DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0497; Project Identifier 2019-SW-043-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited 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 Canada Limited Model 429 helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by three reports of unexpected forces or
uncommanded inputs to the directional (yaw) control system. This
proposed AD would require revising the existing Rotorcraft Flight
Manual (RFM) for your helicopter. 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 August
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 NPRM, contact Bell
Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4,
Canada; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272;
or at https://www.bellcustomer.com. You may view 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-2021-0497; 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: Mitch Soth, Flight Test Engineer,
Southwest Section, Flight Test Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness
Division, 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-2021-0497; Project Identifier
2019-SW-043-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
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
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 Mitch Soth, Flight Test
Engineer, Southwest Section, Flight Test Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, 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 for Canada, has
issued Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2019-16, dated May 6, 2019
(Transport Canada AD CF-2019-16), to correct an unsafe condition for
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (now Bell Textron Canada
Limited) Model 429 helicopters, serial numbers 57001 and subsequent.
Transport Canada advises of three reports of unexpected forces or
uncommanded inputs to the directional (yaw) control system during
ground operations. Investigation revealed that a yaw trim runaway can
occur while the automatic pedal trim function is operating. This
condition, if not addressed, could result in loss of control of the
helicopter. Accordingly, Transport Canada AD CF-2019-16 requires
revising Bell RFM BHT-429-FM-1 by incorporating revision 14, dated
April 18, 2019.
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 Section 2--Normal Procedures, Section 3--Emergency
and Malfunction Procedures, and Section 4--Performance, of Bell RFM
BHT-429-FM-1, Revision 14, dated April 18, 2019. This revision of the
service information adds a procedure to reduce the risk of trim runaway
during start sequence, cautions to reduce the risk of uncommanded
control movement during engine start and takeoff and re-setting force
trim detent instructions during engine start and takeoff, and an
emergency procedure to assist flight crew to recognize trim runaway and
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require revising the existing RFM for your
helicopter by adding procedures in Section 2, Normal Procedures, under
2-4. INTERIOR AND PRESTART CHECK, 2-5. ENGINE START, and 2-8. TAKEOFF;
Section 3, Emergency and Malfunction Procedures, under 3-9. AUTOMATIC
FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM; and Section 4, Performance, under 4-2. POWER
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 120 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at
$85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the
following costs to comply with this proposed AD.
Revising the existing RFM for your helicopter would take about 0.50
work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and $5,160 for
the U.S. fleet.
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