The existing EAD, which was previously sent to all known U.S. owners and operators of ECD Model EC135 helicopters and not made generally effective by publication in the Federal Register, currently requires inspecting the ring frame between the rear structure tube (tailboom) and the tail rotor fenestron housing (fenestron housing) for a crack before the first flight of each day and replacing any cracked ring frame with an airworthy ring frame. Since we issued that EAD, we have determined that a pre-flight pilot check in conjunction with a recurring 25-hour inspection is sufficient for determining the airworthiness of the ring frame. Additionally, ECD has developed a modification that is terminating action for the requirements of that EAD. This superseding AD revises the inspection requirements of the EAD to allow an SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 owner/operator to perform the pre-flight pilot check, adds a recurring inspection of the ring frame, and allows for installation of a ring frame reinforcement as an optional terminating action for the AD requirements. The actions are intended to detect a crack in the ring frame which could result in loss of the fenestron structure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. DATES: This AD becomes effective July 10, 2012. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of July 10, 2012. We must receive comments on this AD by August 24, 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 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 AD, contact American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052, telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232–0323, fax (972) 641–3775, or at http://www. eurocopter.com/techpub. You may review a copy of the referenced 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: Sharon Miles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; phone (817) 222–5110; email: sharon.y.miles@faa. gov. E:\FR\FM\25JNR1.SGM 25JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2012 / Rules and Regulations SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES Comments Invited This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, 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 resulted from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, 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 them 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 rulemaking during the comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments. Discussion The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA EAD No.: 2008–0190–E, dated October 13, 2008 (EAD 2008–0190–E), to correct an unsafe condition for EC135 and EC635 model helicopters. EASA advises that, during a recent pre-flight check on an EC 135 helicopter, a crack was detected on the ring frame that connects the tail rotor fenestron housing to the rear structure tube (tailboom). EASA states that this condition, if not corrected, could lead to crack propagation remaining undetected, possibly resulting in loss of the fenestron structure and loss of control of the helicopter. EAD 2008–0190–E requires accomplishing a pilot pre-flight check of the rear structure tube for cracks before each first flight of the day; amending the flight manual to reflect the pilot preflight check; within 25 flight hours, having the rear structure tube inspected for cracks by a mechanic; and, if any cracks are detected contacting ECD for approved corrective actions. On October 16, 2008, we issued EAD No. 2008–22–51 (EAD 2008–22–51) for the ECD Model EC135 helicopter. That EAD requires, before further flight and thereafter before the first flight of each day, visually inspecting the ring frame between the tailboom and fenestron VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:43 Jun 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 37791 housing for a crack, and replacing the ring frame with an airworthy ring frame if there is a crack. That EAD resulted from two reports of cracks on the ring frame connecting the tail rotor fenestron housing to the tailboom. The first crack was discovered in Germany and is discussed in EAD 2008–0190–E. The second crack, which was 9 inches long, was discovered in the U.S. and was in the same area as the first reported crack. We issued EAD 2008–22–51 to detect a crack in the ring frame, which could result in loss of the fenestron structure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. FAA’s Determination Actions Since Existing EAD Was Issued We reviewed ECD Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EC135–53A–022, Revision 02, dated November 30, 2010 (ASB EC135–53A–022). ASB EC135– 53A–022 describes procedures for a pilot check of the ring frame during the preflight check. ASB EC135–53A–022 additionally prescribes a recurring inspection of the ring frame every 25 flight hours and accomplishment of ECD Service Bulletin EC135–53–023, as corrected November 13, 2009 (SB EC135–53–023), which describes procedures to attach a frame reinforcement to the ring frame. The correction coversheet attached to SB EC135–53–023 is dated November 13, 2009; it describes the correction on page 6 of the service bulletin. All pages of the corrected service bulletin show the original issue date of August 19, 2009; the date has been underlined on page 6 of the corrected service bulletin. Accomplishment of SB EC135–53–023 constitutes terminating action for the visual inspection requirements of ASB EC135–53A–022. Since we issued EAD 2008–22–51, EASA issued AD No.: 2009–0065, dated March 13, 2009 (AD 2009–0065), which supersedes EAD 2008–0190–E. AD 2009–0065 retains the requirements of EAD 2008–0190–E, expands the applicability to EC 135 helicopters manufactured in Spain, and adds a repetitive 100-hour inspection of the rear fuselage structure area for cracks. EASA next issued AD No.: 2009– 0065R1, dated September 8, 2009 (AD 2009–0065R1), which revises AD 2009– 0065. EASA advises that ECD has developed a modification (reinforcement) of the aft ring frame, including a part number (P/N) change, for both production and in-service application. Consequently, AD 2009– 0065R1 retains the inspection requirements of AD 2009–0065 but limits its applicability to helicopters without the reinforced aft ring frame installed, and allows installation of the reinforced aft ring frame as an optional terminating action for the repetitive checks and inspections. EASA then issued AD No.: 2010– 0254, dated December 20, 2010 (AD 2010–0254), which supersedes AD 2009–0065R1. AD 2010–0254 retains the repetitive inspection requirements of AD 2009–0065R1, but reduces the interval of the visual inspection from 100 hours to 25 hours and requires installation of the reinforced aft ring frame within 12 months as terminating action for the repetitive checks and inspections. Since we issued EAD 2008–22–51, we have determined that a pre-flight pilot check in conjunction with a recurring 25-hour inspection is sufficient for determining the airworthiness of the ring frame. Therefore, we are issuing this AD to revise the inspection requirements, as well as allow for the optional terminating action developed by ECD. PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Germany and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Germany, EASA, their technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs. Related Service Information AD Requirements This AD supersedes EAD 2008–22–51 and requires the following: • Before further flight, and thereafter at each preflight check, performing a visual check of the ring frame which connects the tail rotor Fenestron housing to the tailboom for a crack. An owner/operator (pilot) may perform this check because it involves only a visual check for a crack in the ring frame and can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. • Within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), and every 25 hours TIS thereafter, removing the tail rotor drive shaft paneling and inspecting the ring frame for a crack. • As an optional terminating action for the requirements of this AD, installing a frame reinforcement to the ring frame and re-identifying the ring frame by following specified portions of the manufacturer’s service bulletin. E:\FR\FM\25JNR1.SGM 25JNR1 37792 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2012 / Rules and Regulations Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD This AD differs from the EASA AD as follows: • The EASA AD requires amendment of the Flight Manual with a page from ASB EC135–53A–022. Following issuance of the EASA AD, a revision has been published for the Flight Manuals and the amended pages are no longer issued with ASB EC135–53A–022. Therefore, this AD does not require this. • The EASA AD requires modification of the aft ring frame within 12 months as terminating action; this AD provides it as an optional terminating action. • The EASA AD applies to the Model EC 635 helicopter, and this AD does not include this model because it does not have an FAA-issued type certificate. • The EASA AD includes a ‘‘tolerance’’ range for accomplishment of the pilot check and visual inspections. This AD does not allow this. Interim Action We consider this AD interim action. We are currently considering requiring the installation of the ECD-developed ring frame modification as terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirements of this AD. However, the planned compliance time for the installation of the modification would allow enough time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment on the merits of the modification. erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES Costs of Compliance We estimate that this AD will affect 226 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Inspecting the ring frame requires .5 work-hour at an average labor rate of $85 per hour, for a cost per inspection cycle of $42.50 per helicopter, and a cost to the fleet of $9,605. Replacing a cracked ring frame will require about 8 work hours at an average labor rate of $85 per hour, and a parts cost of $7,425, for a total cost per helicopter of $8,105. Modifying and reidentifying the ring frame requires 17 work-hours and a parts cost of $1,320, for a total cost per helicopter of $2,765 and the cost to the fleet is $624,890. According to the manufacturer, they will cover all parts costs for a cracked ring frame, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected persons. However, as we do not control such coverage by the manufacturer, we have included all costs in our cost estimate. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:43 Jun 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 FAA’s Justification and Determination of the Effective Date Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we find that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to the adoption of this rule because some of the required checks and inspections must be accomplished before further flight. Since an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days. 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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; 2. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under 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, PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 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. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 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): ■ 2012–11–02 Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH: Amendment 39–17065; Docket No. FAA–2012–0566; Directorate Identifier 2011–SW–008–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Model EC135 helicopters with a ring frame, part number (P/N) L535A3501230, installed, certificated in any category. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the ring frame connecting the rear structure tube (tailboom) and the tail rotor fenestron housing. This condition could result in loss of the fenestron structure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Other Affected ADs This AD supersedes Emergency AD 2008– 22–51, dated October 16, 2008. (d) Effective Date This AD becomes effective July 10, 2012. (e) 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. (f) Required Actions (1) Before further flight, and thereafter at before the first flight of the day, visually check the ring frame that connects the tail rotor fenestron housing to the tailboom for a crack. This action may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate, and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9 (a)(1)–(4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.173, 121.380, or 135.439. E:\FR\FM\25JNR1.SGM 25JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2012 / Rules and Regulations (2) Within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, remove the tail rotor driveshaft paneling and visually inspect the ring frame for a crack. (3) While performing a check or an inspection as required in paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this AD, paint cracks around the rivet heads and in the transition area between the tailboom and ring frame or between the ring frame and fenestron housing may be present and do not create an unsafe condition. If you are unable to determine whether a crack is on the paint or on the ring frame, you must remove the paint to do an accurate inspection. (4) If there is a crack in the ring frame, before further flight, replace it with an airworthy ring frame. (5) As an optional terminating action for the requirements of this AD, you may install a frame reinforcement to the ring frame and re-identify the ring frame in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B. of Eurocopter EC135 Service Bulletin EC135–53–023, as corrected on November 13, 2009, except you are not required to contact ECD as noted under paragraphs 3.B.(3) Caution and 3.B.(8). (g) Special Flight Permits Special flight permits are prohibited. erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with RULES (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Sharon Miles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; phone (817) 222–5110; email: sharon.y.miles@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR 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. (i) Additional Information (1) Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EC135–53A–022, Revision 02, dated November 30, 2010, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052, telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232–0323, fax (972) 641–3775, or at http://www.eurocopter.com/techpub. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency AD No. 2010–0254, dated December 20, 2010. (j) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5302: Rotorcraft Tailboom. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:43 Jun 22, 2012 Jkt 226001 (k) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Eurocopter EC135 Service Bulletin EC135–53–023, as corrected on November 13, 2009. The correction coversheet attached to this document is dated November 13, 2009; it describes the correction on page 6 of the service bulletin. All pages of the corrected service bulletin show the original issue date of August 19, 2009. On page 6 of the corrected service bulletin the date has been underlined. (ii) Reserved. (3) For Eurocopter service information identified in this AD, contact American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052, telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232–0323, fax (972) 641–3775, or at http://www.eurocopter.com/ techpub. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. (5) You may also view this service information at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/ code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 22, 2012. Lance T. Gant, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–15290 Filed 6–22–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2011–1257; Directorate Identifier 2011–NM–124–AD; Amendment 39–17099; AD 2012–12–19] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; the Boeing Company Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. 37793 Section 41, in airplanes incorporating the overhead space utilization (OSU) option, was found to be under-strength when subjected to a 9.0 g forward load. This AD requires installing new structural members, tie rod(s), and attach fittings on the left and right sides of the lowered ceiling support structure. We are issuing this AD to prevent the forward lowered ceiling panels and support structure from becoming dislodged during a 9.0 g forward load and consequent injury to personnel or interference with an emergency evacuation. This AD is effective July 30, 2012. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of July 30, 2012. DATES: For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H–65, Seattle, Washington 98124– 2207; telephone (206) 544–5000, extension 1; fax (206) 766–5680; email me.boecom@boeing.com; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (425) 227– 1221. ADDRESSES: Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. AGENCY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain the Boeing Company Model 777–200, –200LR, and –300ER series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report from the manufacturer indicating that the lowered ceiling support structure of SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Ana Martinez Hueto, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM–150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; phone: (425) 917– 6592; fax: (425) 917–6591; email: ana.m.hueto@faa.gov. E:\FR\FM\25JNR1.SGM 25JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 122 (Monday, June 25, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37790-37793]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15290]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0566; Directorate Identifier 2011-SW-008-AD; 
Amendment 39-17065; AD 2012-11-02]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) that 
supersedes an existing Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) for 
certain Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (ECD) Model EC135 helicopters. The 
existing EAD, which was previously sent to all known U.S. owners and 
operators of ECD Model EC135 helicopters and not made generally 
effective by publication in the Federal Register, currently requires 
inspecting the ring frame between the rear structure tube (tailboom) 
and the tail rotor fenestron housing (fenestron housing) for a crack 
before the first flight of each day and replacing any cracked ring 
frame with an airworthy ring frame. Since we issued that EAD, we have 
determined that a pre-flight pilot check in conjunction with a 
recurring 25-hour inspection is sufficient for determining the 
airworthiness of the ring frame. Additionally, ECD has developed a 
modification that is terminating action for the requirements of that 
EAD. This superseding AD revises the inspection requirements of the EAD 
to allow an owner/operator to perform the pre-flight pilot check, adds 
a recurring inspection of the ring frame, and allows for installation 
of a ring frame reinforcement as an optional terminating action for the 
AD requirements. The actions are intended to detect a crack in the ring 
frame which could result in loss of the fenestron structure and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES: This AD becomes effective July 10, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of July 10, 2012.
    We must receive comments on this AD by August 24, 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 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 AD, contact American 
Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052, 
telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323, fax (972) 641-3775, or at 
http://www.eurocopter.com/techpub. You may review a copy of the 
referenced 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: Sharon Miles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, 
Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group, 2601 Meacham 
Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; phone (817) 222-5110; email: 
sharon.y.miles@faa.gov.

