DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0729; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00364-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive
2021-06-06, which applies to certain Bell Textron Canada Limited Model
505 helicopters. AD 2021-06-06 requires repetitive fluorescent
penetrant inspections (FPIs) of the pilot collective stick and grip
assembly and revising the existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for
your helicopter. Since the FAA issued AD 2021-06-06, the pilot
collective stick and grip assembly has been redesigned. This proposed
AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2021-06-06, require
modifying your helicopter to include the improved pilot collective
stick tube and would add a terminating action for the repetitive FPIs.
This proposed AD would also prohibit installing any pilot collective
stick and grip assembly unless certain requirements of this proposed AD
were met. 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 Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4;
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 the referenced service
information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest
Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0729; 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: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-
9167; 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-2021-0729; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00364-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 Hal
Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC
20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; 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 issued AD 2021-06-06, Amendment 39-21473 (86 FR 14366,
March 16, 2021) (AD 2021-06-06), for Bell Textron Canada Limited Model
505 helicopters, serial number (S/N) 65011 and subsequent. AD 2021-06-
06 requires, before further flight, revising the Limitations section of
the existing RFM for your helicopter to prohibit single pilot
operations from the right crew seat, require the pilot in command to
occupy the left crew seat for dual pilot operations, and depending on
configuration, prohibit the use of SPLIT-COM mode. AD 2021-06-06 also
requires, before further flight and thereafter at intervals not to
exceed 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), removing and cleaning the pilot
collective stick and grip assembly and performing an FPI for a crack as
specified in the manufacturers service information. AD 2021-06-06 also
requires removing any cracked pilot collective stick and grip assembly
from service before further flight, and within 10 days after the
discovery of any crack, reporting certain information to Bell Product
Support Engineering. AD 2021-06-06 also prohibits installing any pilot
collective stick and grip assembly on any helicopter unless it has
successfully passed the FPI requirements of AD 2021-06-06. Lastly, AD
2021-06-06 prohibits relief under any Master Minimum Equipment List or
Minimum Equipment List for the Audio Panel when the aircraft is
operated with a single pilot.
AD 2021-06-06 was prompted by Canadian Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2,
dated March 4, 2021 (Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2),
issued by Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada,
to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Textron Canada Limited Model
505 helicopters, S/Ns 65011 and subsequent. Transport Canada advised
that FPIs findings showed that cracking of the pilot collective stick
and grip assembly could occur at very low flight hours. Transport
Canada also specified that Bell Textron Canada Limited revised its
service information to introduce a temporary revision to the RFM
prohibiting single pilot operations from the right crew seat. This
condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the pilot
collective stick and grip assembly and subsequent loss of control of
Accordingly, Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2 prohibited
single pilot operations from the right crew seat in accordance with the
manufacturers service information. Transport Canada considered its AD
an interim action and stated that further AD action may follow.
Actions Since AD 2021-06-06 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2021-06-06, Transport Canada issued AD CF-
2021-05R3, dated March 19, 2021 (Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05R3),
which supersedes Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2. Transport
Canada advises that since Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2
was issued, the pilot collective stick and grip assembly has been
redesigned to address the root cause of the cracking. Accordingly,
Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05-R3 retains the requirements of Transport
Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-05R2 and requires installing the newly
designed pilot collective stick and grip assembly, which is a
terminating action for the requirements of Transport Canada Emergency
AD CF-2021-05R2. Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05R3 also revises the
applicability to include only helicopters that have not incorporated
the redesigned pilot collective stick and grip assembly during
Finally, the FAA received one comment on AD 2021-06-06 from one
commenter. Advanced Helicopter Services requested additional
information about AD 2021-06-06, specifically whether performing
certain actions specified in Bell Alert Service Bulletin 505-21-20,
Revision C, dated March 11, 2021 (ASB 505-21-20 Rev C) would be
considered a terminating action for the inspections required by AD
The FAA has determined that it is necessary to supersede AD 2021-
06-06. The proposed required actions, including required actions
performed in accordance with portions of ASB 505-21-20 Rev C, would
include a terminating action for the repetitive FPI inspections.
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 Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed ASB 505-21-20 Rev C, which provides instructions
for an initial and recurring FPIs for cracks in the pilot collective
stick and grip assembly part number (P/N) M207-20M478-041/-043/-047 on
Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 505 helicopters, serial numbers 65011
through 65347. ASB 505-21-20 Rev C also specifies inserting a temporary
revision into the RFM that prohibits single pilot operations from the
right crew seat until further notice, and specifies that if the right
crew seat pilot collective stick and grip assembly was previously
confirmed serviceable following an FPI then the 25 flight hour
recurring FPI of the right crew seat pilot collective stick and grip
assembly is no longer required provided that the helicopter is only
operated single pilot in command (PIC) from the left crew seat.
The FAA also reviewed Bell 505 RFM TR for Pilot Collective (ASB
505-21-20), BHT-505-FM-1, Temporary Revision (TR-6) (BHT-505-FM-1, TR-
6) and Bell 505 RFM TR for Pilot Collective (ASB 505-21-20), BHT-505-
FM-2, Temporary Revision (TR-1), each dated March 3, 2021. These
temporary revisions specify changes to Section 1 of the RFM Limitations
Section that the minimum flight crew consists of one pilot that shall
operate from the left crew seat and that dual operation is approved
provide that the PIC occupies the left crew seat. BHT-505-FM-1, TR-6
also prohibits use of SPLIT-COM mode.
This service information is reasonably available because the
interested parties have access to it through their normal course of
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would retain certain requirements from AD 2021-06-
06. This proposed AD would require, before further flight, revising
Section 1, the Limitations section of the existing RFM for your
helicopter to prohibit single pilot operations from the right crew
seat, require the PIC to occupy the left crew seat for dual pilot
operations, and depending on configuration, prohibit the use of SPLIT-
COM mode. This proposed AD would also require, before further flight
after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not to
exceed 25 hours TIS, removing the pilot collective stick and grip
assembly and performing an FPI for a crack and depending on the
inspection results, removing a certain part from service. This proposed
AD would also require within 12 months after the effective date of this
AD, removing a certain part-numbered pilot collective stick tube from
service and installing an improved pilot collective stick tube in
accordance with the manufacturers service information and thereafter,
removing a certain part-numbered pilot collective stick tube from
service before it accumulates 300 total hours TIS. Additionally, this
proposed AD would consider certain proposed actions to be a terminating
action for other proposed actions. This proposed AD would also prohibit
installing any pilot collective stick and grip assembly unless certain
proposed actions are accomplished.
This proposed AD would require revising the Limitations section of
the existing RFM for your helicopter. An owner/operator (pilot) may
incorporate the RFM revisions, and the owner/operator must enter
compliance with the applicable paragraphs of the AD into the aircraft
records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR
91.417(a)(2)(v). This is an exception to the FAA's standard maintenance
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD
This proposed AD would prohibit relief under any Master Minimum
Equipment List or Minimum Equipment List for the Audio Panel when the
aircraft is operated with a single pilot, whereas Transport Canada AD
CF-2021-05R3 does not. Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05R3 requires the
repetitive FPIs if the aircraft is not flown solely from the left crew
seat whereas this proposed AD requires FPIs regardless.
Transport Canada AD CF-2021-05R3 requires operators to "advise all
flight crews" of changes to the RFM, and thereafter to "operate the
helicopter accordingly." However, this AD would not specifically
require those actions. 14 CFR 91.9 requires that no person may operate
a civil aircraft without complying with the operating limitations
specified in the RFM. Therefore, including a requirement in this
proposed AD to operate the helicopter according to the revised RFM
would be redundant and unnecessary. Further, compliance with such a
requirement in an AD would be impracticable to demonstrate or track on
an ongoing basis; therefore, a requirement to operate the helicopter in
such a manner would be unenforceable.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 98 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 0.5
work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter.
Removing, cleaning, and performing an FPI of the pilot collective
stick and grip assembly would take about 3 work-hours for an estimated
cost of $255 per helicopter and $24,990 for the U.S. fleet per
Installing an improved pilot collective stick tube would take about
5 work-hours and parts would cost about $1,256 for an estimated cost of
$1,681 per helicopter.
The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate.
According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost
impact on affected operators.
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2021-06-06, Amendment 39-21473 (86
FR 14366, March 16, 2021); and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: