Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Helicopters, 5325-5329 [2014-01954]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 21 / Friday, January 31, 2014 / Proposed Rules (g) Other FAA AD Provisions The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Taylor Martin, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329–4138; fax: (816) 329– 4090; email: taylor.martin@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. (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: For any reporting requirement in this AD, 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. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 (h) Related Information MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No.: 2012–0036, dated March 12, 2012, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA–2014– 0042. For service information related to this AD, contact BAE Systems (Operations) Limited, Customer Information Department, Prestwick International Airport, Ayrshire, KA9 2RW, Scotland, United Kingdom; telephone: +44 1292 675207; fax: +44 1292 675704; email: RApublications@ baesystems.com; Internet: http:// www.baesystems.com/Businesses/ RegionalAircraft/. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329–4148. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:29 Jan 30, 2014 Jkt 229001 Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 23, 2014. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2014–01949 Filed 1–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2014–0034; Directorate Identifier 2013–SW–006–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012–10– 53 for Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (ECD) Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, and EC135T2+ helicopters. AD 2012–10–53 currently requires, before further flight and at specified intervals, checking and inspecting the upper and lower main rotor hub (MRH) shaft flanges for a crack, and inspecting the lower hubshaft flange bolt attachment areas for a crack. Since we issued AD 2012–10–53, it has been determined that it is safe to increase the visual inspection intervals of the MRH shaft flanges from 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) to 50 hours TIS and remove the inspection of the lower MRH shaft flange bolt attachment areas. This proposed AD would continue to require checking and inspecting the upper and lower MRH shaft flanges for a crack. The proposed actions are intended to detect a crack on the MRH shaft flange, which if not corrected, could result in failure of the MRH and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. SUMMARY: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 1, 2014. DATES: 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 ADDRESSES: Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 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 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PO 00000 5325 Sfmt 4702 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 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 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 service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222–5110; email gary.b.roach@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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 E:\FR\FM\31JAP1.SGM 31JAP1 5326 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 21 / Friday, January 31, 2014 / Proposed Rules 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. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Discussion On May 15, 2012, we issued Emergency AD (EAD) No. 2012–10–51 for ECD Model EC135 series helicopters to detect a crack on the MRH shaft flange. EAD No. 2012–10–51 required a pilot check of the lower MRH shaft flange for a crack or deformed blade attachment bolt safety pins before the first flight of each day, inspecting the upper and lower MRH shaft flanges for a crack within 5 hours TIS, and replacing the MRH shaft if there is a crack. EAD No. 2012–10–51 was prompted by AD No. 2012–0041–E, dated March 12, 2012, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for the ECD Model EC 135 series helicopters. EASA revised AD No. 2012–0041–E with EASA AD No. 2012–0041R1, dated March 15, 2012. After we issued EAD No. 2012–10–51, EASA issued AD No. 2012–0085–E, dated May 17, 2012, which superseded EASA AD No. 2012–0041R1. EASA advised that since issuing EASA AD No. 2012–0041R1, further cracks had been detected on two other helicopters during the pre-flight checks. These are the same two cracks that prompted our EAD No. 2012–10–51. However, EASA also stated that identification of deformed safety pins may not be sufficient to detect a crack on the MRH shaft flange. ECD investigated the cause of the cracks and developed new inspection procedures with further corrective actions. Therefore, we issued EAD No. 2012–10–53 on May 18, 2012, which superseded EAD No. 2012–10– 51. EAD No. 2012–10–53 was published in the Federal Register as a Final rule; request for comments on November 20, 2012, at 77 FR 69558. In issuing AD No. 2012–10–53, we included additional part-numbered MRH shafts that should have been included in EAD No. 2012–10–51, changed the daily checks to recurring checks at intervals not to exceed 6 hours TIS, added a 10 hour-TIS recurring inspection on MRH shafts with 400 or more hours TIS, and removed the check of the blade attachment bolt safety pins for deformation. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:29 Jan 30, 2014 Jkt 229001 Actions Since AD 2012–10–53 Was Issued continued airworthiness of these helicopters. Since we issued EAD No. 2012–10–53 on May 18, 2012, which was published as a Final Rule; Request for Comments on November 20, 2012 at 77 FR 69558, Eurocopter revised Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. EC135–62A–029, now at Revision 7, dated October 22, 2012. The inspection interval for the visual inspection of the MRH shaft flanges was increased to 50 flight hours based on results from full scale component testing. The note regarding the preflight check states that the time between two preflight checks must not exceed 6 flight hours, and clarifies that one flight may comprise of multiple take-offs and landings and a flight starts when the helicopter takes off and ends when the helicopter is on the ground with the engines shut off. Eurocopter also removed the visual inspection of the blade bolt attachment areas from the ASB. EASA also revised its AD, now at EASA AD No. 2012–0085R5, dated October 30, 2012, to correct the unsafe condition. EASA advised that based on results of the further full scale component testing, it has been determined that the interval for the repetitive visual inspections of the upper and lower hub shaft flanges can be extended to 50 flight hours. EASA AD No. 2012–0085R5 also references ECD ASB No. EC135–62A–029, Revision 7, dated October 22, 2012, for related information. EASA considers AD No. 2012–0085R5 to be interim AD action and further AD action may follow. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would retain the repetitive visual check and inspection of the upper and lower MRH shaft flanges, as well as the replacement requirements of AD No. 2012–10–53 (77 FR 69558, November 20, 2012). An owner/operator (pilot) may perform the required visual check and must enter compliance with the applicable paragraph of the AD into the helicopter maintenance records in accordance with 14 CFR §§ 43.9(a)(1)-(4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform this check because it involves only looking at the visible area of the MRH shaft flanges and can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. That check is an exception to our standard maintenance regulations. Further, this proposed AD would increase the repetitive visual inspection interval for MRH shafts with 400 hours or more TIS from 10 hours TIS to 50 hours TIS. Any alternative method of compliance (AMOC) previously approved in accordance with AD No. 2012–10–53 (77 FR 69558, November 20, 2012), would continue to be considered approved as an AMOC for the corresponding requirements in this proposed AD. 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, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. Related Service Information We reviewed Eurocopter ASB No. EC135–62A–029, Revision 7, dated October 22, 2012, which describes procedures for preflight checking the visible area of the upper and lower MRH shaft flanges and performing a repetitive visual inspection of the upper and lower MRH shaft for cracks. EASA classified this ASB as mandatory and issued AD No. 2012–0085R5 to ensure the PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD EASA considers its AD action to be an interim action; we do not consider this proposed AD to be interim AD action because the proposed requirements for the applicable part-numbered MRH shafts are not expected to change. The EASA AD requires you to report the findings and send the removed MRH to ECD, while this proposed AD would not. The EASA AD requires the initial visual check within 3 days, while this proposed AD would require the initial visual check before further flight. The EASA AD does not specify affected MRH shaft part numbers; this proposed AD would because the FAA anticipates that ECD will produce new partnumbered MRH shafts without the same unsafe condition. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 244 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate inspecting the MRH shaft flanges would require 2.5 work-hours at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, for a total cost per helicopter of $212 and a total cost to U.S. operators of $51,728 per inspection cycle. Replacing an MRH shaft would require about 8 work-hours at an E:\FR\FM\31JAP1.SGM 31JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 21 / Friday, January 31, 2014 / Proposed Rules average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, and required parts would cost $55,715, for a total cost per helicopter of $56,395. 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. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 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; VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:29 Jan 30, 2014 Jkt 229001 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 5327 (a) Applicability This AD applies to Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, and EC135T2+ helicopters, with a main rotor hub (MRH) shaft, part number (P/N) L623M1006101, L623M1206101, L623M1006102, L623M1206102, L623M1006103, or L623M1206103 installed, certificated in any category. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the MRH shaft flange, which could result in failure of the MRH and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Affected ADs This AD supersedes AD 2012–10–53, Amendment 39–17254 (77 FR 69558, November 20, 2012). (d) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by April 1, 2014. Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: (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. PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES (f) Required Actions (1) Before further flight, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6 hours time-inservice (TIS), check the MRH shaft lower flange and the visible area of the MRH shaft upper flange for a crack. Figures 1 and 2 to Paragraph (f)(1) of this AD are examples of cracks that have been discovered in the MRH shaft lower flange. The actions required by this paragraph 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 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439. 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 Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012–10–53 (77 FR 69558, November 20, 2012), and adding the following new AD: ■ Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (ECD): Docket No. FAA–2014–0034; Directorate Identifier 2013–SW–006–AD. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\31JAP1.SGM 31JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 21 / Friday, January 31, 2014 / Proposed Rules (2) For MRH shafts with 400 or more hours TIS, within 50 hours TIS, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS: (i) Remove the rotor-hub cap. (ii) Clean the upper and lower MRH shaft flange as depicted in Figure 2 of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. EC135–62A–029, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:29 Jan 30, 2014 Jkt 229001 Revision 7, dated October 22, 2012, and visually inspect for a crack. (3) If there is a crack in the upper or lower MRH shaft flange, before further flight, replace that MRH shaft with an airworthy MRH shaft. Replacing the MRH shaft with an MRH shaft having a P/N listed in the applicability of this AD does not constitute PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 terminating action for the requirements of this AD. (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Gary Roach, E:\FR\FM\31JAP1.SGM 31JAP1 EP31JA14.001</GPH> emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 5328 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 21 / Friday, January 31, 2014 / Proposed Rules Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222–5110; email gary.b.roach@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. (3) Any AMOC approved previously in accordance with AD No. 2012–10–53, Amendment 39–17254 (77 FR 69558, November 20, 2012), is approved as an AMOC for the corresponding requirements in paragraph (f) of this AD. (h) Additional Information The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2012–0085R5, dated October 30, 2012. You may view the EASA AD in Docket No. FAA–2014–0034 on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov. (i) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6220, Main Rotor Head. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 16, 2014. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2014–01954 Filed 1–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2013–1008; Airspace Docket No. 13–AAL–8] Proposed Revocation of Class E Airspace; Kwigillingok, AK Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: This action proposes to remove Class E airspace at Kwigillingok Airport, Kwigillingok, AK, due to the cancellation of the approaches. The FAA is proposing this action to enhance the management of aircraft operations within the National Airspace System. DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 17, 2014. ADDRESSES: Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:29 Jan 30, 2014 Jkt 229001 Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366–9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA–2013–1008; Airspace Docket No. 13–AAL–8, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Roberts, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203–4517. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA 2013–1008 and Airspace Docket No. 13– AAL–8) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ‘‘Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA–2013–1008 and Airspace Docket No. 13–AAL–8’’. The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter. All communications received on or before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket. Availability of NPRM’s An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5329 documents can also be accessed through the FAA’s Web page at http:// www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_ traffic/publications/airspace_ amendments/. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057. Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRM’s should contact the FAA’s Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267–9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11–2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure. The Proposal The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by removing the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 and 1,200 feet above the surface at Kwigillingok Airport, Kwigillingok, AK. This action is necessary due to the cancellation of the Instrument Flight Rule approaches into the facility due to runway shortening. Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005, of FAA Order 7400.9X, dated August 7, 2013, and effective September 15, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in this Order. The FAA has determined this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this proposed regulation: (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); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities E:\FR\FM\31JAP1.SGM 31JAP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 21 (Friday, January 31, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5325-5329]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01954]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2014-0034; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-006-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-10-
53 for Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (ECD) Model EC135P1, EC135P2, 
EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, and EC135T2+ helicopters. AD 2012-10-53 
currently requires, before further flight and at specified intervals, 
checking and inspecting the upper and lower main rotor hub (MRH) shaft 
flanges for a crack, and inspecting the lower hub-shaft flange bolt 
attachment areas for a crack. Since we issued AD 2012-10-53, it has 
been determined that it is safe to increase the visual inspection 
intervals of the MRH shaft flanges from 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) 
to 50 hours TIS and remove the inspection of the lower MRH shaft flange 
bolt attachment areas. This proposed AD would continue to require 
checking and inspecting the upper and lower MRH shaft flanges for a 
crack. The proposed actions are intended to detect a crack on the MRH 
shaft flange, which if not corrected, could result in failure of the 
MRH and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 1, 2014.

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 European 
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 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 
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 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: Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, 
Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham 
Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
gary.b.roach@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

[[Page 5326]]

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 May 15, 2012, we issued Emergency AD (EAD) No. 2012-10-51 for 
ECD Model EC135 series helicopters to detect a crack on the MRH shaft 
flange. EAD No. 2012-10-51 required a pilot check of the lower MRH 
shaft flange for a crack or deformed blade attachment bolt safety pins 
before the first flight of each day, inspecting the upper and lower MRH 
shaft flanges for a crack within 5 hours TIS, and replacing the MRH 
shaft if there is a crack. EAD No. 2012-10-51 was prompted by AD No. 
2012-0041-E, dated March 12, 2012, issued by EASA, which is the 
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct 
an unsafe condition for the ECD Model EC 135 series helicopters. EASA 
revised AD No. 2012-0041-E with EASA AD No. 2012-0041R1, dated March 
15, 2012.
    After we issued EAD No. 2012-10-51, EASA issued AD No. 2012-0085-E, 
dated May 17, 2012, which superseded EASA AD No. 2012-0041R1. EASA 
advised that since issuing EASA AD No. 2012-0041R1, further cracks had 
been detected on two other helicopters during the pre-flight checks. 
These are the same two cracks that prompted our EAD No. 2012-10-51. 
However, EASA also stated that identification of deformed safety pins 
may not be sufficient to detect a crack on the MRH shaft flange. ECD 
investigated the cause of the cracks and developed new inspection 
procedures with further corrective actions. Therefore, we issued EAD 
No. 2012-10-53 on May 18, 2012, which superseded EAD No. 2012-10-51. 
EAD No. 2012-10-53 was published in the Federal Register as a Final 
rule; request for comments on November 20, 2012, at 77 FR 69558.
    In issuing AD No. 2012-10-53, we included additional part-numbered 
MRH shafts that should have been included in EAD No. 2012-10-51, 
changed the daily checks to recurring checks at intervals not to exceed 
6 hours TIS, added a 10 hour-TIS recurring inspection on MRH shafts 
with 400 or more hours TIS, and removed the check of the blade 
attachment bolt safety pins for deformation.

Actions Since AD 2012-10-53 Was Issued

    Since we issued EAD No. 2012-10-53 on May 18, 2012, which was 
published as a Final Rule; Request for Comments on November 20, 2012 at 
77 FR 69558, Eurocopter revised Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. EC135-
62A-029, now at Revision 7, dated October 22, 2012. The inspection 
interval for the visual inspection of the MRH shaft flanges was 
increased to 50 flight hours based on results from full scale component 
testing. The note regarding the preflight check states that the time 
between two preflight checks must not exceed 6 flight hours, and 
clarifies that one flight may comprise of multiple take-offs and 
landings and a flight starts when the helicopter takes off and ends 
when the helicopter is on the ground with the engines shut off. 
Eurocopter also removed the visual inspection of the blade bolt 
attachment areas from the ASB.
    EASA also revised its AD, now at EASA AD No. 2012-0085R5, dated 
October 30, 2012, to correct the unsafe condition. EASA advised that 
based on results of the further full scale component testing, it has 
been determined that the interval for the repetitive visual inspections 
of the upper and lower hub shaft flanges can be extended to 50 flight 
hours. EASA AD No. 2012-0085R5 also references ECD ASB No. EC135-62A-
029, Revision 7, dated October 22, 2012, for related information. EASA 
considers AD No. 2012-0085R5 to be interim AD action and further AD 
action may follow.

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, its technical 
representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in 
its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known 
relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely 
to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Related Service Information

    We reviewed Eurocopter ASB No. EC135-62A-029, Revision 7, dated 
October 22, 2012, which describes procedures for preflight checking the 
visible area of the upper and lower MRH shaft flanges and performing a 
repetitive visual inspection of the upper and lower MRH shaft for 
cracks. EASA classified this ASB as mandatory and issued AD No. 2012-
0085R5 to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain the repetitive visual check and 
inspection of the upper and lower MRH shaft flanges, as well as the 
replacement requirements of AD No. 2012-10-53 (77 FR 69558, November 
20, 2012). An owner/operator (pilot) may perform the required visual 
check and must enter compliance with the applicable paragraph of the AD 
into the helicopter maintenance records in accordance with 14 CFR 
Sec. Sec.  43.9(a)(1)-(4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform this 
check because it involves only looking at the visible area of the MRH 
shaft flanges and can be performed equally well by a pilot or a 
mechanic. That check is an exception to our standard maintenance 
regulations. Further, this proposed AD would increase the repetitive 
visual inspection interval for MRH shafts with 400 hours or more TIS 
from 10 hours TIS to 50 hours TIS.
    Any alternative method of compliance (AMOC) previously approved in 
accordance with AD No. 2012-10-53 (77 FR 69558, November 20, 2012), 
would continue to be considered approved as an AMOC for the 
corresponding requirements in this proposed AD.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    EASA considers its AD action to be an interim action; we do not 
consider this proposed AD to be interim AD action because the proposed 
requirements for the applicable part-numbered MRH shafts are not 
expected to change. The EASA AD requires you to report the findings and 
send the removed MRH to ECD, while this proposed AD would not. The EASA 
AD requires the initial visual check within 3 days, while this proposed 
AD would require the initial visual check before further flight. The 
EASA AD does not specify affected MRH shaft part numbers; this proposed 
AD would because the FAA anticipates that ECD will produce new part-
numbered MRH shafts without the same unsafe condition.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 244 helicopters of 
U.S. Registry. We estimate inspecting the MRH shaft flanges would 
require 2.5 work-hours at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, 
for a total cost per helicopter of $212 and a total cost to U.S. 
operators of $51,728 per inspection cycle. Replacing an MRH shaft would 
require about 8 work-hours at an

[[Page 5327]]

average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, and required parts would cost 
$55,715, for a total cost per helicopter of $56,395.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. ``Subtitle VII: Aviation 
Programs,'' describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's 
authority.
    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
``Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General 
requirements.'' Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with 
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing 
regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator 
finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within 
the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition 
that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this 
rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Proposed Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2012-10-53 (77 FR 69558, November 20, 2012), and adding the following 
new AD:

Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (ECD): Docket No. FAA-2014-0034; 
Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-006-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, 
EC135T2, and EC135T2+ helicopters, with a main rotor hub (MRH) 
shaft, part number (P/N) L623M1006101, L623M1206101, L623M1006102, 
L623M1206102, L623M1006103, or L623M1206103 installed, certificated 
in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the MRH shaft 
flange, which could result in failure of the MRH and subsequent loss 
of control of the helicopter.

(c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2012-10-53, Amendment 39-17254 (77 FR 
69558, November 20, 2012).

(d) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 1, 2014.

(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 intervals not to 
exceed 6 hours time-in-service (TIS), check the MRH shaft lower 
flange and the visible area of the MRH shaft upper flange for a 
crack. Figures 1 and 2 to Paragraph (f)(1) of this AD are examples 
of cracks that have been discovered in the MRH shaft lower flange. 
The actions required by this paragraph 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 
91.417, 121.380, or 135.439.

[[Page 5328]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP31JA14.001

    (2) For MRH shafts with 400 or more hours TIS, within 50 hours 
TIS, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS:
    (i) Remove the rotor-hub cap.
    (ii) Clean the upper and lower MRH shaft flange as depicted in 
Figure 2 of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. EC135-62A-029, 
Revision 7, dated October 22, 2012, and visually inspect for a 
crack.
    (3) If there is a crack in the upper or lower MRH shaft flange, 
before further flight, replace that MRH shaft with an airworthy MRH 
shaft. Replacing the MRH shaft with an MRH shaft having a P/N listed 
in the applicability of this AD does not constitute terminating 
action for the requirements of this AD.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: Gary Roach,

[[Page 5329]]

Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft 
Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; 
telephone (817) 222-5110; email gary.b.roach@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.
    (3) Any AMOC approved previously in accordance with AD No. 2012-
10-53, Amendment 39-17254 (77 FR 69558, November 20, 2012), is 
approved as an AMOC for the corresponding requirements in paragraph 
(f) of this AD.

(h) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety 
Agency (EASA) AD No. 2012-0085R5, dated October 30, 2012. You may 
view the EASA AD in Docket No. FAA-2014-0034 on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov.

(i) Subject

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

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 16, 2014.
Lance T. Gant,
Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft 
Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-01954 Filed 1-30-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P