[[Page 37791]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight 
safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to 
provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, 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 resulted 
from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific 
portion of the AD, 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 them 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 rulemaking during the 
comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may 
conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.

Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA EAD 
No.: 2008-0190-E, dated October 13, 2008 (EAD 2008-0190-E), to correct 
an unsafe condition for EC135 and EC635 model helicopters. EASA advises 
that, during a recent pre-flight check on an EC 135 helicopter, a crack 
was detected on the ring frame that connects the tail rotor fenestron 
housing to the rear structure tube (tailboom). EASA states that this 
condition, if not corrected, could lead to crack propagation remaining 
undetected, possibly resulting in loss of the fenestron structure and 
loss of control of the helicopter. EAD 2008-0190-E requires 
accomplishing a pilot pre-flight check of the rear structure tube for 
cracks before each first flight of the day; amending the flight manual 
to reflect the pilot pre-flight check; within 25 flight hours, having 
the rear structure tube inspected for cracks by a mechanic; and, if any 
cracks are detected contacting ECD for approved corrective actions.
    On October 16, 2008, we issued EAD No. 2008-22-51 (EAD 2008-22-51) 
for the ECD Model EC135 helicopter. That EAD requires, before further 
flight and thereafter before the first flight of each day, visually 
inspecting the ring frame between the tailboom and fenestron housing 
for a crack, and replacing the ring frame with an airworthy ring frame 
if there is a crack. That EAD resulted from two reports of cracks on 
the ring frame connecting the tail rotor fenestron housing to the 
tailboom. The first crack was discovered in Germany and is discussed in 
EAD 2008-0190-E. The second crack, which was 9 inches long, was 
discovered in the U.S. and was in the same area as the first reported 
crack. We issued EAD 2008-22-51 to detect a crack in the ring frame, 
which could result in loss of the fenestron structure and subsequent 
loss of control of the helicopter.

