DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0171; Product Identifier 2018-SW-028-AD; Amendment
39-21155; AD 2020-14-01]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Inc. (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Bell Textron Inc. (Bell) Model 214ST helicopters. This AD was prompted
by the discovery of bolts with nonconforming external thread root
radii. This AD requires removing the affected bolts from service and
prohibits installing an affected bolt on any helicopter. The FAA is
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective August 11, 2020.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Bell 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
Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth,
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
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 AD, any comments received, and other information. The address for
Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12 140, 1200 New Jersey
Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Haytham Alaidy, Aviation Safety
Engineer, DSCO Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;
phone: 817-222-5224; fax: 817-222-4960; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Bell Model 214ST
helicopters with certain serial-numbered spindle to yoke bolts (bolts)
part number (P/N) 214-010-262-103 installed. The NPRM published in the
Federal Register on February 26, 2020 (85 FR 11003). The NPRM was
prompted by the discovery of bolts with nonconforming external thread
root radii. The NPRM proposed to require removing the affected bolts
from service and would prohibit installing an affected bolt on any
helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition
on these products.
Since the FAA issued the NPRM, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.,
changed its name to Bell Textron Inc. This AD reflects that change and
updates the contact information.
After the NPRM was published, the FAA received comments from the
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The following presents
the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to the
Request for the FAA To Change the Applicability
Request: EASA requested that the FAA revise the applicability of
the AD to include all helicopters for which the affected P/N and S/N
bolts are eligible for installation. EASA stated this revision should
be made in order to fully prohibit (re)installation of the affected
bolt on any (other) helicopter. EASA further stated that the NPRM's
applicability paragraph ``excludes all helicopters that have another P/
N [bolt] installed, or the same P/N but another S/N installed, but for
which installation of that P/N (and any S/N thereof) is likely
eligible. Since the AD does not apply to those helicopters, none of the
requirements of the AD would apply either.'' According to EASA, the
prohibition in paragraph (g)(2) of the NPRM, which prohibits the
installation on any helicopter of a bolt with a P/N and S/N listed in
the applicability of the AD, could be legally disregarded by operators
of helicopters that are outside the scope of the applicability of the
FAA Response: The FAA disagrees. Upon installation of a bolt with a
P/N and S/N listed in the applicability, the AD applies to that
helicopter, and the required actions of the AD must be complied with
prior to approving the helicopter for return to service. These required
actions include the installation prohibition in paragraph (e)(2) of the
AD. Thus, the AD prohibits the installation of an affected bolt on any
Bell Model 214ST helicopters after the effective date of the AD.
The FAA has reviewed the relevant information, considered the
comments received, and determined that an unsafe condition exists and
is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design
and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD
requirements as proposed with the changes described previously. These
changes are consistent with the intent proposed in the NPRM for
correcting the unsafe condition and will neither increase the economic
burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.
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 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.
Differences Between This 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 AD
requires removing each bolt from service within 25 hours time-in-
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 16 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
Replacing 1 bolt takes about 8 work-hours and parts cost about
$7,073 for an estimated replacement 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 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 estimate.
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 AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This 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 that this AD:
(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
Adoption of the 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