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PROPOSED AD BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON, INC.: Docket No. FAA-2020-0270; Product Identifier 2019-SW-018-AD.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments by May 11, 2020.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD  applies to Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.  Model 205B helicop-
    ters, certificated in any category, with a tail rotor (T/R) blade part
    number (P/N) 212-010-750-009 or 212-010-750-105 installed.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 6410, Tail Rotor Blades.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted by flight testing and fatigue analysis that  indi
    -cates that these part-numbered T/R blades  sustain greater loads when
    used on  Bell Model  205B helicopters  compared to  their use on other
    model helicopters. The FAA is issuing  this AD to prevent a T/R  blade
    from  remaining  in  service beyond  its  fatigue  life, resulting  in
    failure  of  the T/R blade and subsequent loss control of the helicop-
    ter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified,  unless al-
    ready done.

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

(1) Before further flight, determine the total hours time-in-service (TIS)
    of each T/R blade  and  remove  from  service  each T/R blade that has
    accumulated 2,500 or more hours TIS.  For  each  T/R  blade  that  has
    accumulated less than 2,500 hours TIS, do the following:

(i) Re-identify the P/N  on the T/R blade data plate  by  vibro-etching to
    change the last three digits of the existing P/N as follows:

(A) For T/R blade P/N 212-010-750-009, re-identify the P/N as 212-010-750-
    111.

(B) For T/R blade P/N 212-010-750-105, re-identify the P/N as 212-010-750-
    109.

(ii) Create a component history card  or  equivalent record to reflect the
     change in P/N for each T/R blade, and establish a life limit of 2,500
     hours TIS.

(iii) Revise the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the maintenance man-
      ual or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness  for  your heli-
      copter to establish  a life limit of 2,500 hours TIS  for  each  T/R
      blade P/N 212-010-750-111 and 212-010-750-109.

(2) Thereafter, except as provided in paragraph (i) of this AD,  no alter-
    native life limits  may be approved  for T/R blade P/N 212-010-750-009
    or 212-010-750-105.

(3) After the effective date of this AD,  do not  install  a T/R blade P/N
    212-010-750-009 or 212-010-750-105 on any Model 205B helicopter unless
    the  part  number has  been  changed and  the  life limit  reduced  in
    accordance with this AD.

(h) SPECIAL FLIGHT PERMIT

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

(i) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, DSCO Branch, FAA,  has the authority to approve AMOCs for
    this AD,  if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.  In
    accordance with 14 CFR 39.19,  send your request to your principal in-
    spector or local Flight Standards District Office,  as appropriate. If
    sending information directly  to  the  manager  of  the  certification
    office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph
    (j)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ASW-190-COS@faa.
    gov.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC,  notify your appropriate principal in-
    spector,  or  lacking a principal inspector,  the manager of the local
    flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(j) RELATED INFORMATION

(1) For more information  about  this AD,  contact  Kuethe Harmon,  Safety
    Management Program Manager,  DSCO  Branch,  Compliance & Airworthiness
    Division, FAA,  10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;  telephone
    817-222-5198; email kuethe.harmon@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, 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 service information  at the FAA,  Office of the Regional Counsel,
    Southwest Region,  10101 Hillwood Pkwy,  Room  6N-321,  Fort Worth, TX
    76177.

Issued  on  March 13,  2020.  Gaetano A.  Sciortino,  Deputy Director  for
Strategic  Initiatives,  Compliance  &  Airworthiness  Division,  Aircraft
Certification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 11, 2020.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0270; Product Identifier 2019-SW-018-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64

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 (AD)
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 11, 2020.

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 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;
email kuethe.harmon@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

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.

Discussion

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.

FAA's Determination

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
type design.

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 a
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.

Regulatory Findings

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
regulation:

(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
reference, Safety.

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):