DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; Project Identifier 2017-SW-110-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited (Type
Certificate Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for Bell Textron Canada Limited (type certificate previously held by
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited) (Bell) Model 429 helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by the identification of certain parts
needing life limits and certification maintenance requirement (CMR)
tasks. This proposed AD would require establishing life limits and CMR
tasks for various parts. Depending on the results of the CMR tasks,
this proposed AD would require corrective action. 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.
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 between 9 a.m. and
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact
Bell Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec
J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272;
or at https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may review this service
information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest
Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817)
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; 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, the
Transport Canada AD, any comments received, and other information. The
street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email email@example.com.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; Project Identifier
2017-SW-110-AD" at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend
this proposal because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each
substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing
CBI as "PROPIN." The FAA will treat such marked submissions as
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Matt
Fuller, AD Program Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit,
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket
for this rulemaking.
Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority of Canada, has
issued Canadian AD CF-2017-16, dated May 17, 2017, to correct an unsafe
condition for Bell Model 429 helicopters, serial numbers 57001 and
subsequent. Transport Canada advises that Bell has established life
limits and CMR tasks for various parts and accordingly revised Chapter
4--Airworthiness Limitations Schedule of Bell Helicopter 429
Maintenance Manual BHT-429-MM-1 to Revision 26, dated September 9, 2016
(BHT-429-MM-1). Transport Canada states that failure to replace life-
limited parts or perform CMR tasks as specified could result in an
Accordingly, the Transport Canada AD requires updating the
maintenance schedule for the parts affected with the airworthiness life
limits and CMR tasks in Revision 26 of BHT-429-MM-1.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
Canada and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
the FAA's bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its
technical representative, has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition
described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all
known relevant information and determining that the unsafe condition
described previously is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters
of the same type design.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Chapter 4--Airworthiness Limitations Schedule of
BHT-429-MM-1. This service information specifies airworthiness life
limits, inspection intervals, and CMR requirements for parts installed
on Model 429 helicopters. Revision 26 of this service information
establishes life limits for a certain part-numbered tail rotor flapping
outboard bearing and hoist kit cartridge cable cutter and CMR
requirements for a certain part-numbered wheeled landing gear system,
float/life raft kit, and hoist kit.
Additionally, the FAA reviewed Chapter 96-47--600-Pound External
Hoist Electrical System--Operational Check, of Bell 429 Maintenance
Manual Supplement For 600-Pound External Hoist Kit, BHT-429-MMS-4,
Revision 1, dated March 14, 2014. This service information specifies
inspection procedures and corrective action for various components of
the hoist system.
Lastly, the FAA reviewed Testing and Fault Isolation, pages 101-
117/118, Cleaning, pages 401-405/406, and Scheduled Maintenance, pages
609-611/612, of Goodrich Rescue Hoist System Component Maintenance
Manual 25-00-38-1, dated July 15, 2009, for rescue hoist assembly part
number 44316-12-102. This service information specifies maintenance
procedures and lists replacement parts for this part-numbered Goodrich
rescue hoist assembly.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require establishing a life limit for
certain part-numbered tail rotor outboard flapping bearings and a
certain part-numbered hoist kit cable cutter cartridge. This proposed
AD would also require establishing recurring CMR tasks for a certain
part-numbered wheeled landing gear system, float/life raft kit, and
hoist kit. Depending on the results of the CMR tasks, this proposed AD
would also require corrective action.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD
This proposed AD would require corrective action for failed CMR
tasks, whereas the Transport Canada AD does not. The Transport Canada
AD requires accomplishing an operational check of the hoist cable anti-
foul assembly daily after the last flight, whereas this proposed AD
would require this action before the first flight of the day involving
a hoist operation instead.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 110 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor costs are estimated at
$85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the
following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD.
Replacing a tail rotor outboard flapping bearing would take about 4
work-hours and parts would cost about $7,500 for an estimated cost of
$7,840 per helicopter and $862,400 for the U.S. fleet, per replacement
cycle. Replacing a hoist kit cable cutter cartridge would take about 3
work-hours and parts would cost about $5,200 for an estimated cost of
$5,455 per helicopter and $600,050 for the U.S. fleet, per replacement
Performing a functional check of the wheeled landing gear system
would take about 4 work-hours for an estimated cost of $340 per
helicopter and $37,400 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing a
functional check of the float/life raft kit would take about 2 work-
hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $18,700 for the
U.S. fleet, per cycle.
Performing an operational check of the hoist kit cable anti-foul
assembly would take about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170
per helicopter and $18,700 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Cleaning,
visually inspecting, and lubricating the rescue hoist cable would take
about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and
$18,700 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing an operational check
of the hoist kit speed limit switches and the electrical system would
about 0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and
$4,730 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing a functional check of
the cable cutter cartridge electrical system would take about 3 work-
hours for an estimated cost of $255 per helicopter and $28,050 for the
U.S. fleet, per cycle.
The FAA has no way of determining the estimated costs to do
allowable repairs based on the results of the CMR tasks. If required,
replacing the float/life raft would take about 2 work-hours and parts
would cost about $5,000 for an estimated cost of $5,170. Replacing the
anti-foul assembly would take about 3 work-hours and parts would cost
about $1,500 for an estimated cost of $1,755. Replacing a rescue hoist
cable would take about 3 work-hours and parts would cost about $3,150
for an estimated cost of $3,405. Overhauling a rescue hoist assembly
would cost about $83,000 and it would take about 8 work-hours to remove
and reinstall the hoist for a labor cost of $680, for a total estimated
cost of $83,680 per helicopter, per overhaul cycle. Alternatively,
replacing a hoist would take about 8 work-hours and parts would cost
about $200,000 for an estimated cost of $200,680 per helicopter, per
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, I certify this proposed regulation:
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive
(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would 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