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2021-04-19 BELL TEXTRON INC. (TYPE CERTIFICATE PREVIOUSLY HELD BY BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC.) HELICOPTERS:
Amendment 39-21441; Docket No. FAA-2020-0270; Product Identifier 2019-SW-018-AD.

(a) EFFECTIVE DATE

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective April 13, 2021.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD  applies  to  Bell Textron Inc. (Bell) Model 205B helicopters,
    certificated in any category with a tail rotor (T/R) blade part number
    (P/N)  212-010-750-009, 212-010-750-105, 212-010-750-109, 212-010-750-
    111, 212-010-750-113, 212-010-750-117,  212-010-750-133,  212-010-750-
    135, 212-010-750-117FM, or 212-010-750-135FM 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:

(i) 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:

(ii) 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.

(C) For T/R blade P/N 212-010-750-113, re-identify the P/N as 212-010-750-
    117FM.

(D) For T/R blade P/N 212-010-750-133, re-identify the P/N as 212-010-750-
    135FM.

(iii) 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.

(iv) Revise the Airworthiness Limitations Section  of the existing mainte-
     nance manual or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for your
     helicopter to establish a life limit of 2,500 hours TIS  for each T/R
     blade P/N 212-010-750-109, P/N 212-010-750-111,  P/N 212-010-750-117,
     P/N 212-010-750-135, P/N 212-010-750-117FM and P/N 212-010-750-135FM.

(2) Thereafter,  except as provided in paragraph (i),  no alternative life
    limits may be approved for T/R blade P/N 212-010-750-009, P/N 212-010-
    750-105, P/N 212-010-750-113, or P/N 212-010-750-133.

(3) After the effective date of this AD,  do not  install  a T/R blade P/N
    212-010-750-009, P/N 212-010-750-105, P/N 212-010-750-113, or P/N 212-
    010-750-133  on  any  Model 205B helicopter unless the part number has
    been changed and the life limit reduced in accordance with this AD.

(4) After the effective date of this AD do not install a T/R blade P/N 212
    -010-750-109, P/N 212-010-750-111,  P/N 212-010-750-117,  P/N 212-010-
    750-135, P/N 212-010-750-117FM, or P/N 212-010-750-135FM, on any Model
    205B helicopter unless the life limit has been 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
    inspector 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 Man-
    agement Program Manager, DSCO Branch, 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 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  February 25, 2021.  Gaetano A. Sciortino,  Deputy Director for
Strategic Initiatives,  Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Cer-
tification Service.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kuethe Harmon,  Safety Management Program
Manager,  DSCO Branch,  FAA,  10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,  Fort Worth, TX 76177;
telephone 817-222-5198; email kuethe.harmon@faa.gov.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0270; Product Identifier 2019-SW-018-AD; Amendment
39-21441; AD 2021-04-19]
RIN 2120-AA64

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) for
Bell Textron Inc. (Bell) Model 205B helicopters. This AD was prompted
by flight testing and fatigue analysis results. This AD requires
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 issuing this
AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective April 13, 2021.

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 the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Docket No. FAA-2020-
0270.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket 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 final rule, 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: Kuethe Harmon, Safety Management
Program Manager, DSCO Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone 817-222-5198; email kuethe.harmon@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

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 205B
helicopters with a T/R blade P/N 212-010-750-009 or 212-010-750-105
installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2020
(85 FR 16916). Flight testing and fatigue analysis by Bell indicated
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. In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require, before
further flight, reducing the life limit of each affected T/R blade from
5,000 hours time-in-service (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 existing maintenance manual for your helicopter to annotate the
new P/N and revised life limit. Finally, the NPRM proposed to prohibit
installing any affected T/R blade that has not met the AD requirements.
The FAA issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM)
to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Bell Model
205B helicopters. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on
December 8, 2020 (85 FR 78977). The SNPRM was prompted by a comment
received on the NPRM requesting that the applicability paragraph be
updated to include newly identified T/R blade part numbers. The FAA
determined the NPRM should be revised to include the additional part-
numbered T/R blades and the re-identification and life limit
requirements for those additional part-numbered T/R blades.
Since the FAA issued the NPRM, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., has
changed its name to Bell Textron Inc. This final rule reflects that
change and updates the contact information to obtain service
documentation.

Comments

The FAA received no comments on the SNPRM or on the determination
of the costs.

Conclusion

The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
requires adopting this AD as proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Related Service Information

The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No.
205B-20-70, dated August 6, 2020, for Model 205B helicopters. This
service information specifies reducing the life limit of T/R blade P/N
212-010-750-109, 212-010-750-111, 212-010-750-113, 212-010-750-117,
212-010-750-133, 212-010-750-135, 212-010-750-117FM, and 212-010-750-
135FM to 2,500 hours time-in-service (TIS). This service information
also specifies re-identifying certain T/R blade P/Ns by assigning a new
dash number by vibro-etching a new P/N on the T/R blade data plate and
annotating the historical record card.
The FAA also 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 T/R blades a new dash number by vibro-etching a new
P/N on the T/R blade data plate and annotating the historical record
card.

Costs of Compliance


The FAA estimates that this AD affects approximately 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 takes 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 takes about 8 work-hours and parts 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

This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order
13132. This AD will 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
Order 12866,
(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 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
directive: