Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Formerly Eurocopter France) Helicopters, 72390-72393 [2015-29402]

Download as PDF 72390 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 223 / Thursday, November 19, 2015 / Proposed Rules standard rating of 95 °F dry bulb outdoor temperature) not less than the following: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 Energy efficiency ratio (EER) Product class [Docket No. FAA–2015–5914; Directorate Identifier 2014–SW–056–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 (i) Split-system rated cooling capacity less than 45,000 Btu/hr ................................. (ii) Split-system rated cooling capacity equal to or greater than 45,000 Btu/hr ........ (iii) Single-package systems 12.2 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Formerly Eurocopter France) Helicopters 11.7 11.0 AGENCY: Any outdoor unit model that has a certified combination with a rating below 14 SEER or the applicable EER cannot be installed in this region. An outdoor unit model certified below 14 SEER or the applicable EER by the outdoor unit manufacturer cannot be installed in this region even with an independent coil manufacturer’s indoor unit that may have a certified rating at or above 14 SEER and the applicable EER. (5) Each basic model of single-package central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps and each individual combination of split-system central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured on or after January 1, 2015, shall have an average off mode electrical power consumption not more than the following: Product class rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (i) Split-system air conditioners ............................... (ii) Split-system heat pumps (iii) Single-package air conditioners ............................... (iv) Single-package heat pumps ............................... (v) Small-duct, high-velocity systems ............................. (vi) Space-constrained air conditioners ....................... (vii) Space-constrained heat pumps ............................... * * * * We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of a certain part-numbered main rotor hub torsion bar (torsion bar). This proposed AD is prompted by several cases of corrosion in the metal strands of the torsion bar. The proposed actions are intended to detect corrosion and prevent failure of the torsion bar, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 19, 2016. 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. Average • Fax: 202–493–2251. off mode • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. power Department of Transportation, Docket consumption Operations, M–30, West Building PW,OFF (watts) Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001. 30 • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the 33 ‘‘Mail’’ address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 30 Federal holidays. Examining the AD Docket 30 You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2015– 5914; 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 30 33 * BILLING CODE 6450–01–P 14:08 Nov 18, 2015 SUMMARY: 33 [FR Doc. 2015–29435 Filed 11–18–15; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232–0323; fax (972) 641–3775; or at http:// www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email robert.grant@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive. Discussion EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA AD No. 2014–0216, dated September 24, 2014, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. EASA advises that several cases of cracks were found on the polyurethane (PU) coating of part-numbered 704A33633274 torsion bars installed on military Model SA341 helicopters. EASA states that these parts can also be E:\FR\FM\19NOP1.SGM 19NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 223 / Thursday, November 19, 2015 / Proposed Rules installed on civilian Model SA341 and SA342 helicopters. According to EASA, analysis of the cracked torsion bars showed small areas of superficial corrosion on the strands inside the bars can also develop during the manufacturing process. EASA states that cracking of the PU coating near these areas and the associated penetration of water can lead to further and deeper development of the corrosion. EASA advises that this condition, if not detected and corrected, allows water to penetrate into the torsion bar causing corrosion and failure of the metal strands inside the bar. Failure of the metal strands could lead to torsion bar failure, resulting in an in-flight loss of a main rotor blade and consequent loss of control of the helicopter. FAA’s Determination These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, 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 Under 1 CFR Part 51 We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Gazelle work card 65.12.607, dated August 2008. This service information describes inspecting the torsion bars for a crack in the PU coating and for corrosion and thickness of the bushings. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Other Related Service Information Airbus Helicopters has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. SA341/SA342– 05.40, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014 (ASB), for Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters certificated by the FAA, and military Model SA341B, C, D, E, F, and H and SA342K, L, L1, M, M1, and Ma helicopters. The ASB specifies repetitively inspecting the torsion bars in accordance with certain work cards, including work card 65.12.07. These inspections are part of Airbus Helicopters’ current maintenance program, and the ASB revises the compliance time interval for the inspections. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:08 Nov 18, 2015 Jkt 238001 Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require removing and performing repetitive inspections of each torsion bar for a crack in the PU coating, the dimension of the angle between the bushings, corrosion on the inside diameter of each bushing, the thickness of each bushing, the size of the inside diameter of each bushing, and missing varnish on the two faces of each bushing. This proposed AD would require replacing the torsion bar before further flight if there is a crack in the PU coating of a torsion bar that matches or exceeds the damage criteria, if the angle of the torsion bar is 7 degrees or more, if any corrosion on a bushing cannot be removed by rubbing it with an abrasive pad, if the thickness of a bushing is less than 37.520 mm (1.477 in), or if the diameter of a bushing is larger than 21,040 mm (.828 in). If varnish is missing from more than 15 percent of the surface area from a face of a bushing, this proposed AD would require removing all varnish, finishing with an abrasive pad, and applying a coat of paint to the face of the bushing. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD This proposed AD would require you to replace a torsion bar instead of returning it to the manufacturer for examination. Interim Action We consider this proposed AD to be an interim action. If final action is later identified, we might consider further rulemaking. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 33 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. We estimate $85 per work hour for labor. We estimate 8 work hours to inspect each helicopter at an estimated cost of $680 per helicopter and $22,440 for the fleet per inspection cycle. Replacing a torsion bar would cost $7,020 for required parts; no additional labor would be necessary. 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, PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 72391 Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.’’ Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. Regulatory Findings We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; 2. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); 3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and 4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter France): Docket No. FAA–2015–5914; Directorate Identifier 2014–SW–056–AD. E:\FR\FM\19NOP1.SGM 19NOP1 72392 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 223 / Thursday, November 19, 2015 / Proposed Rules (a) Applicability This AD applies to Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters with a main rotor head torsion bar (torsion bar) part number 704A33633274 installed, certificated in any category. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the coating of the torsion bar resulting in corrosion. This condition could result in failure of a torsion bar, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by January 19, 2016. (d) Compliance You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. (e) Required Actions (1) For each torsion bar with less than 5 years since the first date of installation on any helicopter, within the compliance time shown in Table 1 to paragraph (e)(1) of this AD: (i) Remove the torsion bar and, using a magnifying glass with a maximum magnification level of 10X, visually inspect for a crack in the polyurethane (PU) coating of the torsion bar as depicted in Figure 1 of Airbus Helicopters Gazelle work card 65.12.607, dated August 2008 (work card). Consider two cracks that are less than 5 mm (.196 in) apart as a single crack. If there is a crack in the PU coating that is more than 5 mm (.196 in), replace the torsion bar before further flight. Do not rework the PU coating of the torsion bar in any way. (ii) Inspect the angle, dimension alpha, as depicted in View on Arrow F of Figure 1 of the work card. If the angle is 7 or more degrees, replace the torsion bar before further flight. (iii) Inspect each bushing for corrosion on the inside diameter. If any corrosion cannot be removed by rubbing it with an abrasive pad, replace the torsion bar before further flight. (iv) Using an outside micrometer, measure the thickness, dimension a, of each bushing as depicted in Detail AA of Figure 1 of the work card. If the thickness is less than 37.520 mm (1.477 in), replace the torsion bar before further flight. (v) Using an inside micrometer, measure the inside diameter, dimension b, of each bushing as depicted in Detail AA of Figure 1 of the work card. If the diameter is larger than 21.040 mm (.828 in), replace the torsion bar before further flight. (vi) Inspect the two faces of each bushing for missing varnish. If varnish is missing from more than 15% of the surface area on a face of a bushing, before further flight, remove all varnish using 400-grit abrasive paper. Finish with an abrasive pad and apply a coat of P05 paint to the face of the bushing. TABLE 1 TO PARAGRAPH (e)(1) Time accumulated on torsion bar Compliance time (i) Less than 320 hours time-in-service (TIS) since new and has never been inspected in accordance with Airbus Helicopters 341G–342J Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 18, dated June 2014 (limitations inspection). (ii) 320 or more hours TIS since new and has never had a limitations inspection. Before accumulating 420 hours TIS since new or within 24 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first. (iii) Less than 320 hours TIS since the last limitations inspection ........... (iv) 320 or more hours TIS since the last limitations inspection .............. (2) For each torsion bar with 5 or more years since the first date of installation on Within 100 hours TIS, or before accumulating 600 hours TIS since new, or within 24 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first. Before accumulating 420 hours TIS since the last limitations inspection or within 24 months since the last limitations inspection, whichever occurs first. Within 100 hours TIS, or before accumulating 600 hours TIS since the last limitations inspection, or within 24 months since the last limitations inspection, whichever occurs first. any helicopter, within the compliance time shown in Table 2 to paragraph (e)(2) of this AD, do the inspections required by paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (vi) of this AD. TABLE 2 TO PARAGRAPH (e)(2) Compliance time (i) Less than 320 hours TIS since new, and less than 6 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, and has never had a limitations inspection. (ii) 320 or more hours TIS since new or more than 6 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, and has never had a limitations inspection. (iii) Less than 320 hours TIS since last limitations inspection and less than 6 months since the last limitations inspection. (iv) 320 or more hours TIS since last limitations inspection or 6 or more months since the last limitations inspection. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Time accumulated on torsion bar Before accumulating 420 hours TIS since new or within 12 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first. Within 100 hours TIS, or within 6 months, or before accumulating 600 hours TIS since new, or within 24 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first. Before accumulating 420 hours TIS since last limitations inspection or 12 months since last limitations inspection, whichever occurs first. Within 100 hours TIS, or within 6 months, or before accumulating 600 hours TIS since the last limitations inspection, or within 24 months since the last limitations inspection, whichever occurs first. (3) Repeat the inspections required by paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (vi) of this AD as follows: (i) For torsion bars with less than 6 years since the date of installation on any helicopter, at intervals not to exceed 420 hours TIS or 24 months, whichever occurs first. (ii) For torsion bars with 6 or more years since the date of installation on any VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:08 Nov 18, 2015 Jkt 238001 helicopter, at intervals not to exceed 420 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever comes first. (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email 9-ASW-FTW-AMOC-Requests@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 E:\FR\FM\19NOP1.SGM 19NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 223 / Thursday, November 19, 2015 / Proposed Rules operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. (g) Additional Information (1) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB No. SA341/SA342–05.40, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232–0323; fax (972) 641–3775; or at http:// www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2014–0216, dated September 24, 2014. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket. (h) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6700 Main Rotor. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 9, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2015–29402 Filed 11–18–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2015–5808; Directorate Identifier 2015–NM–111–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787–8 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of water leakage from the potable water system due to improperly installed waterline couplings, and water leaking into the electronics equipment (EE) bays from above the floor in the main cabin, resulting in water on the equipment in the EE bays. This proposed AD would require replacing the potable waterline couplings above the forward and aft EE bays with new, improved couplings. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:08 Nov 18, 2015 Jkt 238001 This proposed AD would also require sealing the main cabin floor areas above the aft EE bay, installing drip shields and foam blocks, and rerouting the wire bundles near the drip shields above the equipment in the aft EE bay. We are proposing this AD to prevent a water leak from an improperly installed potable water system coupling, or main cabin water source, which could cause the equipment in the EE bays to become wet, resulting in an electrical short and potential loss of system functions essential for safe flight. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 4, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H–65, Seattle, WA 98124–2207; telephone 206–544–5000, extension 1; fax 206–766–5680; Internet https:// www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. It is also available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2015– 5808. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2015– 5808; 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 proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 72393 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan L. Monroe, 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: 425–917–6457; fax: 425–917–6590; email: susan.l.monroe@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA– 2015–5808; Directorate Identifier 2015– NM–111–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD. Discussion We received reports of water leakage from the potable water system due to improperly installed waterline couplings, and water leaking into the EE bays from above the floor in the main cabin, resulting in water on the equipment in the EE bays. Such leakage could result in an electrical short and potential loss of system functions essential for safe flight. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 We reviewed the following service information: • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787– 81205–SB380009–00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015. • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787– 81205–SB530029–00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015. • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787– 81205–SB530031–00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015. This service information describes procedures for replacing the potable waterline couplings above the forward and aft EE bays with new, improved couplings; sealing the floors, seat tracks, and lavatories above the aft EE bay; installing drip shields and foam blocks; and rerouting the wire bundles adjacent to the drip shields above the aft EE bay. E:\FR\FM\19NOP1.SGM 19NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 223 (Thursday, November 19, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 72390-72393]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-29402]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2015-5914; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-056-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Formerly Eurocopter 
France) Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. This proposed 
AD would require repetitive inspections of a certain part-numbered main 
rotor hub torsion bar (torsion bar). This proposed AD is prompted by 
several cases of corrosion in the metal strands of the torsion bar. The 
proposed actions are intended to detect corrosion and prevent failure 
of the torsion bar, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of 
control of the helicopter.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 19, 
2016.

