DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; Project Identifier AD-2021-00006-RRIN 2120-
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Inc. (Type Certificate
Previously Held by 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 certain Bell Textron Inc. (type certificate previously held by Bell
Helicopter Textron Inc.) (Bell) Model 205B helicopters. This proposed
AD was prompted by a notification of certain parts needing a life
limit. This proposed AD would require determining the total hours time-
in-service (TIS) of certain part numbered main rotor grip assemblies
(grip assemblies), establishing a life limit for certain part-numbered
grip assemblies, removing from service any grip assembly that has
reached or exceeded its retirement life, creating a component history
card, and removing any grip assembly from service before reaching its
retirement life. This proposed AD would also prohibit installing
certain grip assemblies unless the life limit was established in
accordance with this proposed AD. 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 July
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 above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; 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.
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 ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; Project Identifier
AD-2021-00006-R" 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
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.email@example.com.
Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated
as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
The FAA received notification from Bell of established life limits
for certain part numbered grip assemblies that were not included in
Chapter 4--Airworthiness Limitations Schedule (ALS) of Bell Helicopter
205B Maintenance Manual BHT-205B-MM-1, Revision 1, dated July 15, 1993.
Bell states the life limit of 9,000 hours TIS for grip assembly part
number (P/N) 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-011-121-113, and P/N 204-011-121-
005 was left out of the ALS for Model 205B helicopters. Bell states
this may suggest that these part numbers have an unlimited life when
installed on Model 205B helicopters, whereas the retirement life is
9,000 hours TIS. This condition, if not addressed, could result in
fatigue and failure of the grip assembly and loss of control of the
Accordingly, Bell specifies updating the existing ALS to establish
a life limit of 9,000 hours TIS for grip assembly P/N 204-011-121-005,
P/N 204-011-121-113, and P/N 204-011-121-005.
The FAA is issuing this NPRM after determining that the unsafe
condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other
products of the same type design.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require, before further flight, determining
the total hours TIS of certain part-numbered grip assemblies and
removing from service any certain part-numbered grip assembly that has
accumulated or exceeded 9,000 total hours TIS. This proposed AD would
also require, for certain part-numbered grip assemblies that have not
accumulated or exceeded 9,000 total hours TIS, creating a component
history card or equivalent record to annotate a life limit of 9,000
total hours TIS and removing these grip assemblies from service before
accumulating 9,000 total hours TIS. Finally, this NPRM would prohibit
installing any affected grip assembly that has exceeded or accumulated
9,000 hours TIS, and prohibit alternative life limits for any affected
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 each grip assembly and updating
the helicopter records would take about 1 work-hour for each grip
assembly, for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $170 for the
Replacing each grip assembly would take about 16 work-hours and
parts would cost about $50,000 for an estimated cost of $51,360 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 above, I certify this proposed
(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