Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter France), 21713-21716 [2016-07979]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2016 / Rules and Regulations effective date of this AD), following DaherSocata Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 150– 32, Revision 2, dated January 1994. (h) 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: Albert Mercado, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329–4119; fax: (816) 329– 4090; email: albert.mercado@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 FAAapproved 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. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES (i) Related Information Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2015–0203, dated October 7, 2015; and Daher-Socata Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 150–32, Revision 2, dated January 1994, for related information. The MCAI can be found in the AD docket on the Internet at: http:// www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail; D=FAA-2016-0068-0002. (j) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Daher-Socata Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 150–32, Revision 3, dated September 2015. (ii) Reserved. (3) For SOCATA service information identified in this AD, contact SOCATA, Direction des services, 65921 Tarbes Cedex 9, France; phone: +33 (0) 5 62 41 73 00; fax: +33 (0) 5 62 41 76 54; email: info@ socata.daher.com; Internet: http:// www.tbm.aero/. For the United States, contact SOCATA NORTH AMERICA, North Perry Airport, 601 NE 10 Street, Pompano Beach, Florida 33060; phone: (954) 366– 3331; Internet: http:// www.socatanorthamerica.com/default.htm. (4) You may view this 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. In addition, you can access this service information on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016–0068. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:03 Apr 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 4, 2016. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–08262 Filed 4–12–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2015–5914; Directorate Identifier 2014–SW–056–AD; Amendment 39–18472; AD 2016–07–27] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter France) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. This AD requires repetitive inspections of a certain part-numbered main rotor hub torsion bar (torsion bar). This AD was prompted by several cases of corrosion in the metal strands of the torsion bar. The actions of this AD 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: This AD is effective May 18, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of May 18, 2016. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 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. It is also on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2015–5914. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 21713 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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800– 647–5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. 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: Discussion On November 19, 2015, at 80 FR 72390, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters with a torsion bar part number 704A33633274 installed. The NPRM proposed to require removing and performing repetitive inspections of each torsion bar for a crack in the polyurethane (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. The NPRM also proposed to 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, the NPRM proposed to require removing all varnish, finishing with an abrasive pad, and applying a coat of paint to the face of the bushing. The proposed requirements were intended to detect corrosion and prevent failure of the E:\FR\FM\13APR1.SGM 13APR1 21714 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2016 / Rules and Regulations torsion bar, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2014–0216, dated September 24, 2014, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. EASA advises that several cases of cracks were found on the PU coating of partnumbered 704A33633274 torsion bars installed on military Model SA341 helicopters. EASA states that these parts can also be 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 inflight loss of a main rotor blade and consequent loss of control of the helicopter. Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM (80 FR 72390, November 19, 2015). jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 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 the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed. Interim Action We consider this AD to be an interim action. If final action is later identified, we might consider further rulemaking. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:03 Apr 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD This AD requires you to replace a torsion bar instead of returning it to the manufacturer for examination. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) has issued Gazelle Inspection—Check 65.12.607, ‘‘Main Rotor Head: Torsion Tie-Back Check (Post MOD 076171),’’ dated August 2008, of the Eurocopter Gazelle Helicopter Maintenance Manual, Tome 1, which 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. Other Related Service Information Airbus Helicopters has also 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 65.12.607. These inspections are part of Airbus Helicopters’ current maintenance program, and the ASB revises the compliance time interval for the inspections. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this AD affects 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 U.S. fleet per inspection cycle. Replacing a torsion bar will cost $7,020 for required parts; no additional labor is 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 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on helicopters identified in this rulemaking action. Regulatory Findings This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and (4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 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): ■ 2016–07–27 Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter France): Amendment 39– 18472; Docket No. FAA–2015–5914; Directorate Identifier 2014–SW–056–AD. E:\FR\FM\13APR1.SGM 13APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (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) Effective Date This AD becomes effective May 18, 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 Gazelle Inspection—Check 65.12.607, ‘‘Main Rotor Head: Torsion Tie-Back Check (Post MOD 076171),’’ dated August 2008, of the Eurocopter Gazelle Helicopter Maintenance Manual, Tome 1. This type of task is commonly called a ‘‘work card’’ and will be referenced in this AD as ‘‘the 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. 21715 (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. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:03 Apr 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 (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. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (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 E:\FR\FM\13APR1.SGM 13APR1 21716 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 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 operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 31, 2016. James A. Grigg, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. (g) Additional Information Federal Aviation Administration (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 final rule. For Airbus Helicopters service information identified in this final rule, 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 a copy of the 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 Docket No. FAA–2015–5914. (h) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6700, Main Rotor. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES (i) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Gazelle Inspection—Check 65.12.607, ‘‘Main Rotor Head: Torsion Tie-Back Check (Post MOD 076171),’’ dated August 2008, of the Eurocopter Gazelle Helicopter Maintenance Manual, Tome 1. (ii) Reserved. (3) For Eurocopter service information identified in this final rule, 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. (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222–5110. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:03 Apr 12, 2016 Jkt 238001 [FR Doc. 2016–07979 Filed 4–12–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2015–3147; Directorate Identifier 2014–NM–094–AD; Amendment 39–18479; AD 2016–08–03] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 777–200, –200LR, –300, and –300ER series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of fractured forward attach fittings of the inboard flap outboard aft flap track. The fractured fittings were determined to be the result of corrosion pits forming on the inside diameter of the fittings. This AD requires an inspection for the affected part number and serial number of the main flap; various additional repetitive inspections of the fitting, if necessary; and replacement of the fitting or nested bushing installation, if necessary, which would terminate the inspections. This AD also provides an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fracture of the fitting, which could result in the loss of the inboard aft flap and could lead to a punctured fuselage, causing injury to the flightcrew and passengers, and damage to the airplane. DATES: This AD is effective May 18, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 18, 2016. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 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 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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– 3147. 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– 3147; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric Lin, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone: 425–917–6412; fax: 425– 917–6590; email: Eric.Lin@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company Model 777–200, –200LR, –300, and –300ER series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 25, 2015 (80 FR 51491) (‘‘the NPRM’’). The NPRM was prompted by reports of fractured forward attach fittings of the inboard flap outboard aft flap track. The fractured fittings were determined to be the result of corrosion pits forming on the inside diameter of the fittings. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection for the affected part number and serial number of the main flap; various additional repetitive inspections of the fitting, if necessary; and replacement of the fitting or nested bushing installation, if necessary, which would terminate the inspections. The proposed AD also provided an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fracture of the fitting, which could result in the loss of the inboard aft flap and could lead to a punctured fuselage, causing injury to E:\FR\FM\13APR1.SGM 13APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 71 (Wednesday, April 13, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 21713-21716]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-07979]