Actions Since Existing EAD Was Issued

    Since we issued EAD 2008-22-51, EASA issued AD No.: 2009-0065, 
dated March 13, 2009 (AD 2009-0065), which supersedes EAD 2008-0190-E. 
AD 2009-0065 retains the requirements of EAD 2008-0190-E, expands the 
applicability to EC 135 helicopters manufactured in Spain, and adds a 
repetitive 100-hour inspection of the rear fuselage structure area for 
cracks.
    EASA next issued AD No.: 2009-0065R1, dated September 8, 2009 (AD 
2009-0065R1), which revises AD 2009-0065. EASA advises that ECD has 
developed a modification (reinforcement) of the aft ring frame, 
including a part number (P/N) change, for both production and in-
service application. Consequently, AD 2009-0065R1 retains the 
inspection requirements of AD 2009-0065 but limits its applicability to 
helicopters without the reinforced aft ring frame installed, and allows 
installation of the reinforced aft ring frame as an optional 
terminating action for the repetitive checks and inspections.
    EASA then issued AD No.: 2010-0254, dated December 20, 2010 (AD 
2010-0254), which supersedes AD 2009-0065R1. AD 2010-0254 retains the 
repetitive inspection requirements of AD 2009-0065R1, but reduces the 
interval of the visual inspection from 100 hours to 25 hours and 
requires installation of the reinforced aft ring frame within 12 months 
as terminating action for the repetitive checks and inspections.
    Since we issued EAD 2008-22-51, we have determined that a pre-
flight pilot check in conjunction with a recurring 25-hour inspection 
is sufficient for determining the airworthiness of the ring frame. 
Therefore, we are issuing this AD to revise the inspection 
requirements, as well as allow for the optional terminating action 
developed by ECD.

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of 
Germany and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to our bilateral agreement with Germany, EASA, their technical 
representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in 
the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all 
information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition is 
likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type 
designs.

Related Service Information

    We reviewed ECD Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EC135-53A-
022, Revision 02, dated November 30, 2010 (ASB EC135-53A-022). ASB 
EC135-53A-022 describes procedures for a pilot check of the ring frame 
during the preflight check. ASB EC135-53A-022 additionally prescribes a 
recurring inspection of the ring frame every 25 flight hours and 
accomplishment of ECD Service Bulletin EC135-53-023, as corrected 
November 13, 2009 (SB EC135-53-023), which describes procedures to 
attach a frame reinforcement to the ring frame. The correction 
coversheet attached to SB EC135-53-023 is dated November 13, 2009; it 
describes the correction on page 6 of the service bulletin. All pages 
of the corrected service bulletin show the original issue date of 
August 19, 2009; the date has been underlined on page 6 of the 
corrected service bulletin. Accomplishment of SB EC135-53-023 
constitutes terminating action for the visual inspection requirements 
of ASB EC135-53A-022.

AD Requirements

    This AD supersedes EAD 2008-22-51 and requires the following:
     Before further flight, and thereafter at each preflight 
check, performing a visual check of the ring frame which connects the 
tail rotor Fenestron housing to the tailboom for a crack. An owner/
operator (pilot) may perform this check because it involves only a 
visual check for a crack in the ring frame and can be performed equally 
well by a pilot or a mechanic.
     Within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), and every 25 hours 
TIS thereafter, removing the tail rotor drive shaft paneling and 
inspecting the ring frame for a crack.
     As an optional terminating action for the requirements of 
this AD, installing a frame reinforcement to the ring frame and re-
identifying the ring frame by following specified portions of the 
manufacturer's service bulletin.

[[Page 37792]]

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    This AD differs from the EASA AD as follows:
     The EASA AD requires amendment of the Flight Manual with a 
page from ASB EC135-53A-022. Following issuance of the EASA AD, a 
revision has been published for the Flight Manuals and the amended 
pages are no longer issued with ASB EC135-53A-022. Therefore, this AD 
does not require this.
     The EASA AD requires modification of the aft ring frame 
within 12 months as terminating action; this AD provides it as an 
optional terminating action.
     The EASA AD applies to the Model EC 635 helicopter, and 
this AD does not include this model because it does not have an FAA-
issued type certificate.
     The EASA AD includes a ``tolerance'' range for 
accomplishment of the pilot check and visual inspections. This AD does 
not allow this.

Interim Action

    We consider this AD interim action. We are currently considering 
requiring the installation of the ECD-developed ring frame modification 
as terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirements of 
this AD. However, the planned compliance time for the installation of 
the modification would allow enough time to provide notice and 
opportunity for prior public comment on the merits of the modification.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 226 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in 
order to comply with this AD. Inspecting the ring frame requires .5 
work-hour at an average labor rate of $85 per hour, for a cost per 
inspection cycle of $42.50 per helicopter, and a cost to the fleet of 
$9,605. Replacing a cracked ring frame will require about 8 work hours 
at an average labor rate of $85 per hour, and a parts cost of $7,425, 
for a total cost per helicopter of $8,105. Modifying and re-identifying 
the ring frame requires 17 work-hours and a parts cost of $1,320, for a 
total cost per helicopter of $2,765 and the cost to the fleet is 
$624,890.
    According to the manufacturer, they will cover all parts costs for 
a cracked ring frame, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected 
persons. However, as we do not control such coverage by the 
manufacturer, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting 
these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions 
needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we find that 
the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment 
prior to the adoption of this rule because some of the required checks 
and inspections must be accomplished before further flight.
    Since an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate 
adoption of this AD, we determined that notice and opportunity for 
public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good 
cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

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 AD will not have federalism implications 
under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866;
    2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under 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 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.

Adoption of the Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
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]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2012-11-02 Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH: Amendment 39-17065; Docket 
No. FAA-2012-0566; Directorate Identifier 2011-SW-008-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model EC135 helicopters with a ring frame, 
part number (P/N) L535A3501230, installed, certificated in any 
category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the ring 
frame connecting the rear structure tube (tailboom) and the tail 
rotor fenestron housing. This condition could result in loss of the 
fenestron structure and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

(c) Other Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes Emergency AD 2008-22-51, dated October 16, 
2008.

(d) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective July 10, 2012.

(e) 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.

(f) Required Actions

    (1) Before further flight, and thereafter at before the first 
flight of the day, visually check the ring frame that connects the 
tail rotor fenestron housing to the tailboom for a crack. This 
action may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at 
least a private pilot certificate, and must be entered into the 
aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 
14 CFR 43.9 (a)(1)-(4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must 
be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.173, 121.380, or 135.439.

[[Page 37793]]

    (2) Within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), and thereafter at 
intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, remove the tail rotor 
driveshaft paneling and visually inspect the ring frame for a crack.
    (3) While performing a check or an inspection as required in 
paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this AD, paint cracks around the rivet 
heads and in the transition area between the tailboom and ring frame 
or between the ring frame and fenestron housing may be present and 
do not create an unsafe condition. If you are unable to determine 
whether a crack is on the paint or on the ring frame, you must 
remove the paint to do an accurate inspection.
    (4) If there is a crack in the ring frame, before further 
flight, replace it with an airworthy ring frame.
    (5) As an optional terminating action for the requirements of 
this AD, you may install a frame reinforcement to the ring frame and 
re-identify the ring frame in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions, paragraph 3.B. of Eurocopter EC135 Service Bulletin 
EC135-53-023, as corrected on November 13, 2009, except you are not 
required to contact ECD as noted under paragraphs 3.B.(3) Caution 
and 3.B.(8).

(g) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: Sharon Miles, Aerospace 
Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Policy Group, 
2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; phone (817) 222-5110; 
email: sharon.y.miles@faa.gov.
    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating 
certificate or under 14 CFR 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.

(i) Additional Information

    (1) Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EC135-53A-
022, Revision 02, dated November 30, 2010, which is not incorporated 
by reference, contains additional information about the subject of 
this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact 
American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, 
TX 75052, telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323, fax (972) 641-
3775, or at http://www.eurocopter.com/techpub. You may review a copy 
of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, 
Texas 76137.
    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation 
Safety Agency AD No. 2010-0254, dated December 20, 2010.

(j) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5302: Rotorcraft 
Tailboom.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Eurocopter EC135 Service Bulletin EC135-53-023, as corrected 
on November 13, 2009. The correction coversheet attached to this 
document is dated November 13, 2009; it describes the correction on 
page 6 of the service bulletin. All pages of the corrected service 
bulletin show the original issue date of August 19, 2009. On page 6 
of the corrected service bulletin the date has been underlined.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (3) For Eurocopter service information identified in this AD, 
contact American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand 
Prairie, TX 75052, telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323, fax 
(972) 641-3775, or at http://www.eurocopter.com/techpub.
    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of 
the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 
663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.
    (5) You may also view this service information at the National 
Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the 
availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: 
http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 22, 2012.
Lance T. Gant,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-15290 Filed 6-22-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P