DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2006-25084; Project Identifier 2005-SW-38-AD; Amendment
39-21541; AD 2021-10-08]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited (Type
Certificate Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Bell Textron Canada Limited (type certificate previously held
by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited) Model 206L series
helicopters. This AD was prompted by a manufacturing flaw that could cause
fuel level detector switch units (switch units) to hang in the high position
fail to indicate a low fuel condition. This AD requires removing
certain switch units from service and prohibits installing those switch
units. This AD also requires accomplishing an operational test of
certain other switch units, and depending on the results, removing the
switch unit from service. This AD also prohibits installing those
certain other switch units unless they pass an operational test. The
FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
DATES: This AD is effective June 11, 2021.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Bell Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel,
Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450)
433-0272; 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.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2006-25084; 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, the
Transport Canada AD, any comments received, and other information. The
street 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: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC
20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Textron Canada Limited (type certificate previously held by Bell
Helicopter Textron Canada Limited) Model 206L, 206L-1, 206L-3, and
206L-4 helicopters, with certain switch units part number (P/N) 206-
063-613-003 installed. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on
March 12, 2021 (86 FR 14020). The FAA preceded the SNPRM with a notice
of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that published in the Federal Register on
June 22, 2006 (71 FR 35836).
The NPRM was prompted by Canadian AD CF-2004-24, dated November 24,
2004, issued by Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for
Canada, to correct an unsafe condition for Model 206L series
helicopters. Transport Canada advised that eight low fuel level
detectors of listed serial numbers (S/Ns) may have been installed on
Model 206L series helicopters. These detectors could hang in the high
position and fail to indicate the low fuel condition. Accordingly,
Transport Canada advised removing the affected switch units from
The SNPRM was prompted by a significant lapse of time since
publication of the NPRM. The SNPRM also revised the NPRM by updating
the type certificate holder's name, updating the estimated cost
information, clarifying and expanding the applicability, clarifying the
requirements, adding a compliance time, adding parts installation
prohibitions, and updating the AD format.
The SNPRM proposed to require removing switch unit P/N 206-063-613-
003 with S/N 1413, 1414, 1415, 1424, 1428, 1430, 1432, and 1433 from
service and prohibit installing those switch units. The SNPRM proposed
to require accomplishing an operational test of switch unit P/N 206-
063-613-003 with a missing or illegible switch unit S/N or with an S/N
that cannot be determined, and if the operational test fails, removing
the switch unit from service. The SNPRM also proposed to prohibit
installing switch unit P/N 206-063-613-003 with a missing or illegible
switch unit S/N or with an S/N that cannot be determined unless it
passes an operational test.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the SNPRM or on the determination
of the costs.
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 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
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Textron Alert Service Bulletin No.
206L-04-132, Revision A, dated October 4, 2004. This service
information specifies procedures for determining whether any of eight
specified serial-numbered detector switch units are installed because
they may fail to indicate a low fuel condition. If the S/N is missing
or unreadable, the service information specifies inspecting the switch
unit to determine if it is an affected switch unit. The service
information also specifies removing each affected switch unit.
Differences Between This AD and the Transport Canada
This AD applies to switch units with a missing or illegible S/N or
with an S/N that cannot be determined, and requires certain actions for
those switch units, whereas the Transport Canada AD does not.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects up to 558 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
Replacing a switch unit takes about 4 work-hours and parts cost
about $921 for an estimated cost of $1,261 per switch unit and up to
$703,638 for the U.S. fleet. Accomplishing an operational test takes
about 4 work-hours for an estimated cost of $340 per switch unit and up
to $189,720 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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking
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
(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
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