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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; 
Amendment 39-18472; AD 2016-07-27]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter 
France)

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus 
Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. This AD requires 
repetitive inspections of a certain part-numbered main rotor hub 
torsion bar (torsion bar). This AD was prompted by several cases of 
corrosion in the metal strands of the torsion bar. The actions of this 
AD 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: This AD is effective May 18, 2016.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of May 18, 2016.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 
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. It is also on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-
5914.

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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any 
incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

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: 

Discussion

    On November 19, 2015, at 80 FR 72390, the Federal Register 
published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to 
amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Model SA341G 
and SA342J helicopters with a torsion bar part number 704A33633274 
installed. The NPRM proposed to require removing and performing 
repetitive inspections of each torsion bar for a crack in the 
polyurethane (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. The NPRM 
also proposed to 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, the NPRM 
proposed to require removing all varnish, finishing with an abrasive 
pad, and applying a coat of paint to the face of the bushing. The 
proposed requirements were intended to detect corrosion and prevent 
failure of the

[[Page 21714]]

torsion bar, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control 
of the helicopter.
    The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2014-0216, dated September 24, 
2014, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member 
States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus 
Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. EASA advises that 
several cases of cracks were found on the PU coating of part-numbered 
704A33633274 torsion bars installed on military Model SA341 
helicopters. EASA states that these parts can also be 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.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM (80 FR 72390, 
November 19, 2015).

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 
the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all 
information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists 
and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same 
type designs and that air safety and the public interest require 
adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Interim Action

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

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) has issued Gazelle Inspection--
Check 65.12.607, ``Main Rotor Head: Torsion Tie-Back Check (Post MOD 
076171),'' dated August 2008, of the Eurocopter Gazelle Helicopter 
Maintenance Manual, Tome 1, which 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.

Other Related Service Information

    Airbus Helicopters has also 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 65.12.607. 
These inspections are part of Airbus Helicopters' current maintenance 
program, and the ASB revises the compliance time interval for the 
inspections.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 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 U.S. fleet per inspection 
cycle. Replacing a torsion bar will cost $7,020 for required parts; no 
additional labor is 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 helicopters identified in this 
rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

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

2016-07-27 Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter France): 
Amendment 39-18472; Docket No. FAA-2015-5914; Directorate Identifier 
2014-SW-056-AD.

[[Page 21715]]

(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) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective May 18, 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 Gazelle Inspection--Check 65.12.607, ``Main Rotor Head: 
Torsion Tie-Back Check (Post MOD 076171),'' dated August 2008, of 
the Eurocopter Gazelle Helicopter Maintenance Manual, Tome 1. This 
type of task is commonly called a ``work card'' and will be 
referenced in this AD as ``the 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

[[Page 21716]]

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 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 final rule. For Airbus Helicopters service 
information identified in this final rule, 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 a copy of the 
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 Docket No. FAA-2015-5914.

(h) Subject

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

(i) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this 
paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Gazelle Inspection--Check 65.12.607, ``Main Rotor Head: 
Torsion Tie-Back Check (Post MOD 076171),'' dated August 2008, of 
the Eurocopter Gazelle Helicopter Maintenance Manual, Tome 1.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (3) For Eurocopter service information identified in this final 
rule, 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.
    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-
321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of 
this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 31, 2016.
James A. Grigg,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-07979 Filed 4-12-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P