Airworthiness Directives; Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters, 21318-21320 [2020-08072]

Download as PDF 21318 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 75 / Friday, April 17, 2020 / Rules and Regulations paragraph (g) will expire for transactions closing after December 31, 2020. Brian P. Brooks, First Deputy Comptroller of the Currency. By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, April 10, 2020. Ann Misback, Secretary of the Board. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. By order of the Board of Directors. Dated at Washington, DC, on or about April 10, 2020. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–08216 Filed 4–16–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–33–P; 6210–01–P; 6714–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0947; Product Identifier 2017–SW–059–AD; Amendment 39–19902; AD 2020–08–10] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model R44 and R44 II helicopters. This AD was prompted by reports of cracking in certain tail rotor blades. This AD requires visually checking each tail rotor blade for a crack. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: DATES: This AD is effective May 22, 2020. For service information identified in this final rule, contact Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505; telephone 310–539–0508; fax 310–539– 5198; or at https://robinsonheli.com/ technical-support/. You may view a copy of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES ADDRESSES: Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:51 Apr 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 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 AD, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Guo, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone 562–627–5357; email james.guo@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Robinson Model R44 and R44 II helicopters with a tail rotor blade part number (P/N) C029–1 or P/N C029–2 installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2018 (83 FR 23829). The NPRM was 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. The NPRM proposed to require visually checking each tail rotor blade for a crack. The proposed requirements were intended to detect a cracked tail rotor blade and prevent loss of the blade and subsequent loss of directional control. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. Since the FAA issued the NPRM, the website address for Robinson changed. This AD updates that website address. Comments The FAA gave the public the opportunity to comment on the NPRM. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response to each comment. Request: Robinson requested the FAA change the wording in the Discussion section that states the cracks in tail rotor blades were caused by ‘‘stresses due to resonance when the blades were at high pitch angles from large left pedal inputs’’ to ‘‘stresses during maneuvers with large left pedal inputs.’’ FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The wording in the NPRM provides greater detail with regard to the mechanics of the cause of the cracking. Request: Robinson requested the FAA change the wording in the Discussion PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 section that describes the proposed actions’ intentions by adding the word ‘‘possible’’, which would read as follows: ‘‘prevent possible loss of the blade.’’ Robinson states that even with a crack, loss of the blade is possible, but not certain. FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The unsafe condition described in this AD is a crack in the tail rotor blade. The current wording does not state the helicopter will lose a tail rotor blade but rather loss of a blade could occur. The description of the unsafe condition states that the condition ‘‘could result in the loss of the tail rotor.’’ Request: Robinson requested the FAA correct the two instances of the wording ‘‘tail leading edge’’ by deleting the word ‘‘tail.’’ The first instance is in the Proposed AD Requirements section and the second instance is in the Required Actions paragraph. FAA Response: The FAA agrees and has made these corrections. Request: Robinson requested that the FAA change the Applicability paragraph by adding the following: ‘‘Tail rotor blade part number is visible on data plate located between bearings in blade root.’’ FAA Response: The FAA disagrees because the addition is unnecessary. Parties may refer to the data plate or the aircraft’s records to determine which part-numbered tail rotor blades are installed. If they are uncertain about the location of the data plate, they can refer to service information documents that interested parties have access to through their normal course of business. Request: Robinson requested that the FAA change the wording in the Unsafe Condition paragraph to state, ‘‘This AD defines the unsafe condition as a possible crack in the tail rotor blade’’ because not all blades have a crack. FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The unsafe condition that is being addressed is a crack in a blade. Request: Robinson requested that the FAA change the wording in the Required Actions section from the checks of the tail rotor blades may be conducted ‘‘by the owner/operator’’ to ‘‘by an owner/operator.’’ FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The language requested by the commenter would unacceptably broaden the AD requirement. The FAA intended to allow the owner or operator of the aircraft, who holds at least a private pilot certificate, to perform the check when maintenance personnel are not present. The requested change in language may be interpreted to allow a pilot to perform the check on any aircraft, including aircraft that the pilot does not own or operate. E:\FR\FM\17APR1.SGM 17APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 75 / Friday, April 17, 2020 / Rules and Regulations Request: Robinson requested the FAA change the wording in the Required Actions paragraph from: ‘‘If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the tail rotor blade’’ to ‘‘If a crack is detected, replace tail rotor blade before further flight.’’ FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The wording in the NPRM sufficiently explains that if there is a crack, the tail rotor blade must be replaced. FAA’s Determination The FAA has reviewed the relevant information, considered the comments received, and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed with the changes described previously. These changes are consistent with the intent proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition and will not increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Related Service Information The FAA has reviewed Robinson SB– 83, dated May 30, 2012 (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. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 1,631 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. Visually checking the tail rotor blades for a crack takes about 0.2 work-hour for an estimated cost of $17 per helicopter and $27,727 for the U.S. fleet per check cycle. Replacing a tail rotor blade takes about 2 work-hours and parts cost about $3,080 for an estimated replacement 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:51 Apr 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD: (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. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ 2020–08–10 Robinson Helicopter Company: Amendment 39–19902; Docket No. FAA–2017–0947; Product Identifier 2017–SW–059–AD. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 21319 (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) Effective Date This AD is effective May 22, 2020. (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 time-in-service after the effective date of this AD and thereafter before each flight: (1) Visually check each tail rotor blade for a crack in the 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, 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, 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. (g) Related 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 https://robinsonheli.com/ technical-support/. You may view a copy of information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. E:\FR\FM\17APR1.SGM 17APR1 21320 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 75 / Friday, April 17, 2020 / Rules and Regulations (h) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6410, Tail Rotor Blades. Issued on April 13, 2020. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives,Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–08072 Filed 4–16–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Legal Authority Under 21 U.S.C. 811(e), the Attorney General may place an immediate precursor into the same schedule as the controlled substance that the immediate precursor is used to make, if the substance meets the requirements of an immediate precursor under 21 U.S.C. 802(23). DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA–496] Control of the Immediate Precursor Norfentanyl Used in the Illicit Manufacture of Fentanyl as a Schedule II Controlled Substance Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is designating the precursor chemical, N-phenyl-N(piperidin-4-yl)propionamide (norfentanyl) as an immediate precursor for the schedule II controlled substance fentanyl. Furthermore, DEA is finalizing the control of norfentanyl as a schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). DATES: This rulemaking becomes effective May 18, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott A. Brinks, Regulatory Drafting and Policy Support Section (DPW), Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (571) 362–3261. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Norfentanyl is the immediate chemical intermediary in a synthesis process currently used by clandestine laboratory operators for the illicit manufacture of the schedule II controlled substance fentanyl. The distribution of illicitly manufactured fentanyl has caused an unprecedented outbreak of thousands of fentanyl-related overdoses in the United States in recent years. DEA believes that the control of norfentanyl as a schedule II controlled substance is necessary to prevent its diversion as an immediate chemical intermediary for the illicit manufacture of fentanyl. DEA is extremely concerned with the recent increase in the illicit manufacture and distribution of fentanyl. Therefore, on September 17, 2019, DEA published jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:51 Apr 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to designate the precursor chemical, N-phenyl-N-(piperidin-4yl)propionamide (norfentanyl), as an immediate precursor of the schedule II controlled substance fentanyl under the definition set forth in 21 U.S.C. 802(23), and to control it as a schedule II substance under the CSA. 84 FR 48815. This rulemaking finalizes that NPRM. Background The DEA is extremely concerned with the increase in the illicit manufacture and distribution of fentanyl abroad. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and was first synthesized in Belgium in the late 1950’s. Fentanyl is controlled in schedule II of the CSA due to its high potential for abuse and dependence, and accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Fentanyl was introduced into medical practice and is approved in the United States for anesthesia and analgesia. However, due to its pharmacological effects, fentanyl can serve as a substitute for heroin, oxycodone, and other opioids in opioid dependent individuals. The trafficking of fentanyl in the United States continues to pose an imminent hazard to the public safety. Since 2012, fentanyl has shown a dramatic increase in the illicit drug supply as a single substance, in mixtures with other illicit drugs (i.e. heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine), or in forms that mimic pharmaceutical preparations including prescription opiates and benzodiazepines. The DEA has noted a significant increase in overdoses and overdose fatalities from fentanyl in the United States in recent years. A recent report 1 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights this trend. According to this report, of the 41,430 drug overdose deaths occurring in the United States in 2011, 1,662 (4.0 percent) involved fentanyl.2 Of the 63,632 drug overdose deaths in 2016, 18,335 (28.8 percent) involved fentanyl. 1 Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2011–2016. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 67 no 9. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2018. 2 The fentanyl category includes fentanyl, fentanyl metabolites, precursors, and analogs. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This was the first time that fentanyl was reported in more drug related fatalities than heroin. The increase of drug overdose deaths continued into 2017. According to the CDC,3 there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017, an increase from the 63,632 overdose deaths recorded in 2016. Of the 70,237 overdose deaths in 2017, 47,600 (67.8 percent) involved an opioid. Deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin remained stable from 2016 to 2017; synthetic opioid overdose deaths (other than methadone), which include deaths related to fentanyl, increased 45.2 percent from 19,413 deaths in 2016 to 28,466 deaths in 2017. The increase in overdose fatalities involving fentanyl coincides with a dramatic increase of law enforcement encounters of fentanyl. According to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS),4 submissions to forensic laboratories that contained fentanyl increased exponentially beginning in 2012: 694 in 2012, 1,044 in 2013, 5,537 in 2014, 15,455 in 2015, 37,294 in 2016, 61,382 in 2017, and 70,453 in 2018. Role of Norfentanyl in the Synthesis of Fentanyl Fentanyl is not a naturally occurring substance. As such, the manufacture of fentanyl requires it to be produced through synthetic organic chemistry. Synthetic organic chemistry is the process for creating a new organic molecule through a series of chemical reactions, which involve precursor chemicals. In the early 2000’s, a synthetic process, commonly known as the Siegfried method, was utilized to manufacture fentanyl in several domestic and foreign clandestine laboratories. 72 FR 20039. At that time, DEA had determined that two primary synthesis routes (i.e., the Janssen method and the Siegfried method) were being used to produce fentanyl clandestinely, although it believed the Janssen synthesis route to be difficult to perform and beyond the rudimentary skills of most clandestine laboratory operators. The Siegfried synthetic route involves two important intermediates, N-phenethyl-4-piperidone (NPP) and 4anilino-N-phenethylpiperidine (ANPP). 3 Scholl L, Seth P, Kariisa M, Wilson N, Baldwin G. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths— United States, 2013–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;67:1419–1427. 4 The National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) is a national forensic laboratory reporting system that systematically collects results from drug chemistry analyses conducted by Federal, State and local forensic laboratories in the United States. NFLIS data was queried on March 26, 2019. E:\FR\FM\17APR1.SGM 17APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 75 (Friday, April 17, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 21318-21320]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-08072]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0947; Product Identifier 2017-SW-059-AD; Amendment 
39-19902; AD 2020-08-10]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model R44 and R44 II 
helicopters. This AD was prompted by reports of cracking in certain 
tail rotor blades. This AD requires visually checking each tail rotor 
blade for a crack. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe 
condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective May 22, 2020.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 
contact Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 
90505; telephone 310-539-0508; fax 310-539-5198; or at https://robinsonheli.com/technical-support/. You may view a copy of the 
referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort 
Worth, TX 76177.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://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 AD, any comments received, and other information. The address for 
Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12 140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Guo, Aerospace Engineer, Los 
Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 
90712; telephone 562-627-5357; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Robinson Model R44 and 
R44 II helicopters with a tail rotor blade part number (P/N) C029-1 or 
P/N C029-2 installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 
23, 2018 (83 FR 23829). The NPRM was 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. 
The NPRM proposed to require visually checking each tail rotor blade 
for a crack. The proposed requirements were intended to detect a 
cracked tail rotor blade and prevent loss of the blade and subsequent 
loss of directional control. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.
    Since the FAA issued the NPRM, the website address for Robinson 
changed. This AD updates that website address.

Comments

    The FAA gave the public the opportunity to comment on the NPRM. The 
following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's 
response to each comment.
    Request: Robinson requested the FAA change the wording in the 
Discussion section that states the cracks in tail rotor blades were 
caused by ``stresses due to resonance when the blades were at high 
pitch angles from large left pedal inputs'' to ``stresses during 
maneuvers with large left pedal inputs.''
    FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The wording in the NPRM provides 
greater detail with regard to the mechanics of the cause of the 
cracking.
    Request: Robinson requested the FAA change the wording in the 
Discussion section that describes the proposed actions' intentions by 
adding the word ``possible'', which would read as follows: ``prevent 
possible loss of the blade.'' Robinson states that even with a crack, 
loss of the blade is possible, but not certain.
    FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The unsafe condition described in 
this AD is a crack in the tail rotor blade. The current wording does 
not state the helicopter will lose a tail rotor blade but rather loss 
of a blade could occur. The description of the unsafe condition states 
that the condition ``could result in the loss of the tail rotor.''
    Request: Robinson requested the FAA correct the two instances of 
the wording ``tail leading edge'' by deleting the word ``tail.'' The 
first instance is in the Proposed AD Requirements section and the 
second instance is in the Required Actions paragraph.
    FAA Response: The FAA agrees and has made these corrections.
    Request: Robinson requested that the FAA change the Applicability 
paragraph by adding the following: ``Tail rotor blade part number is 
visible on data plate located between bearings in blade root.''
    FAA Response: The FAA disagrees because the addition is 
unnecessary. Parties may refer to the data plate or the aircraft's 
records to determine which part-numbered tail rotor blades are 
installed. If they are uncertain about the location of the data plate, 
they can refer to service information documents that interested parties 
have access to through their normal course of business.
    Request: Robinson requested that the FAA change the wording in the 
Unsafe Condition paragraph to state, ``This AD defines the unsafe 
condition as a possible crack in the tail rotor blade'' because not all 
blades have a crack.
    FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The unsafe condition that is being 
addressed is a crack in a blade.
    Request: Robinson requested that the FAA change the wording in the 
Required Actions section from the checks of the tail rotor blades may 
be conducted ``by the owner/operator'' to ``by an owner/operator.''
    FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The language requested by the 
commenter would unacceptably broaden the AD requirement. The FAA 
intended to allow the owner or operator of the aircraft, who holds at 
least a private pilot certificate, to perform the check when 
maintenance personnel are not present. The requested change in language 
may be interpreted to allow a pilot to perform the check on any 
aircraft, including aircraft that the pilot does not own or operate.

[[Page 21319]]

    Request: Robinson requested the FAA change the wording in the 
Required Actions paragraph from: ``If there is a crack, before further 
flight, replace the tail rotor blade'' to ``If a crack is detected, 
replace tail rotor blade before further flight.''
    FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. The wording in the NPRM 
sufficiently explains that if there is a crack, the tail rotor blade 
must be replaced.

FAA's Determination

    The FAA has reviewed the relevant information, considered the 
comments received, and determined that an unsafe condition exists and 
is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design 
and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD 
requirements as proposed with the changes described previously. These 
changes are consistent with the intent proposed in the NPRM for 
correcting the unsafe condition and will not increase the economic 
burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Related Service Information

    The FAA has reviewed Robinson SB-83, dated May 30, 2012 (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.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 1,631 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.
    Visually checking the tail rotor blades for a crack takes about 0.2 
work-hour for an estimated cost of $17 per helicopter and $27,727 for 
the U.S. fleet per check cycle.
    Replacing a tail rotor blade takes about 2 work-hours and parts 
cost about $3,080 for an estimated replacement 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.
    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 AD will not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a 
substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between 
the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:
    (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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13   [Amended]

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

2020-08-10 Robinson Helicopter Company: Amendment 39-19902; Docket 
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) Effective Date

    This AD is effective May 22, 2020.

(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 time-in-service after the effective date of this 
AD and thereafter before each flight:
    (1) Visually check each tail rotor blade for a crack in the 
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, 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, 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.

(g) Related 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 https://robinsonheli.com/technical-support/. You may view a copy of information at the FAA, Office of 
the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 
6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

[[Page 21320]]

(h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6410, Tail Rotor 
Blades.

    Issued on April 13, 2020.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives,Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-08072 Filed 4-16-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P