Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Helicopters, 43085-43088 [2019-17904]

Download as PDF (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD. (1) The Manager, Seattle ACO 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 (i) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANMSeattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@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. (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by The Boeing Company Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of (i) Related Information VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on August 7, 2019. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2019–17500 Filed 8–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–C Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration For more information about this AD, contact Susan L. Monroe, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206–231–3570; email: susan.l.monroe@faa.gov. PO 00000 43085 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2019–0589; Product Identifier 2017–SW–020–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016–02–06 for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (Bell) Model 429 helicopters. AD 2016–02–06 requires inspecting certain tail rotor (T/R) pitch link bearing bores for corrosion and pitting. AD 2016–02–06 also requires a repetitive inspection of the sealant and Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\20AUP1.SGM 20AUP1 EP20AU19.004</GPH> jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Proposed Rules 43086 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS repeating the inspections for corrosion and pitting if any sealant is missing. Since the FAA issued AD 2016–02–06, the FAA determined additional partnumbered T/R pitch link assemblies (links) are affected by the same unsafe condition and an additional repetitive inspection is necessary to address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2016–02–06, expand the applicability, and add a repetitive inspection. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products. DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 21, 2019. 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–2019– 0589; 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 AD, the Transport Canada AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l’Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437–2862 or (800) 363– 8023; fax (450) 433–0272; or at http:// www.bellcustomer.com/files/. 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: Scott Franke, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 telephone (817) 222–5110; email scott.franke@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The FAA also invites 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 them only one time. The FAA will file in the docket all comments that the FAA receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments received on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The FAA may change this proposal in light of the comments received. Discussion The FAA issued Emergency AD 2016– 02–06 which was published in the Federal Register as a Final rule; request for comments on February 2, 2016, at 81 FR 5367 (‘‘AD 2016–02–06’’). AD 2016– 02–06 applies to Bell Model 429 helicopters with a T/R link part number (P/N) 429–012–112–101, –101FM, –103, or –103FM installed. AD 2016–02–06 requires inspecting P/N 429–012–112– 101 and 429–012–112–103 T/R link bearing bores for any aluminum oxide corrosion and then cleaning the affected area of the T/R link and inspecting for any pitting. If there is any corrosion or any pitting, AD 2016–02–06 requires replacing the T/R link. If there is no corrosion or pitting, AD 2016–02–06 requires applying corrosion preventative sealant. AD 2016–02–06 also requires, for all applicable T/R/links, repetitively inspecting the bearing bore for missing sealant. AD 2016–02–06 was prompted by AD No. CF–2016–01, dated January 5, 2016, issued by Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Model 429 helicopters. Transport Canada advised of an incident in which PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 a T/R link on a Model 429 helicopter failed, causing vibration and difficulty controlling the helicopter. According to Transport Canada, the failure was caused by a crack that had initiated at a corrosion pit between the roll staked lip of the bearing and the beveled edge of the link. Transport Canada stated deficiencies in the application of corrosion resistant finishes to the link during manufacturing caused the corrosion. Transport Canada further advised that this condition, if not detected, could result in failure of a link and loss of control of the helicopter. For these reasons, the Transport Canada AD required inspection of the T/R link and replacement of any link with corrosion. The Transport Canada AD also required application of corrosion preventative sealant and re-identification of the T/R link. Actions Since AD 2016–02–06 Was Issued Since the FAA issued AD 2016–02– 06, Transport Canada revised its AD and issued AD No. CF–2016–01R1, dated February 10, 2016, and AD No. CF– 2016–01R2, dated April 12, 2017 (AD CF–2016–01R2). Both revised Transport Canada ADs clarify the applicable P/Ns, address spare parts, and address parts installed on-condition prior to December 7, 2015. AD CF–2016–01R2 includes a terminating action for the repetitive inspections. Since the FAA issued AD 2016–02– 06, improved T/R link P/N 429–012– 112–111 and –113 have been developed that include the corrosion preventative sealant installed; however, recurring inspections of the sealant of these T/R links are still necessary since they are subject to the same unsafe condition due to design similarity. Some T/R links P/N 429–012–112–101 and –103 have also been field modified and reidentified as T/R links P/N 429–012– 112–111FM and –113FM, and continue to need recurring inspections of the sealant as they are also subject to the same unsafe condition due to design similarity. Accordingly, the FAA proposes adding T/R link P/Ns 429– 012–112–111, –111FM, –113, and –113FM to the applicability. Additionally, because the corrosion preventative sealant could become damaged, not maintain seal, or wear away with use of the helicopter, this proposed AD includes a repetitive 12month inspection with the corrosion preventative sealant removed. This proposed requirement is a more indepth inspection for corrosion and pitting, due to any potential loss of the E:\FR\FM\20AUP1.SGM 20AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Proposed Rules seal and build up of corrosion underneath the sealant over time. This proposed AD would also change the visual inspection of each cleaned T/ R link for pitting by requiring use of 10X or higher power magnification as specified in Bell Helicopter’s related service information. Comments on AD 2016–02–06 After our Final rule; request for comments was published, the FAA received comments from one commenter. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Request Bell requested the FAA clarify its statement in the preamble of AD 2016– 02–06 explaining that AD 2016–02–06 requires inspecting each T/R link bearing bore for pitting after cleaning while the Transport Canada AD requires inspecting for corrosion after cleaning. The FAA determined that an inspection for pitting instead of corrosion after cleaning was a more effective method of detecting the unsafe condition. While the cleaning process may remove corrosion, it will not remove pitting in the metal. Bell also disagreed that a 10X or higher magnification is necessary for the inspection and stated that a visual inspection of the sealant is sufficient. The FAA disagrees. Corrosion can start in any small opening of the sealant and may be undetectable without magnification. Lastly, Bell disagreed with AD 2016– 02–06 not requiring re-identification of the link P/N. Bell stated that a modified part requires a distinct identification and that not mandating the reidentification could cause confusion among operators. The FAA disagrees that re-identification of the link P/N is necessary to correct the unsafe condition. If an owner or operator would like to add ‘‘FM’’ to the P/N to indicate that corrosive preventative sealant has been applied, then they may. However, the AD requires repetitive inspections for all applicable parts, including those with ‘‘FM’’ in the P/N. Accordingly, re-identification is not necessary and does not affect compliance with the AD. FAA’s Determination This helicopter has been approved by the aviation authority of Canada and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the Canadian AD. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA evaluated all the relevant information VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429–15–26, dated December 7, 2015 (ASB 429–15–26), which advises of reports of corrosion on T/R links between the roll staked lip of bearing P/N 429–312–107–103 and the beveled edge of T/R link P/Ns 429–012– 112–101/-103. ASB 429–15–26 specifies inspecting each T/R link bearing bore between the roll staked lip of the bearing outer race and the link bearing bore with 10X magnification for corrosion and if there is corrosion, replacing the link. If there is no corrosion, ASB 429–15–26 specifies cleaning the area and performing a second inspection with 10X magnification for corrosion. If there is corrosion, ASB 429–15–26 specifies replacing the link. If there is no corrosion, ASB 429–15–26 specifies removing the torque stripe, cleaning the area, and applying corrosion preventative sealant. ASB 429–15–26 also specifies re-identifying the P/Ns as 429–012–112–101FM/-103FM. Further, ASB 429–15–26 specifies a repetitive inspection of the sealant and reapplication if the sealant is damaged. 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. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2016–02–06 and would add P/Ns 429–012–112–111, –111FM, –113, and –113FM to the applicability. This proposed AD would also add use of 10X or higher power magnification to the visual inspection of each cleaned T/R link for pitting and a repetitive 12-month inspection with the corrosion preventative sealant removed. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD This proposed AD applies to helicopters with certain link P/Ns installed, whereas the Transport Canada AD applies to helicopters with certain serial numbers instead. This proposed AD requires inspecting the bearing bores for any pitting after cleaning the T/R link, while the Transport Canada AD requires inspecting for corrosion after cleaning the T/R link. This proposed AD requires performing the inspections with 10X or higher magnification, while the Transport Canada AD does not PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 43087 specify any magnification. This proposed AD does not require reidentifying the P/N of the link, whereas the Transport Canada AD does. The Transport Canada AD also provides a terminating action to the repetitive sealant inspection, while this proposed AD does not. This proposed AD also requires a repetitive inspection with the corrosion preventative sealant removed and reapplied, whereas the Transport Canada AD does not. Interim Action The FAA considers this proposed AD to be an interim action. The design approval holder is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this proposed AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, the FAA might consider additional rulemaking. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 93 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per workhour. Inspecting the set of T/R links (eight bearings) for corrosion would take about one work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $7,905 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle. Cleaning and inspecting the set of T/R links for pitting would take about one work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter. Replacing a T/R link would require no additional work-hours after inspection and required parts cost $2,739 for an estimated replacement cost of $2,739 per T/R link. Removing the torque stripe, cleaning, and applying sealant to the set of T/R links would take about one work-hour with a negligible parts cost for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter. Inspecting the sealant on a set of T/R links would take about one work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $7,905 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle. According to Bell Helicopter’s service information some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage by Bell Helicopter. Accordingly, the FAA has included all costs in its cost estimate. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, E:\FR\FM\20AUP1.SGM 20AUP1 43088 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Proposed Rules section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. ‘‘Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,’’ describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. The FAA is 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 The FAA 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 that this proposed regulation: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; 2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and 3. 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. The FAA 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: jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 2016–02–06, Amendment 39–18387 (81 FR 5367, February 2, 2016), and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited: Docket No. FAA–2019–0589; Product Identifier 2017–SW–020–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Model 429 helicopters with a tail rotor (T/R) pitch link assembly (link) part number (P/N) 429–012–112–101, –101FM, –103, –103FM, –111, –111FM, –113, or –113FM installed, certificated in any category. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of a T/R link. This condition could result in loss of T/R flight control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 2016–02–06, Amendment 39–18387 (81 FR 5367, February 2, 2016). (d) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments by October 21, 2019. (e) Compliance You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. (f) Required Actions (1) For T/R link P/N 429–012–112–101 and –103, within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS): (i) Remove each T/R link. Prior to cleaning the T/R link bearing bores, using 10X or higher power magnification, inspect each T/ R link bearing bore for aluminum oxide corrosion extruding from between the roll staked lip of the bearing outer race and the link bearing bore. Aluminum oxide corrosion appears as a white crystalline material in contrast with the black finish and any accumulated soot. An example of this corrosion is shown in Figure 1 of Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429–15–26, dated December 7, 2015 (ASB 429–15–26). (ii) If there is any aluminum oxide corrosion, replace the T/R link before further flight. (iii) If there is no aluminum oxide corrosion, clean each T/R link bearing bore with isopropyl alcohol, and using 10X or higher power magnification, inspect each cleaned T/R link for pitting. (A) If there is any pitting, replace the T/ R link before further flight. (B) If there is no pitting, apply corrosion preventative sealant by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 5. of Part I, of ASB 429–15–26. (2) For all T/R link P/Ns listed in paragraph (a) of this AD, within 50 hours TIS, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS, using 10X or higher power magnification, inspect each T/R link bearing bore for missing corrosion preventative sealant. If any corrosion preventative sealant is missing, perform the actions in paragraphs PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this AD before further flight. (3) For all T/R link P/Ns listed in paragraph (a) of this AD, within 12 months since date of manufacture, except if paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (f)(1)(iii) of this AD have already been done for T/R link P/ N 429–012–112–101 or –103 within the last 12 months and except if paragraph (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this AD have already been done for T/R link P/N 429–012–112–101FM, –103FM, –111, –111FM, –113, or –113FM within the last 12 months; and thereafter for all T/R link P/Ns listed in paragraph (a) of this AD at intervals not to exceed 12 months: (i) Remove each T/R link; and (ii) Remove all corrosion preventative sealant, and perform the actions in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (f)(1)(iii) of this AD. (4) After the effective date of this AD: (i) Do not install T/R link P/N 429–012– 112–101 or –103 on any helicopter before complying with the actions in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (f)(1)(iii) of this AD. (ii) Do not install T/R link P/N 429–012– 112–101FM, 103FM, –111, 111FM, –113, or –113FM on any helicopter before complying with the actions in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD. (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Scott Franke, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 9ASW-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, the FAA suggests 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. (h) Additional Information The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada AD No. CF-2016-01R2, dated April 12, 2017. You may view the Transport Canada AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket. (i) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6400, Tail Rotor System. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on August 13, 2019. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2019–17904 Filed 8–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P E:\FR\FM\20AUP1.SGM 20AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 161 (Tuesday, August 20, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43085-43088]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-17904]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2019-0589; Product Identifier 2017-SW-020-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited 
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2016-02-06 for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (Bell) Model 429 
helicopters. AD 2016-02-06 requires inspecting certain tail rotor (T/R) 
pitch link bearing bores for corrosion and pitting. AD 2016-02-06 also 
requires a repetitive inspection of the sealant and

[[Page 43086]]

repeating the inspections for corrosion and pitting if any sealant is 
missing. Since the FAA issued AD 2016-02-06, the FAA determined 
additional part-numbered T/R pitch link assemblies (links) are affected 
by the same unsafe condition and an additional repetitive inspection is 
necessary to address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would 
retain the requirements of AD 2016-02-06, expand the applicability, and 
add a repetitive inspection. The actions of this proposed AD are 
intended to address an unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 21, 
2019.

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-2019-
0589; 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 AD, the Transport Canada AD, the economic evaluation, any comments 
received, and other information. The street address for Docket 
Operations is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in 
the AD docket shortly after receipt.
    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bell 
Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, 
Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 
433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. 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: Scott Franke, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; 
email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
written comments, data, or views. The FAA also invites 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 them only 
one time.
    The FAA will file in the docket all comments that the FAA receives, 
as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with 
FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on 
this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments received on or before 
the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed 
after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without 
incurring expense or delay. The FAA may change this proposal in light 
of the comments received.

Discussion

    The FAA issued Emergency AD 2016-02-06 which was published in the 
Federal Register as a Final rule; request for comments on February 2, 
2016, at 81 FR 5367 (``AD 2016-02-06''). AD 2016-02-06 applies to Bell 
Model 429 helicopters with a T/R link part number (P/N) 429-012-112-
101, -101FM, -103, or -103FM installed. AD 2016-02-06 requires 
inspecting P/N 429-012-112-101 and 429-012-112-103 T/R link bearing 
bores for any aluminum oxide corrosion and then cleaning the affected 
area of the T/R link and inspecting for any pitting. If there is any 
corrosion or any pitting, AD 2016-02-06 requires replacing the T/R 
link. If there is no corrosion or pitting, AD 2016-02-06 requires 
applying corrosion preventative sealant. AD 2016-02-06 also requires, 
for all applicable T/R/links, repetitively inspecting the bearing bore 
for missing sealant.
    AD 2016-02-06 was prompted by AD No. CF-2016-01, dated January 5, 
2016, issued by Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for 
Canada, to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Model 429 helicopters. 
Transport Canada advised of an incident in which a T/R link on a Model 
429 helicopter failed, causing vibration and difficulty controlling the 
helicopter. According to Transport Canada, the failure was caused by a 
crack that had initiated at a corrosion pit between the roll staked lip 
of the bearing and the beveled edge of the link. Transport Canada 
stated deficiencies in the application of corrosion resistant finishes 
to the link during manufacturing caused the corrosion.
    Transport Canada further advised that this condition, if not 
detected, could result in failure of a link and loss of control of the 
helicopter. For these reasons, the Transport Canada AD required 
inspection of the T/R link and replacement of any link with corrosion. 
The Transport Canada AD also required application of corrosion 
preventative sealant and re-identification of the T/R link.

Actions Since AD 2016-02-06 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2016-02-06, Transport Canada revised its AD 
and issued AD No. CF-2016-01R1, dated February 10, 2016, and AD No. CF-
2016-01R2, dated April 12, 2017 (AD CF-2016-01R2). Both revised 
Transport Canada ADs clarify the applicable P/Ns, address spare parts, 
and address parts installed on-condition prior to December 7, 2015. AD 
CF-2016-01R2 includes a terminating action for the repetitive 
inspections.
    Since the FAA issued AD 2016-02-06, improved T/R link P/N 429-012-
112-111 and -113 have been developed that include the corrosion 
preventative sealant installed; however, recurring inspections of the 
sealant of these T/R links are still necessary since they are subject 
to the same unsafe condition due to design similarity. Some T/R links 
P/N 429-012-112-101 and -103 have also been field modified and re-
identified as T/R links P/N 429-012-112-111FM and -113FM, and continue 
to need recurring inspections of the sealant as they are also subject 
to the same unsafe condition due to design similarity. Accordingly, the 
FAA proposes adding T/R link P/Ns 429-012-112-111, -111FM, -113, and -
113FM to the applicability.
    Additionally, because the corrosion preventative sealant could 
become damaged, not maintain seal, or wear away with use of the 
helicopter, this proposed AD includes a repetitive 12-month inspection 
with the corrosion preventative sealant removed. This proposed 
requirement is a more in-depth inspection for corrosion and pitting, 
due to any potential loss of the

[[Page 43087]]

seal and build up of corrosion underneath the sealant over time.
    This proposed AD would also change the visual inspection of each 
cleaned T/R link for pitting by requiring use of 10X or higher power 
magnification as specified in Bell Helicopter's related service 
information.

Comments on AD 2016-02-06

    After our Final rule; request for comments was published, the FAA 
received comments from one commenter.

Request

    Bell requested the FAA clarify its statement in the preamble of AD 
2016-02-06 explaining that AD 2016-02-06 requires inspecting each T/R 
link bearing bore for pitting after cleaning while the Transport Canada 
AD requires inspecting for corrosion after cleaning. The FAA determined 
that an inspection for pitting instead of corrosion after cleaning was 
a more effective method of detecting the unsafe condition. While the 
cleaning process may remove corrosion, it will not remove pitting in 
the metal.
    Bell also disagreed that a 10X or higher magnification is necessary 
for the inspection and stated that a visual inspection of the sealant 
is sufficient. The FAA disagrees. Corrosion can start in any small 
opening of the sealant and may be undetectable without magnification.
    Lastly, Bell disagreed with AD 2016-02-06 not requiring re-
identification of the link P/N. Bell stated that a modified part 
requires a distinct identification and that not mandating the re-
identification could cause confusion among operators. The FAA disagrees 
that re-identification of the link P/N is necessary to correct the 
unsafe condition. If an owner or operator would like to add ``FM'' to 
the P/N to indicate that corrosive preventative sealant has been 
applied, then they may. However, the AD requires repetitive inspections 
for all applicable parts, including those with ``FM'' in the P/N. 
Accordingly, re-identification is not necessary and does not affect 
compliance with the AD.

FAA's Determination

    This helicopter has been approved by the aviation authority of 
Canada and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to 
our bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its technical 
representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in 
the Canadian AD. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA evaluated 
all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition 
described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of 
the same type design.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429-15-26, 
dated December 7, 2015 (ASB 429-15-26), which advises of reports of 
corrosion on T/R links between the roll staked lip of bearing P/N 429-
312-107-103 and the beveled edge of T/R link P/Ns 429-012-112-101/-103. 
ASB 429-15-26 specifies inspecting each T/R link bearing bore between 
the roll staked lip of the bearing outer race and the link bearing bore 
with 10X magnification for corrosion and if there is corrosion, 
replacing the link. If there is no corrosion, ASB 429-15-26 specifies 
cleaning the area and performing a second inspection with 10X 
magnification for corrosion. If there is corrosion, ASB 429-15-26 
specifies replacing the link. If there is no corrosion, ASB 429-15-26 
specifies removing the torque stripe, cleaning the area, and applying 
corrosion preventative sealant. ASB 429-15-26 also specifies re-
identifying the P/Ns as 429-012-112-101FM/-103FM. Further, ASB 429-15-
26 specifies a repetitive inspection of the sealant and reapplication 
if the sealant is damaged.
    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.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2016-02-06 and 
would add P/Ns 429-012-112-111, -111FM, -113, and -113FM to the 
applicability. This proposed AD would also add use of 10X or higher 
power magnification to the visual inspection of each cleaned T/R link 
for pitting and a repetitive 12-month inspection with the corrosion 
preventative sealant removed.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD

    This proposed AD applies to helicopters with certain link P/Ns 
installed, whereas the Transport Canada AD applies to helicopters with 
certain serial numbers instead. This proposed AD requires inspecting 
the bearing bores for any pitting after cleaning the T/R link, while 
the Transport Canada AD requires inspecting for corrosion after 
cleaning the T/R link. This proposed AD requires performing the 
inspections with 10X or higher magnification, while the Transport 
Canada AD does not specify any magnification. This proposed AD does not 
require re-identifying the P/N of the link, whereas the Transport 
Canada AD does. The Transport Canada AD also provides a terminating 
action to the repetitive sealant inspection, while this proposed AD 
does not. This proposed AD also requires a repetitive inspection with 
the corrosion preventative sealant removed and reapplied, whereas the 
Transport Canada AD does not.

Interim Action

    The FAA considers this proposed AD to be an interim action. The 
design approval holder is currently developing a modification that will 
address the unsafe condition identified in this proposed AD. Once this 
modification is developed, approved, and available, the FAA might 
consider additional rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 93 helicopters 
of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the 
following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are 
estimated at $85 per work-hour.
    Inspecting the set of T/R links (eight bearings) for corrosion 
would take about one work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per 
helicopter and $7,905 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle. Cleaning 
and inspecting the set of T/R links for pitting would take about one 
work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter. Replacing a T/R 
link would require no additional work-hours after inspection and 
required parts cost $2,739 for an estimated replacement cost of $2,739 
per T/R link. Removing the torque stripe, cleaning, and applying 
sealant to the set of T/R links would take about one work-hour with a 
negligible parts cost for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter. 
Inspecting the sealant on a set of T/R links would take about one work-
hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $7,905 for the 
U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.
    According to Bell Helicopter's service information some of the 
costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby 
reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not 
control warranty coverage by Bell Helicopter. Accordingly, the FAA has 
included all costs in its cost estimate.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I,

[[Page 43088]]

section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. 
``Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,'' describes in more detail the scope 
of the Agency's authority.
    The FAA is 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

    The FAA 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 that this proposed regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866;
    2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and
    3. 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.
    The FAA prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Proposed Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
 2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2016-02-06, Amendment 39-18387 (81 FR 5367, February 2, 2016), and 
adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited: Docket No. FAA-2019-0589; 
Product Identifier 2017-SW-020-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Model 
429 helicopters with a tail rotor (T/R) pitch link assembly (link) 
part number (P/N) 429-012-112-101, -101FM, -103, -103FM, -111, -
111FM, -113, or -113FM installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of a T/R link. 
This condition could result in loss of T/R flight control and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2016-02-06, Amendment 39-18387 (81 FR 5367, 
February 2, 2016).

(d) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments by October 21, 2019.

(e) Compliance

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

(f) Required Actions

    (1) For T/R link P/N 429-012-112-101 and -103, within 10 hours 
time-in-service (TIS):
    (i) Remove each T/R link. Prior to cleaning the T/R link bearing 
bores, using 10X or higher power magnification, inspect each T/R 
link bearing bore for aluminum oxide corrosion extruding from 
between the roll staked lip of the bearing outer race and the link 
bearing bore. Aluminum oxide corrosion appears as a white 
crystalline material in contrast with the black finish and any 
accumulated soot. An example of this corrosion is shown in Figure 1 
of Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429-15-26, dated December 
7, 2015 (ASB 429-15-26).
    (ii) If there is any aluminum oxide corrosion, replace the T/R 
link before further flight.
    (iii) If there is no aluminum oxide corrosion, clean each T/R 
link bearing bore with isopropyl alcohol, and using 10X or higher 
power magnification, inspect each cleaned T/R link for pitting.
    (A) If there is any pitting, replace the T/R link before further 
flight.
    (B) If there is no pitting, apply corrosion preventative sealant 
by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 5. of Part 
I, of ASB 429-15-26.
    (2) For all T/R link P/Ns listed in paragraph (a) of this AD, 
within 50 hours TIS, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 50 
hours TIS, using 10X or higher power magnification, inspect each T/R 
link bearing bore for missing corrosion preventative sealant. If any 
corrosion preventative sealant is missing, perform the actions in 
paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this AD before further 
flight.
    (3) For all T/R link P/Ns listed in paragraph (a) of this AD, 
within 12 months since date of manufacture, except if paragraphs 
(f)(1)(i) through (f)(1)(iii) of this AD have already been done for 
T/R link P/N 429-012-112-101 or -103 within the last 12 months and 
except if paragraph (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this AD have already 
been done for T/R link P/N 429-012-112-101FM, -103FM, -111, -111FM, 
-113, or -113FM within the last 12 months; and thereafter for all T/
R link P/Ns listed in paragraph (a) of this AD at intervals not to 
exceed 12 months:
    (i) Remove each T/R link; and
    (ii) Remove all corrosion preventative sealant, and perform the 
actions in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (f)(1)(iii) of this AD.
    (4) After the effective date of this AD:
    (i) Do not install T/R link P/N 429-012-112-101 or -103 on any 
helicopter before complying with the actions in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) 
through (f)(1)(iii) of this AD.
    (ii) Do not install T/R link P/N 429-012-112-101FM, 103FM, -111, 
111FM, -113, or -113FM on any helicopter before complying with the 
actions in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, FAA, may approve 
AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Scott Franke, Aviation 
Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards 
Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 
(817) 222-5110; email [email protected].
    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating 
certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, the FAA suggests 
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.

(h) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada AD No. 
CF-2016-01R2, dated April 12, 2017. You may view the Transport 
Canada AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD 
Docket.

 (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6400, Tail Rotor 
System.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on August 13, 2019.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-17904 Filed 8-19-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P