DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0713; Project Identifier AD-2021-00180-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell 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 Bell Textron Inc., Model 412, 412EP, and 412CF helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by evaluation results showing flight loads
that impact the collective lever fatigue life. This proposed AD would
require adding a permanent life penalty for certain collective levers
and prohibit installing those collective levers unless the permanent
life penalty has been added. 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 October
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.
For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bell
Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone 1-450-437-
2862 or 1-800-363-8023; fax 1-450-433-0272; email
firstname.lastname@example.org; or at https://www.bellflight.com/support/
contact-support. 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) 222-5110.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0713; 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: Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer,
Certification & Program Management Section, DSCO Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5224; 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-2021-0713; Project Identifier
AD-2021-00180-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 Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Certification &
Program Management Section, DSCO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness
Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone
(817) 222-5224; 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.
The FAA proposes to adopt a new AD for Bell Textron Inc., Model
412, 412EP, and 412CF helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by the
results of an evaluation of BLR Aerospace Strake and FastFin system
part number (P/N) 412-705-040-101. During the evaluation, additional
flight loads were recorded that impact the collective lever fatigue
life. Accordingly, this proposed AD would require adding a permanent
life penalty for affected collective levers and prohibit installing
those collective levers unless the permanent life penalty has been
added. This condition, if not addressed, could result in fatigue damage
and cracking, failure of the collective lever, and subsequent loss of
control of the helicopter.
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.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 412-12-151,
Revision A, dated July 8, 2014. This service information specifies
procedures for adding a permanent flight hour penalty for collective
levers installed or previously installed on helicopters with a Strake
and FastFin system P/N 412-705-040-101.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require, depending on the configuration,
adding a permanent life penalty of 5,000 hours time-in-service (TIS) or
50% of the total hours TIS accumulated by the collective lever on the
component history card or equivalent record for the collective lever.
This proposed AD would also prohibit installing an affected collective
lever unless the permanent life penalty has been added on its component
history card or equivalent record.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information
The service information specifies adding the permanent life penalty
at the next scheduled inspection, whereas this proposed AD would
require that action within 50 hours TIS after the effective date of
this AD instead. This proposed AD would require adding the permanent
life penalty for helicopters without a Strake and FastFin system P/N
412-705-040-101 installed, but with a collective lever P/N 412-010-408-
101 installed, whereas the service information does not specify this.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 96 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.
Replacing a collective lever would take about 2 work-hours and
parts would cost about $18,237, for an estimated cost of $18,407 per
helicopter and up to $1,767,072 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 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