DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2006-25084; Project Identifier 2005-SW-38-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited (Type
Certificate Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA is reopening the comment period for an earlier
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for certain Bell Textron Canada Limited
(type certificate previously held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada
Limited) Model 206L series helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require
replacing certain low fuel level detector switch units (switch units)
and testing certain other switch units to determine if replacement is
required. The NPRM was prompted by a manufacturing flaw that could
cause the switch units to hang in the high position and fail to
indicate a low fuel condition. This action reopens the comment period
because a significant amount of time has elapsed since the NPRM was
published. This action also revises the NPRM by updating the type
certificate holder's name, updating the estimated cost information,
clarifying and expanding the applicability, clarifying the
requirements, adding a compliance time, and adding parts installation
prohibitions. The FAA is proposing this airworthiness directive (AD) to
address the unsafe condition on these products. Since these actions
would impose an additional burden over those in the NPRM, the agency is
requesting comments on this SNPRM.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM by April 26, 2021.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
the instructions for submitting comments.
Fax: (202) 493-2251.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address between 9 a.m. and
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this SNPRM, contact Bell
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
https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may view this service information at
the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on
the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2006-25084; or in person at
Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains the NPRM, this SNPRM,
the Transport Canada AD, any comments received, and other information.
The street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC
20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2006-25084; Project
Identifier 2005-SW-38-AD" at the beginning of your comments. The most
helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain
the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The
FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may
again revise this proposal because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each
substantive verbal contact received about this proposed AD.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this SNPRM contain
commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as
private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or
responsive to this SNPRM, it is important that you clearly designate
the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission
containing CBI as "PROPIN." The FAA will treat such marked
submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed
in the public docket of this SNPRM. Submissions containing
CBI should be sent to Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational
Safety Branch, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024;
telephone (202) 267-9167; email email@example.com. Any commentary that
the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be
placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
The FAA issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that
would apply to Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Model 206L series
helicopters with a switch unit part number 206-063-613-003, serial
numbers (S/Ns) 1413, 1414, 1415, 1424, 1428, 1430, 1432, and 1433,
installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 22, 2006
(71 FR 35836). In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require inspecting the
switch unit to determine if it is an affected serial-numbered switch
unit and replacing each affected switch unit with an airworthy switch
unit that has an S/N other than those listed in the applicability. If
the S/N is missing or unreadable; the mounting flange of the switch
unit is not colored red; and the purchase date of the switch unit is
between April 19 and July 26, 2004, or could not be determined, the
NPRM proposed to require an operational test. If the switch unit failed
the operational test, the NPRM proposed to require replacing the switch
unit with an airworthy switch unit that has an S/N other than those
listed in the applicability. The NPRM was prompted by Canadian AD CF-
2004-24, dated November 24, 2004, issued by Transport Canada, which is
the aviation authority for Canada, to correct an unsafe condition for
Model 206L series helicopters. Transport Canada advised that eight low
fuel level detectors of listed S/Ns may have been installed on Model
206L series helicopters. These detectors could hang in the high
position and fail to indicate the low fuel condition. Accordingly,
Transport Canada advised removing the affected switch units from
Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued
Since the NPRM was issued, a significant amount of time has elapsed
requiring the FAA to reopen the comment period to allow the public a
chance to comment on the proposed actions.
The NPRM also inadvertently identified the type certificate
holder's name as, "Bell Helicopter Textron Canada" and "Bell
Helicopter Textron, Inc." instead of the correct name of "Bell
Helicopter Textron Canada Limited." Additionally, since the FAA issued
the NPRM, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited has changed its name
to Bell Textron Canada Limited. This SNPRM reflects those changes and
updates the contact information to obtain service documents. This SNPRM
also updates the estimated cost information.
Additional review also revealed necessary changes to address the
unsafe condition. This SNPRM proposes to clarify the applicability by
identifying the specific model helicopters in the series that are
applicable, clarify affected model designations, expand the
applicability by adding switch units with a missing or illegible S/N or
with an S/N that cannot be determined, add a compliance time that was
missing in the NPRM, and add parts installation prohibitions. This
SNPRM also updates the AD format. As a result, paragraph identifiers
have changed, the proposed requirements have been revised by removing
unnecessary information, and the information in a figure has changed to
Lastly, the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service has changed its
organizational structure. The new structure replaces product
directorates with functional divisions. The FAA has revised some of the
office titles and nomenclature throughout this proposed AD to reflect
the new organizational changes. Additional information about the new
structure can be found in the Notice published on July 25, 2017 (82 FR
The following discussion presents the comments received on the NPRM
and the FAA's response.
The Modification and Replacement Parts Association comments in
support of replacing certain defective switch units with airworthy
switch units. However, the Modification and Replacement Parts
Association stated that specifying the particular part that must be
installed conflicts with 14 CFR 21.303 by invalidating previous
approvals under parts manufacturer approval (PMA) and prohibiting the
development, manufacture, and installation of PMA parts designed to be
free of the noted defects. In light of this, the Modification and
Replacement Parts Association requested allowing equivalent replacement
parts to correct the unsafe condition under PMA (other than
identicality) in the AD.
The FAA agrees and has changed instances of replacing an affected
switch unit with an airworthy switch unit that does not have a serial
number listed in the applicability. This SNPRM proposes to require
removing affected switch units from service instead. It is assumed that
an approved and airworthy part will be installed in order to return the
helicopter to service.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
Canada and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
the FAA's bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its
technical representative, has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition
described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD after determining the
unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in
other helicopters of the same type designs. Certain changes described
above expand the scope of the NPRM. As a result, it is necessary to
reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the
public to comment on this SNPRM.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No.
206L-04-132, Revision A, dated October 4, 2004. This service
information specifies procedures for determining whether any of eight
specified serial-numbered detector switch units are installed because
they may fail to indicate a low fuel condition. If the S/N is missing
or unreadable, the service information specifies inspecting the switch
unit to determine if it is an affected switch unit. The service
information also specifies removing each affected switch unit.
Proposed AD Requirements in This SNPRM
This proposed AD would require removing certain switch units from
service and prohibit installing those switch units.
This proposed AD would also require accomplishing an operational
test of certain other switch units, and if the operational test fails,
removing the switch unit from service. This proposed AD would also
prohibit installing those certain other switch units unless they pass
an operational test.
Differences Between This SNPRM and the Transport Canada AD
This proposed AD applies to switch units with a missing or
illegible S/N or with an S/N that cannot be determined, and requires
certain actions for those switch units, whereas the Transport Canada AD
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect up to 558 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are
estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA
estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD.
Replacing a switch unit would take about 4 work-hours and parts
would cost about $921 for an estimated cost of $1,261 per switch unit
and up to $703,638 for the U.S. fleet. Accomplishing an operational
test would take about 4 work-hours for an estimated cost of $340 per
switch unit and up to $189,720 for the U.S. fleet.
Authority for This Rulemaking
Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
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.
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 this proposed regulation:
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order 12866,
(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would 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
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.
Sec. 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness