DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0171; Product Identifier 2018-SW-028-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell) Model 214ST helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by the discovery of bolts with nonconforming
external thread root radii. This proposed AD would require removing the
affected bolts from service and would prohibit installing an affected
bolt on any helicopter. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by April
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
instructions for submitting comments.
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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bell
Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone
817-280-3391; fax 817-280-6466; or at https://www.bellcustomer.com. You
may view 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-2020-0171;
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 NPRM, any comments received, and other information. The street
address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Haytham Alaidy, Aviation Safety
Engineer, DSCO Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; phone: 817-222-5224; fax:
817-222-4960; 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 the ADDRESSES section. Include "FAA-2020-0171; Product
Identifier 2018-SW-028-AD" at the beginning of your comments. The FAA
specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic,
environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The FAA will consider
all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM
because of those comments.
The FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https://www.
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide.
The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this NPRM.
The FAA proposes to adopt a new AD for Bell Model 214ST helicopters
with certain serial-numbered spindle to yoke bolts (bolts) part number
(P/N) 214-010-262-103 installed. Bell indicates that a former bolt
supplier manufactured a number of P/N 214-010-262-103 bolts with
nonconforming external thread root radii. This proposed AD would apply
to Model 214ST helicopters with a non-conforming bolt installed and
would require removing each bolt from service. The proposed AD would
also prohibit installing a non-conforming bolt on any helicopter. The
proposed actions are intended to prevent the spindle separating from
the yoke and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin
214ST-18-93 Revision A, dated April 17, 2019, for Model 214ST helicopters.
This service information specifies inspecting the historical records
and spare parts to determine the serial number (S/N) of each bolt. If
the S/N of the bolt indicates it is a non-conforming bolt, the service
information specifies torque checking the bolt every 25 hours until the
bolt reaches its life limit.
The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all the relevant
information and determining that the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would apply to Model 214ST helicopters with a bolt
P/N 214-010-262-103 with S/N BH179163, BH179164, BH179169, BH179170,
BH179171, BH179175, BH179176, BH179178, BH224783, BH224751, BH224756,
BH224764, BH224765, BH383851, BH383853, BH383855, BH383856, BH383857,
BH383858, BH383860, BH383861, BH383862, BH383864, BH383865, BH383868,
BH383872, BH383873, BH383878, or BH383879 installed. This proposed AD
would require, within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), removing each
affected bolt from service. This proposed AD would also prohibit, after
the effective date of this AD, installing an affected bolt on any
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information
The service information specifies torque checking the bolt every 25
hours until it is replaced upon reaching its life limit, while this
proposed AD would require removing each bolt from service within 25
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 16 helicopters
of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the
following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs
are estimated at $85 per work-hour.
Replacing 1 bolt would take about 8 work-hours and parts would cost
about $7,073 for an estimated cost of $7,753 per helicopter.
The FAA has no way of determining the number of bolts that might
need to be replaced.
According to the manufacturer, 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 for
affected individuals. As a result, all costs are included in this cost
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 above, I certify this proposed
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive
(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
The Proposed 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.
Sec. 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness