Airworthiness Directives; Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters, 23829-23831 [2018-10919]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 100 / Wednesday, May 23, 2018 / Proposed Rules 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): ■ AgustaWestland S.p.A.: Docket No. FAA– 2017–1081; Product Identifier 2017–SW– 090–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to AgustaWestland S.p.A. Model AW189 helicopters, certificated in any category, with a tail plane lower fitting P/N 8G5350A07051 installed. (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) Leonardo Helicopters Bollettino Tecnico (BT) No. 189–038, Revision B, and BT No. 189–070, Revision A, both dated October 13, 2016, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39–0331–711756; fax +39–0331– 229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany .com/-/bulletins. 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. 2016–0161, dated August 8, 2016. 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: 5510, Horizontal Stabilizer Structure. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 15, 2018. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack on a tail plane fitting, which could result in failure of the tail plane fitting and loss of helicopter control. [FR Doc. 2018–10918 Filed 5–22–18; 8:45 am] (c) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by July 23, 2018. Federal Aviation Administration (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. [Docket No. FAA–2017–0947; Product Identifier 2017–SW–059–AD] daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations & Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email 9-ASWFTW-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov. 16:37 May 22, 2018 Jkt 244001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 14 CFR Part 39 (e) Required Actions Within 50 hours time-in-service, install tail plane retromodification kit part number 8G0000P00511. VerDate Sep<11>2014 BILLING CODE 4910–13–P 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 R44 and R44 II helicopters. This proposed AD would require visually checking each tail rotor blade for a crack. This proposed AD is prompted by a report of cracking in SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 23829 certain tail rotor blades. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 23, 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 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– 0947; 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: James Guo, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627–5357; email james.guo@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 E:\FR\FM\23MYP1.SGM 23MYP1 23830 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 100 / Wednesday, May 23, 2018 / Proposed Rules 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. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Discussion We propose to adopt a new AD for Robinson R44 and R44 II helicopters with a tail rotor blade part number (P/ N) C029–1 or P/N C029–2 installed. This proposed AD would require checking the tail rotor blades for cracks within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter before each flight. This proposed AD is prompted by reports of P/N C029–1 and P/N C029– 2 tail rotor blades with fatigue cracks at the leading edge. The cracks were caused by high fatigue stresses due to resonance when the blades were at high pitch angles from large left pedal inputs. Robinson consequently issued R44 Service Bulletin SB–83, dated May 30, 2012 (SB–83). At the time SB–83 was issued, the reports of cracking on the tail rotor blade were isolated and infrequent. Since 2015, five events have been reported of helicopters with cracking on tail rotor blades. Therefore, we are proposing actions that are intended to detect a cracked tail rotor blade and prevent loss of the blade and subsequent loss of directional 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 have reviewed Robinson SB–83 which specifies, within 10 flight hours or by June 30, 2012, whichever occurs first, inserting a caution page into the Pilot’s Operating Handbook. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:37 May 22, 2018 Jkt 244001 caution page specifies inspecting the leading edges of each tail rotor blade for a crack before each flight. The caution page also advises that to reduce fatigue stress damage to the tail rotor blades, pilots should avoid maneuvers that require large left pedal inputs. SB–83 specifies that the caution page may be removed when the tail rotor blades are replaced with tail rotor blade P/N C029– 3. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require within 50 hours TIS and thereafter before each flight, visually checking each tail rotor blade for a crack in the tail leading edge, paying particular attention to the most inboard white paint stripe. An owner/operator (pilot) may perform the required visual check and must enter compliance with the applicable paragraph of the AD into the helicopter maintenance records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform this check because it involves only a visual check and can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. This check is an exception to our standard maintenance regulations. This proposed AD also would require before further flight, replacing any cracked tail rotor blade. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information Robinson SB SB–83 requires compliance within 10 flight hours or by June 30, 2012, whichever occurs first. This proposed AD would require compliance within 50 hours TIS. Given the helicopter’s history and the type of operations conducted by the current fleet, we determined that this compliance time is adequate to reduce the risk of a crack on the tail rotor blade to an acceptable level. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 1,631 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Visually checking the tail rotor blades for a crack would require 0.2 hour for a cost of $17 per helicopter and $27,727 for the U.S. fleet per check cycle. Replacing a tail rotor blade, if required, would require 2 work-hours and parts would cost $3,080 for a cost of $3,250 per blade. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. E:\FR\FM\23MYP1.SGM 23MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 100 / Wednesday, May 23, 2018 / Proposed Rules § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ Robinson Helicopter Company: Product No. FAA–2017–0947; Product Identifier 2017–SW–059–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model R44 and R44 II helicopters, certificated in any category, with a tail rotor blade part number (P/N) C029–1 or P/N C029–2 installed. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in a tail rotor blade. This condition could result in the loss of the tail rotor and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. this AD. 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: 6410, Tail Rotor Blades. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 14, 2018. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2018–10919 Filed 5–22–18; 8:45 am] (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. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (e) Required Actions Within 50 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD and thereafter before each flight: (1) Visually check each tail rotor blade for a crack in the tail leading edge, paying particular attention to the area in the most inboard white paint stripe. Wipe the blades clean, if necessary, to ensure any potential crack is visible. The actions required by this paragraph may be performed by the owner/ operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439. (2) If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the tail rotor blade. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS (c) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by July 23, 2018. [Docket No. FAA–2018–0255; Airspace Docket No. 18–ASO–6] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC) (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: James Guo, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627–5357; email james.guo@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 Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Service Bulletin SB–83, dated May 30, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:37 May 22, 2018 Jkt 244001 Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 RIN 2120–AA66 Proposed Revocation of Class E Airspace; St Marys, GA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: This action proposes to remove Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at St Marys, GA, because St Marys Airport has closed, and controlled airspace is no longer required at this location. DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 9, 2018. ADDRESSES: Send comments on this rule to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Bldg Ground Floor, Rm W12–140, Washington, DC 20590; Telephone: 800–647–5527, or (202) 366–9826. You must identify the Docket No. FAA–2018–0255; Airspace Docket No. 18–ASO–6, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit and review received comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 23831 subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/air_ traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11B at NARA, call (202) 741–6030, or go to https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ ibr-locations.html. FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 1701 Columbia Ave., College Park, GA 30337; telephone (404) 305–6364. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in title 49 of the United States Code. 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. This proposed rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would remove Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at St Marys Airport, St Marys, GA, due to the closing of this airport. Comments Invited Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA– 2018–0255; Airspace Docket No. 18– E:\FR\FM\23MYP1.SGM 23MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 100 (Wednesday, May 23, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23829-23831]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-10919]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0947; Product Identifier 2017-SW-059-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 R44 and R44 II 
helicopters. This proposed AD would require visually checking each tail 
rotor blade for a crack. This proposed AD is prompted by a report of 
cracking in certain tail rotor blades. The actions of this proposed AD 
are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 23, 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 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-
0947; 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: James Guo, Aerospace Engineer, Los 
Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 3960 
Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627-5357; 
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

[[Page 23830]]

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 R44 and R44 II 
helicopters with a tail rotor blade part number (P/N) C029-1 or P/N 
C029-2 installed. This proposed AD would require checking the tail 
rotor blades for cracks within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) and 
thereafter before each flight.
    This proposed AD is prompted by reports of P/N C029-1 and P/N C029-
2 tail rotor blades with fatigue cracks at the leading edge. The cracks 
were caused by high fatigue stresses due to resonance when the blades 
were at high pitch angles from large left pedal inputs. Robinson 
consequently issued R44 Service Bulletin SB-83, dated May 30, 2012 (SB-
83). At the time SB-83 was issued, the reports of cracking on the tail 
rotor blade were isolated and infrequent. Since 2015, five events have 
been reported of helicopters with cracking on tail rotor blades. 
Therefore, we are proposing actions that are intended to detect a 
cracked tail rotor blade and prevent loss of the blade and subsequent 
loss of directional 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 have reviewed Robinson SB-83 which specifies, within 10 flight 
hours or by June 30, 2012, whichever occurs first, inserting a caution 
page into the Pilot's Operating Handbook. The caution page specifies 
inspecting the leading edges of each tail rotor blade for a crack 
before each flight. The caution page also advises that to reduce 
fatigue stress damage to the tail rotor blades, pilots should avoid 
maneuvers that require large left pedal inputs. SB-83 specifies that 
the caution page may be removed when the tail rotor blades are replaced 
with tail rotor blade P/N C029-3.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require within 50 hours TIS and thereafter 
before each flight, visually checking each tail rotor blade for a crack 
in the tail leading edge, paying particular attention to the most 
inboard white paint stripe. An owner/operator (pilot) may perform the 
required visual check and must enter compliance with the applicable 
paragraph of the AD into the helicopter maintenance records in 
accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A 
pilot may perform this check because it involves only a visual check 
and can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. This check 
is an exception to our standard maintenance regulations.
    This proposed AD also would require before further flight, 
replacing any cracked tail rotor blade.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Robinson SB SB-83 requires compliance within 10 flight hours or by 
June 30, 2012, whichever occurs first. This proposed AD would require 
compliance within 50 hours TIS. Given the helicopter's history and the 
type of operations conducted by the current fleet, we determined that 
this compliance time is adequate to reduce the risk of a crack on the 
tail rotor blade to an acceptable level.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 1,631 helicopters of 
U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Visually 
checking the tail rotor blades for a crack would require 0.2 hour for a 
cost of $17 per helicopter and $27,727 for the U.S. fleet per check 
cycle. Replacing a tail rotor blade, if required, would require 2 work-
hours and parts would cost $3,080 for a cost of $3,250 per blade.

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.

[[Page 23831]]

Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

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

Robinson Helicopter Company: Product No. FAA-2017-0947; Product 
Identifier 2017-SW-059-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model 
R44 and R44 II helicopters, certificated in any category, with a 
tail rotor blade part number (P/N) C029-1 or P/N C029-2 installed.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in a tail rotor 
blade. This condition could result in the loss of the tail rotor and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 23, 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 50 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD and 
thereafter before each flight:
    (1) Visually check each tail rotor blade for a crack in the tail 
leading edge, paying particular attention to the area in the most 
inboard white paint stripe. Wipe the blades clean, if necessary, to 
ensure any potential crack is visible. The actions required by this 
paragraph may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at 
least a private pilot certificate and must be entered into the 
aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 
14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record 
must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 
135.439.
    (2) If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the tail 
rotor blade.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: James Guo, Aerospace Engineer, 
Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 
3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 
627-5357; 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

    Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Service Bulletin SB-83, dated 
May 30, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference, contains 
additional information about the subject of this AD. 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: 6410, Tail Rotor 
Blades.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 14, 2018.
Scott A. Horn,
Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-10919 Filed 5-22-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P