DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0270; Product Identifier 2019-SW-018-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. Helicopters
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 205B helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by flight testing and fatigue analysis
results. This proposed AD would require reducing the life limit of
certain tail rotor (T/R) blades and re-identifying them with a new part
number (P/N). 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 May
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: Deliver to Mail address above 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-2020-0270;
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: Kuethe Harmon, Safety Management
Program Manager, DSCO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5198;
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 "Docket No. FAA-2020-0270;
Product Identifier 2019-SW-018-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 205B helicopters
with a T/R blade P/N 212-010-750-009 or 212-010-750-105 installed.
Flight testing and fatigue analysis by Bell indicates that these part-
numbered T/R blades sustain greater loads when installed on Bell Model
205B helicopters compared to their use on other model helicopters. The
proposed actions are intended to prevent a T/R blade remaining in
service beyond its fatigue life, resulting in failure of the T/R blade
and subsequent loss control of the helicopter.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No.
205B-98-27, dated June 1, 1998, for Model 205B helicopters. This
service information specifies reducing the life limit of T/R blade P/N
212-010-750-009 and 212-010-750-105 to 2,500 hours TIS and assigning
these blades a new dash number by vibro-etching a new P/N on the T/R
blade data and annotating the historical record card.
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 require, before further flight, reducing the
life limit of each affected T/R blade from 5,000 hours TIS to 2,500
hours TIS; re-identifying the T/R blade P/N on its data plate by vibro-
etching to change the last three digits of the existing P/N; creating
component history card or equivalent record; and revising the
Airworthiness Limitations section of the maintenance manual for your
helicopter to annotate the new P/N and revised life limit. Finally,
this proposed AD would prohibit installing any affected T/R blade that
has not met the AD requirements.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 2 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.
Determining the total hours TIS of a T/R blade, re-identifying the
P/N, and updating the helicopter records would take about 1 work-hour
for each T/R blade, for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and
$340 for the U.S fleet.
Replacing a T/R blade would take about 8 work-hours and parts would
cost about $29,110 for an estimated cost of $29,790 per T/R 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.
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
Order 12866, and
(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 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