Airworthiness Directives; Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters, 13706-13708 [2018-06449]

Download as PDF 13706 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 62 / Friday, March 30, 2018 / Proposed Rules Regulatory Findings We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979), (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. 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. [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): General Electric Company: Docket No. FAA– 2017–0792; Product Identifier 2017–NE– 28–AD. (a) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by May 14, 2018. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to General Electric Company (GE) CF6–80A, CF6–80A1, CF6– 80A2, CF6–80A3, CF6–80C2A1, CF6– 80C2A2, CF6–80C2A3, CF6–80C2A5, CF6– 80C2A5F, CF6–80C2A8, CF6–80C2B1, CF6– 80C2B1F, CF6–80C2B2, CF6–80C2B2F, CF6– 80C2B4, CF6–80C2B4F, CF6–80C2B5F, CF6– 80C2B6, CF6–80C2B6F, CF6–80C2B6FA, CF6–80C2B7F, CF6–80C2D1F, CF6– 80C2L1F, and CF6–80C2K1F turbofan 18:11 Mar 29, 2018 Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7250, Turbine/Turboprop Engine— Turbine Section. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by an uncontained failure of an HPT stage 2 disk. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT Stage 1 disk (CF6–80C2) and the HPT Stage 2 disk (CF6–80C2 and CF6–80A). The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in an uncontained HPT disk release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. Jkt 244001 (k) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Herman Mak, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, ECO Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781– 238–7147; fax: 781–238–7199; email: herman.mak@faa.gov. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513–552–3272; email: aviation.fleetsupport@ge.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781–238–7759. Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on March 23, 2018. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2018–06390 Filed 3–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P (g) Required Actions After the effective date of this AD, perform an ultrasonic inspection (UI) for cracks in stage 1 and stage 2 HPT disks on the CF6– 80C2 engine model and in stage 2 HPT disks on the CF6–80A engine model at each piecepart level exposure in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.A.(2), in GE CF6–80C2 SB 72–1562 R03, dated January 10, 2018, or the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.A.(2) in GE CF6–80A SB 72–0869 R01, dated October 19, 2017, as applicable to the engine model. The reporting requirements specified in the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 3.A.(2)(c) and 3.A.(2)(f), of GE CF6–80C2 SB 72–1562 R03, dated January 10, 2018, are not required by this AD. (i) Definition ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 (d) Subject (h) Non-Required Actions ■ § 39.13 engines with high-pressure turbine (HPT) disks with serial numbers listed in Table 1 and 2 of Appendix A in GE CF6–80C2 Service Bulletin (SB) 72–1562 R03, dated January 10, 2018; and Table 1 of Appendix A in GE CF6–80A SB 72–0869 R01, dated October 19, 2017. For the purpose of this AD, ‘‘piece-part exposure’’ of the stage 1 or stage 2 HPT disk is separation of that HPT disk from its mating rotor parts within the HPT rotor module (thermal shield and HPT stage 1 and stage 2 disk respectively). (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, ECO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD. You may email your request to: ANE-AD-AMOC@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0682; Product Identifier 2017–SW–028–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model R66 helicopters. This proposed AD would require replacing the tail rotor drive shaft yoke assembly and inspecting for sealant. This proposed AD is prompted by reports of tail rotor driveshaft failures. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 29, 2018. 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 DATES: E:\FR\FM\30MRP1.SGM 30MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 62 / Friday, March 30, 2018 / Proposed Rules 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–2017– 0682; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (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 rule, contact Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505; telephone (310) 539–0508; fax (310) 539–5198; or at http://www.robinsonheli.com/ servelib.htm. 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: Danny Nguyen, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627–5247; email danny.nguyen@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Mar 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 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 We propose to adopt a new AD for Robinson Model R66 helicopters, serial numbers 0003 through 0752, with a tail rotor drive shaft assembly part number (P/N) D224–3 or D224–4 installed. This proposed AD would require, within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS), replacing the forward yoke assembly of the tail rotor drive shaft unless already accomplished, visually inspecting for sealant, and applying sealant if needed to prevent seal rotation. This proposed AD is prompted by two incidents of bearing failure that stem from a bearing assembly that included a bearing that was undersized for its housing. Consequently, the bearing was spinning at a speed that caused excessive heating of the bearing operation and led to the breakdown of the bearing’s grease and ultimately seizure of the C647–16 bearing. To correct this condition, Robinson initially specified installing a temperature recorder on the tail rotor driveshaft bearing assembly (bearing assembly) and inspecting the temperature recorder during preflight checks and during each 100-hour inspection. If the bearing was found running hot, then Robinson advised upgrading the bearing to a newer design. Robinson later specified through R66 Service Bulletin SB–20, dated November 7, 2016, modifying the forward D224–3 and D224–4 tail rotor drive shaft assemblies by using a kit that has an improved, larger bearing that spins with less friction. The bulletin also specified inspecting whether 0.5 inch of sealant was on the junction of the black seal and bearing outer race and installing sealant if there was less than 0.5 inch of sealant. Robinson clarified R66 Service Bulletin SB–20 with R66 Service Bulletin SB–20A, dated June 6, 2017, that helicopters equipped with D224–4 tail rotor drive shaft assemblies and certain modified D224–3 assemblies do not require being upgraded with the kit. The actions specified by this AD are intended prevent failure of the tail rotor driveshaft forward bearing and subsequent loss of helicopter control. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13707 FAA’s Determination We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs. Related Service Information We reviewed Robinson R66 Service Bulletin SB–14, dated June 25, 2015, which specifies installing a temperature recorder on the bearing assembly and inspecting the temperature during preflight checks and during each 100hour inspection. If the temperature of the bearing is found running hot, then Robinson advises upgrading the bearing to a newer design (kit P/N KI–235). This service information also specifies adding a caution page to the Pilot Operating Handbook regarding the overheating bearing assemblies. We also reviewed Robinson R66 Service Bulletin SB–20, dated November 7, 2016, and Robinson R66 Service Bulletin SB–20A, dated June 6, 2017, which specify upgrading the bearing assembly to the newer design with kit P/N KI–235 if not previously done. The service information also contains procedures for inspecting for sealant and applying sealant to the damper and hanger bearings if needed to prevent seal rotation. Lastly, we reviewed Robinson KI–235 R66 TRDS Forward Yoke Assembly and Hanger Installation Kit Instructions, Revision A, dated June 23, 2015. This information provides instructions for installing the newly designed forward yoke assembly, P/N D224–5, on the tail rotor drive shaft. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require, within 100 hours TIS, replacing the tail rotor drive shaft forward yoke assembly, inspecting the damper and hanger bearings for sealant, and applying sealant if needed. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information The service information specifies replacing the forward yoke assembly and applying the sealant to the bearing seals within the next 100 flight hours or by January 31, 2017, whichever comes first. This proposed AD would not have a calendar time compliance requirement. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 249 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs: E:\FR\FM\30MRP1.SGM 30MRP1 13708 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 62 / Friday, March 30, 2018 / Proposed Rules The Proposed Amendment 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. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS • Replacing the yoke assembly would require 6 work-hours and $798 for parts, for a cost of $1,308 per helicopter. • Inspecting for and applying sealant would require 1 work-hour and $30 for parts, for a cost of $115 per helicopter. Based on these costs, we expect a total cost of $1,423 per helicopter and $354,327 for the U.S. operator fleet. ■ 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Mar 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 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): ■ Robinson Helicopter Company: Docket No. FAA–2017–0682; Directorate Identifier 2017–SW–028–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model R66 helicopters, serial numbers 0003 through 0752, with a tail rotor drive shaft assembly part number (P/N) D224–3 or D224–4 tail rotor drive shaft assembly installed, certificated in any category. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of a tail rotor driveshaft forward bearing. This condition could result in failure of the tail rotor driveshaft and subsequent loss of helicopter control. (c) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by May 29, 2018. (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 Within 100 hours TIS: (1) Replace the tail rotor drive shaft forward yoke assembly with a yoke assembly part number D224–5, if not previously done. (2) Remove the forward inspection plug assembly from the tailcone and either remove the B322–2 cover from the top of the third tailcone bay or, if an antenna is installed, remove the antenna and pull the circuit breaker. (3) Visually inspect the forward and aft sides of the hanger bearing and damper bearing for sealant along the junction of the seal and bearing outer race. If the sealant is less than 0.5 inch in length, clean the area and apply a minimum 0.5 inch long bead of polysulfide fuel-resistant sealant at the junction of the seal and bearing outer race. (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC) (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Danny Nguyen, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627–5247; email 9ANM-LAACO-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 For service information identified in this AD, contact Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505; telephone (310) 539–0508; fax (310) 539– 5198; or at http://www.robinsonheli.com/ servelib.htm. You may review a copy of information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. (h) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6510, Tail Rotor Drive Shaft. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 23, 2018. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2018–06449 Filed 3–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0954; Airspace Docket No. 17–AEA–16] Proposed Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Beaver Falls, PA; and Zelienople, PA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: This action proposes to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface, at Beaver Falls, PA, as the University of Pittsburg Medical Center Beaver Valley Heliport has closed, and controlled airspace is no longer required. The geographic coordinates of the Ellwood City VORTAC, noted in the Beaver County Airport, Beaver Falls, PA, description, also would be amended in the associated Class E airspace. Also, the term Airport Facility Directory would be replaced with Chart Supplement. Additionally, this action would amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface at Zelienople SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30MRP1.SGM 30MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 62 (Friday, March 30, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13706-13708]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-06449]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0682; Product Identifier 2017-SW-028-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model R66 helicopters. This 
proposed AD would require replacing the tail rotor drive shaft yoke 
assembly and inspecting for sealant. This proposed AD is prompted by 
reports of tail rotor driveshaft failures. The actions of this proposed 
AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 29, 2018.

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

[[Page 13707]]

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-2017-
0682; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this proposed AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and 
other information. The street address for Docket Operations (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 rule, contact 
Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505; 
telephone (310) 539-0508; fax (310) 539-5198; or at http://www.robinsonheli.com/servelib.htm. 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: Danny Nguyen, Aerospace Engineer, Los 
Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 3960 
Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627-5247; 
email [email protected].

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

    We propose to adopt a new AD for Robinson Model R66 helicopters, 
serial numbers 0003 through 0752, with a tail rotor drive shaft 
assembly part number (P/N) D224-3 or D224-4 installed. This proposed AD 
would require, within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS), replacing the 
forward yoke assembly of the tail rotor drive shaft unless already 
accomplished, visually inspecting for sealant, and applying sealant if 
needed to prevent seal rotation.
    This proposed AD is prompted by two incidents of bearing failure 
that stem from a bearing assembly that included a bearing that was 
undersized for its housing. Consequently, the bearing was spinning at a 
speed that caused excessive heating of the bearing operation and led to 
the breakdown of the bearing's grease and ultimately seizure of the 
C647-16 bearing.
    To correct this condition, Robinson initially specified installing 
a temperature recorder on the tail rotor driveshaft bearing assembly 
(bearing assembly) and inspecting the temperature recorder during 
preflight checks and during each 100-hour inspection. If the bearing 
was found running hot, then Robinson advised upgrading the bearing to a 
newer design.
    Robinson later specified through R66 Service Bulletin SB-20, dated 
November 7, 2016, modifying the forward D224-3 and D224-4 tail rotor 
drive shaft assemblies by using a kit that has an improved, larger 
bearing that spins with less friction. The bulletin also specified 
inspecting whether 0.5 inch of sealant was on the junction of the black 
seal and bearing outer race and installing sealant if there was less 
than 0.5 inch of sealant. Robinson clarified R66 Service Bulletin SB-20 
with R66 Service Bulletin SB-20A, dated June 6, 2017, that helicopters 
equipped with D224-4 tail rotor drive shaft assemblies and certain 
modified D224-3 assemblies do not require being upgraded with the kit.
    The actions specified by this AD are intended prevent failure of 
the tail rotor driveshaft forward bearing and subsequent loss of 
helicopter control.

FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant 
information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is 
likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type 
designs.

Related Service Information

    We reviewed Robinson R66 Service Bulletin SB-14, dated June 25, 
2015, which specifies installing a temperature recorder on the bearing 
assembly and inspecting the temperature during preflight checks and 
during each 100-hour inspection. If the temperature of the bearing is 
found running hot, then Robinson advises upgrading the bearing to a 
newer design (kit P/N KI-235). This service information also specifies 
adding a caution page to the Pilot Operating Handbook regarding the 
overheating bearing assemblies.
    We also reviewed Robinson R66 Service Bulletin SB-20, dated 
November 7, 2016, and Robinson R66 Service Bulletin SB-20A, dated June 
6, 2017, which specify upgrading the bearing assembly to the newer 
design with kit P/N KI-235 if not previously done. The service 
information also contains procedures for inspecting for sealant and 
applying sealant to the damper and hanger bearings if needed to prevent 
seal rotation.
    Lastly, we reviewed Robinson KI-235 R66 TRDS Forward Yoke Assembly 
and Hanger Installation Kit Instructions, Revision A, dated June 23, 
2015. This information provides instructions for installing the newly 
designed forward yoke assembly, P/N D224-5, on the tail rotor drive 
shaft.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require, within 100 hours TIS, replacing the 
tail rotor drive shaft forward yoke assembly, inspecting the damper and 
hanger bearings for sealant, and applying sealant if needed.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    The service information specifies replacing the forward yoke 
assembly and applying the sealant to the bearing seals within the next 
100 flight hours or by January 31, 2017, whichever comes first. This 
proposed AD would not have a calendar time compliance requirement.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 249 helicopters of 
U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on 
these estimates, we expect the following costs:

[[Page 13708]]

     Replacing the yoke assembly would require 6 work-hours and 
$798 for parts, for a cost of $1,308 per helicopter.
     Inspecting for and applying sealant would require 1 work-
hour and $30 for parts, for a cost of $115 per helicopter.
    Based on these costs, we expect a total cost of $1,423 per 
helicopter and $354,327 for the U.S. operator fleet.

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):

Robinson Helicopter Company: Docket No. FAA-2017-0682; Directorate 
Identifier 2017-SW-028-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model 
R66 helicopters, serial numbers 0003 through 0752, with a tail rotor 
drive shaft assembly part number (P/N) D224-3 or D224-4 tail rotor 
drive shaft assembly installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of a tail rotor 
driveshaft forward bearing. This condition could result in failure 
of the tail rotor driveshaft and subsequent loss of helicopter 
control.

(c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by May 29, 2018.

(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

    Within 100 hours TIS:
    (1) Replace the tail rotor drive shaft forward yoke assembly 
with a yoke assembly part number D224-5, if not previously done.
    (2) Remove the forward inspection plug assembly from the 
tailcone and either remove the B322-2 cover from the top of the 
third tailcone bay or, if an antenna is installed, remove the 
antenna and pull the circuit breaker.
    (3) Visually inspect the forward and aft sides of the hanger 
bearing and damper bearing for sealant along the junction of the 
seal and bearing outer race. If the sealant is less than 0.5 inch in 
length, clean the area and apply a minimum 0.5 inch long bead of 
polysulfide fuel-resistant sealant at the junction of the seal and 
bearing outer race.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: Danny Nguyen, Aerospace 
Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; 
telephone (562) 627-5247; email [email protected].
    (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

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Robinson 
Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505; 
telephone (310) 539-0508; fax (310) 539-5198; or at http://www.robinsonheli.com/servelib.htm. You may review a copy of 
information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest 
Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6510, Tail Rotor 
Drive Shaft.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 23, 2018.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-06449 Filed 3-29-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P