DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0866; Product Identifier 2018-SW-083-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: We propose to supersede airworthiness directive (AD) 2011-12-
08 for Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (Bell) Model 205A, 205A-1, 205B,
212, 412, 412CF, and 412EP helicopters. AD 2011-12-08 requires a one-
time inspection of the tail rotor (T/R) blade for corrosion and
pitting. Since we issued AD 2011-12-08, Bell has implemented new
manufacturing and inspection procedures that correct the unsafe
condition on more recently manufactured T/R blades. This proposed AD
would retain the requirements of AD 2011-12-08 while excluding certain
T/R blades from the applicability. The actions of this proposed AD are
intended to address an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 10,
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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0866;
or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains
this proposed AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received and
other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone
800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available
in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact
Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101;
telephone (817) 280-3391; fax (817) 280-6466; or at http://www.
bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review 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: Daniel Moore, Aviation Safety
Engineer, DSCO Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5418;
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.
We issued AD 2011-12-08, Amendment 39-16715 (76 FR 35334, June 17,
2011) (AD 2011-12-08) for Bell Model 205A, 205A-1, 205B, 212, 412,
412CF, and 412EP helicopters with a T/R blade, part number 212-010-750
(all dash numbers), all serial numbers (S/Ns) except those with a
prefix of "A" and the number 17061 or larger. AD 2011-12-08 requires
a one-time inspection of the T/R blade for corrosion and pitting after
sanding the paint from the spar area between blade stations 22.5 and
40.0, and repairing or replacing the T/R blade if corrosion or pitting
is discovered. AD 2011-12-08 was prompted by a report from Bell that T/
R blades with certain S/Ns may have manufacturing anomalies, identified
as pits or corrosion, in the spar area as a result of the chemical
milling process. The actions in AD 2011-12-08 are intended to detect
corrosion or pitting in the forward spar area of a T/R blade to prevent
a crack in the T/R blade, loss of the T/R blade, and subsequent loss of
Actions Since AD 2011-12-08 Was Issued
Since we issued AD 2011-12-08, Bell has implemented new
manufacturing and inspection procedures for its T/R blades. These
recently-manufactured T/R blades have a prefix of "BH" before the S/N
and are not subject to the unsafe condition. Therefore, we propose to
supersede AD 2011-12-08 to remove these blades from the applicability
of the AD. This proposed AD would not change the inspection
Additionally, since AD 2011-12-08 was issued, the FAA's Aircraft
Certification Service has changed its organization structure. The new
structure replaces product directorates with functional divisions. We
have revised some of the office titles and nomenclature throughout this
proposed AD to reflect the new organizational changes. Information
about the new structure can be found in the Notice published on July 25,
2017 (82 FR 34564).
We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant
information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is
still likely to exist or develop in other products of these same type
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We have reviewed the following Bell Alert Service Bulletins, all
Revision A, and all dated December 8, 2009, which specify a one-time
inspection of the T/R blades for corrosion or pitting, and repairing or
replacing the T/R blade if corrosion, pitting, or other damage is
Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 205-09-102, for Model
205A and 205A-1 helicopters;
ASB No. 205B-09-54, for Model 205B helicopters;
ASB No. 212-09-134, for Model 212 helicopters;
ASB No. 412-09-136, for Model 412 and 412EP helicopters; and
ASB No. 412CF-09-38, for Model 412CF helicopters.
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 continue to require inspecting the T/R
blades for corrosion and pitting in the forward spar area by following
specified portions of Bell's service information. In addition to those
serial-numbered blades that are exempt from the applicability, this
proposed AD would exclude blades with a S/N prefix of "BH."
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 384 helicopters of
U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 per work hour. Based on
these estimates, we expect the following costs:
Inspecting a T/R blade would require about 10 work-hours
and no parts for a cost of $850 per helicopter and $326,400 for the
Repairing a T/R blade would require 10 work-hours and
parts would cost $750 for a cost of $1,600 per helicopter.
Replacing a T/R blade would require about 10 work-hours
and $28,120 for parts for a cost of $28,970 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
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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2011-12-08, Amendment 39-16715 (76 FR 35334, June 17, 2011), and adding
the following new AD: