DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2012-0338; Directorate Identifier 2009-SW-51-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Eurocopter France Model SA341G helicopters. This proposed AD is
prompted by an analysis and tests performed by the manufacturer that
indicate that the life limit of the rotating star should be 12,000
hours time-in-service (TIS). The proposed actions are intended to
prevent failure of the rotating star and subsequent loss of control
of the helicopter.
DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 29,
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.
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 or in person at the Docket Operations Office
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal
holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the economic
evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street
address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in
the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket
shortly after receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer,
Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham
Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting
written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to
the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might
result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To
ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters
should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed
electronically, commenters should submit only one time.
We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as
a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel
concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we
will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for
comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has
closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay.
We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.
The Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the
aviation authority for France, has issued French AD No. F-2004-070,
dated May 26, 2004, to correct an unsafe condition for Eurocopter
France Model SA 341/342 helicopters. The DGAC advises that they issued
the AD to require a new service life limit of 12,000 flight hours for
the rotating star, part number (P/N) 341A31.4116.21, installed on Model
We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant
information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist
or develop on other products of the same type design.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require establishing a retirement life of
12,000 hours TIS for the rotating star, P/N 341A31.4116.21.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 21 helicopters of
U.S. registry and the proposed actions would take approximately 6 work
hours per helicopter to accomplish at an average labor rate of $85 per
work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $6,000. Based on
these figures, we estimate the total cost impact of the proposed AD on
U.S. operators to be $6,510 to replace the rotating star on each
helicopter, or $136,710 for the entire 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
We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in
"Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General
requirements." Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing
regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator
finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within
the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition
that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this
We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:
1. Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order
2. Is not a "significant rule" under the DOT Regulatory Policies
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);
3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that
it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and
4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply
with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
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 Directive (AD):