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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-
5914; 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 Airbus Helicopters, 
2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 
or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced 
service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 
76177.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort 
Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
robert.grant@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

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

Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, issued EASA AD No. 2014-0216, dated September 24, 2014, 
to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and 
SA342J helicopters. EASA advises that several cases of cracks were 
found on the polyurethane (PU) coating of part-numbered 704A33633274 
torsion bars installed on military Model SA341 helicopters. EASA states 
that these parts can also be

[[Page 72391]]

installed on civilian Model SA341 and SA342 helicopters. According to 
EASA, analysis of the cracked torsion bars showed small areas of 
superficial corrosion on the strands inside the bars can also develop 
during the manufacturing process. EASA states that cracking of the PU 
coating near these areas and the associated penetration of water can 
lead to further and deeper development of the corrosion. EASA advises 
that this condition, if not detected and corrected, allows water to 
penetrate into the torsion bar causing corrosion and failure of the 
metal strands inside the bar. Failure of the metal strands could lead 
to torsion bar failure, resulting in an in-flight loss of a main rotor 
blade and consequent loss of control of the helicopter.

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of 
France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to 
our bilateral agreement with France, 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 Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Gazelle work card 65.12.607, dated 
August 2008. This service information describes inspecting the torsion 
bars for a crack in the PU coating and for corrosion and thickness of 
the bushings.
    This service information is reasonably available because the 
interested parties have access to it through their normal course of 
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this 
NPRM.

Other Related Service Information

    Airbus Helicopters has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. SA341/
SA342-05.40, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014 (ASB), for Model SA341G 
and SA342J helicopters certificated by the FAA, and military Model 
SA341B, C, D, E, F, and H and SA342K, L, L1, M, M1, and Ma helicopters. 
The ASB specifies repetitively inspecting the torsion bars in 
accordance with certain work cards, including work card 65.12.07. These 
inspections are part of Airbus Helicopters' current maintenance 
program, and the ASB revises the compliance time interval for the 
inspections.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require removing and performing repetitive 
inspections of each torsion bar for a crack in the PU coating, the 
dimension of the angle between the bushings, corrosion on the inside 
diameter of each bushing, the thickness of each bushing, the size of 
the inside diameter of each bushing, and missing varnish on the two 
faces of each bushing. This proposed AD would require replacing the 
torsion bar before further flight if there is a crack in the PU coating 
of a torsion bar that matches or exceeds the damage criteria, if the 
angle of the torsion bar is 7 degrees or more, if any corrosion on a 
bushing cannot be removed by rubbing it with an abrasive pad, if the 
thickness of a bushing is less than 37.520 mm (1.477 in), or if the 
diameter of a bushing is larger than 21,040 mm (.828 in). If varnish is 
missing from more than 15 percent of the surface area from a face of a 
bushing, this proposed AD would require removing all varnish, finishing 
with an abrasive pad, and applying a coat of paint to the face of the 
bushing.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    This proposed AD would require you to replace a torsion bar instead 
of returning it to the manufacturer for examination.

Interim Action

    We consider this proposed AD to be an interim action. If final 
action is later identified, we might consider further rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 33 helicopters of 
U.S. Registry.
    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order 
to comply with this AD. We estimate $85 per work hour for labor. We 
estimate 8 work hours to inspect each helicopter at an estimated cost 
of $680 per helicopter and $22,440 for the fleet per inspection cycle. 
Replacing a torsion bar would cost $7,020 for required parts; no 
additional labor would be necessary.

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 adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter France): Docket No. FAA-
2015-5914; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-056-AD.

[[Page 72392]]

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters with a 
main rotor head torsion bar (torsion bar) part number 704A33633274 
installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the coating 
of the torsion bar resulting in corrosion. This condition could 
result in failure of a torsion bar, loss of a main rotor blade, and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 19, 2016.

(d) Compliance

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

(e) Required Actions

    (1) For each torsion bar with less than 5 years since the first 
date of installation on any helicopter, within the compliance time 
shown in Table 1 to paragraph (e)(1) of this AD:
    (i) Remove the torsion bar and, using a magnifying glass with a 
maximum magnification level of 10X, visually inspect for a crack in 
the polyurethane (PU) coating of the torsion bar as depicted in 
Figure 1 of Airbus Helicopters Gazelle work card 65.12.607, dated 
August 2008 (work card). Consider two cracks that are less than 5 mm 
(.196 in) apart as a single crack. If there is a crack in the PU 
coating that is more than 5 mm (.196 in), replace the torsion bar 
before further flight. Do not rework the PU coating of the torsion 
bar in any way.
    (ii) Inspect the angle, dimension alpha, as depicted in View on 
Arrow F of Figure 1 of the work card. If the angle is 7 or more 
degrees, replace the torsion bar before further flight.
    (iii) Inspect each bushing for corrosion on the inside diameter. 
If any corrosion cannot be removed by rubbing it with an abrasive 
pad, replace the torsion bar before further flight.
    (iv) Using an outside micrometer, measure the thickness, 
dimension a, of each bushing as depicted in Detail AA of Figure 1 of 
the work card. If the thickness is less than 37.520 mm (1.477 in), 
replace the torsion bar before further flight.
    (v) Using an inside micrometer, measure the inside diameter, 
dimension b, of each bushing as depicted in Detail AA of Figure 1 of 
the work card. If the diameter is larger than 21.040 mm (.828 in), 
replace the torsion bar before further flight.
    (vi) Inspect the two faces of each bushing for missing varnish. 
If varnish is missing from more than 15% of the surface area on a 
face of a bushing, before further flight, remove all varnish using 
400-grit abrasive paper. Finish with an abrasive pad and apply a 
coat of P05 paint to the face of the bushing.

                       Table 1 to Paragraph (e)(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Time accumulated on torsion bar              Compliance time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i) Less than 320 hours time-in-service  Before accumulating 420 hours
 (TIS) since new and has never been       TIS since new or within 24
 inspected in accordance with Airbus      months since the date of first
 Helicopters 341G-342J Airworthiness      installation on any
 Limitations, Revision 18, dated June     helicopter, whichever occurs
 2014 (limitations inspection).           first.
(ii) 320 or more hours TIS since new     Within 100 hours TIS, or before
 and has never had a limitations          accumulating 600 hours TIS
 inspection.                              since new, or within 24 months
                                          since the date of first
                                          installation on any
                                          helicopter, whichever occurs
                                          first.
(iii) Less than 320 hours TIS since the  Before accumulating 420 hours
 last limitations inspection.             TIS since the last limitations
                                          inspection or within 24 months
                                          since the last limitations
                                          inspection, whichever occurs
                                          first.
(iv) 320 or more hours TIS since the     Within 100 hours TIS, or before
 last limitations inspection.             accumulating 600 hours TIS
                                          since the last limitations
                                          inspection, or within 24
                                          months since the last
                                          limitations inspection,
                                          whichever occurs first.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) For each torsion bar with 5 or more years since the first 
date of installation on any helicopter, within the compliance time 
shown in Table 2 to paragraph (e)(2) of this AD, do the inspections 
required by paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (vi) of this AD.

                       Table 2 to Paragraph (e)(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Time accumulated on torsion bar              Compliance time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i) Less than 320 hours TIS since new,   Before accumulating 420 hours
 and less than 6 months since the date    TIS since new or within 12
 of first installation on any             months since the date of first
 helicopter, and has never had a          installation on any
 limitations inspection.                  helicopter, whichever occurs
                                          first.
(ii) 320 or more hours TIS since new or  Within 100 hours TIS, or within
 more than 6 months since the date of     6 months, or before
 first installation on any helicopter,    accumulating 600 hours TIS
 and has never had a limitations          since new, or within 24 months
 inspection.                              since the date of first
                                          installation on any
                                          helicopter, whichever occurs
                                          first.
(iii) Less than 320 hours TIS since      Before accumulating 420 hours
 last limitations inspection and less     TIS since last limitations
 than 6 months since the last             inspection or 12 months since
 limitations inspection.                  last limitations inspection,
                                          whichever occurs first.
(iv) 320 or more hours TIS since last    Within 100 hours TIS, or within
 limitations inspection or 6 or more      6 months, or before
 months since the last limitations        accumulating 600 hours TIS
 inspection.                              since the last limitations
                                          inspection, or within 24
                                          months since the last
                                          limitations inspection,
                                          whichever occurs first.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (3) Repeat the inspections required by paragraphs (e)(1)(i) 
through (vi) of this AD as follows:
    (i) For torsion bars with less than 6 years since the date of 
installation on any helicopter, at intervals not to exceed 420 hours 
TIS or 24 months, whichever occurs first.
    (ii) For torsion bars with 6 or more years since the date of 
installation on any helicopter, at intervals not to exceed 420 hours 
TIS or 12 months, whichever comes first.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort 
Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 9-ASW-FTW-AMOC-Requests@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

[[Page 72393]]

operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(g) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB No. SA341/
SA342-05.40, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014, which is not 
incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the 
subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, 
contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 
75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-
3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review 
the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-
321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.
    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation 
Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2014-0216, dated September 24, 2014. You 
may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov 
in the AD Docket.

(h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6700 Main Rotor.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 9, 2015.
Lance T. Gant,
Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-29402 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P