DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; Project Identifier 2017-SW-110-AD; Amendment
39-21620; AD 2021-13-15]
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)
Bell Textron Canada Limited (type certificate previously held by Bell
Helicopter Textron Canada Limited) (Bell) Model 429 helicopters. This
AD was prompted by the identification of certain parts needing life
limits and certification maintenance requirement (CMR) tasks. This AD
requires establishing life limits and CMR tasks for various parts.
Depending on the results of the CMR tasks, this AD requires corrective
action. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on
DATES: This AD is effective July 29, 2021.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Bell Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel,
Quebec J7J 1R4, Canada; 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
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0267; 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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email email@example.com.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Bell Model 429
helicopters, serial numbers 57001 and subsequent. The NPRM published in
the Federal Register on April 8, 2021 (86 FR 18218). In the NPRM, the
FAA proposed to require establishing a life limit for certain part-
numbered tail rotor outboard flapping bearings and a certain part-
numbered hoist kit cable cutter cartridge. The NPRM also proposed to
require establishing recurring CMR tasks for a certain part-numbered
wheeled landing gear system, float/life raft kit, and hoist kit, and
depending on the results of the CMR tasks, corrective action. The NPRM
was prompted by Canadian AD CF-2017-16, dated May 17, 2017, issued by
Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority of Canada, to correct
an unsafe condition for Bell Model 429 helicopters, serial numbers
57001 and subsequent. Transport Canada advises that Bell has
established life limits and CMR tasks for various parts and accordingly
revised Chapter 4--Airworthiness Limitations Schedule of Bell
Helicopter 429 Maintenance Manual BHT-429-MM-1 to Revision 26, dated
September 9, 2016 (BHT-429-MM-1). Transport Canada states that failure
to replace life-limited parts or perform CMR tasks as specified could
result in an unsafe condition.
Accordingly, the Transport Canada AD requires updating the
maintenance schedule for the parts affected with the airworthiness life
limits and CMR tasks in Revision 26 of BHT-429-MM-1.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received comments from one commenter. The commenter was
Bell. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the
FAA's response to each comment.
Request To Change the Compliance Time of the Hoist Cable Anti-Foul
Assembly Operational Check
Bell requested changing the compliance time of the hoist cable
anti-foul assembly operational check from before the first flight of
the day involving a hoist operation to after the last flight of the
day. Bell requested this change to avoid the potential to suspend
critical operations in order to accomplish the check and any required
corrective maintenance because according to Bell, hoist equipment
serves an essential service and may be required for critical missions
with minimal notice. Bell further stated that this task was established
based on the system safety assessment for the Bell Model 429 helicopter
hoist installation and exposure based on a daily check after the last
flight was considered in that assessment to conservatively meet
acceptable reliability targets for its Major hazard classification.
The FAA disagrees with the request to change the compliance time to
after the last flight of the day. The compliance time of before the
first flight of the day is standard practice in rotorcraft AD actions
for enforceability purposes. However, this wording does not imply that
the operational check and corrective action must be done on the same
calendar day as the first flight of the day involving a hoist
operation. In light of this, the FAA has made no changes based on this
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 has
notified the FAA about the unsafe condition described in its AD. The
FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 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 helicopters. Except, since issuance of the NPRM, Bell has
updated its contact information to obtain service documentation by
changing its website address and adding an email address. This final
rule reflects those changes and this AD is otherwise adopted as
proposed in the NPRM. None of the changes increase the economic burden
on any operator.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Chapter 4--Airworthiness Limitations Schedule of
BHT-429-MM-1. This service information specifies airworthiness life
limits, inspection intervals, and CMR requirements for parts installed
on Model 429 helicopters. Revision 26 of this service information
establishes life limits for a certain part-numbered tail rotor flapping
outboard bearing and hoist kit cartridge cable cutter and CMR
requirements for a certain part-numbered wheeled landing gear system,
float/life raft kit, and hoist kit.
Additionally, the FAA reviewed Chapter 96-47--600-Pound External
Hoist Electrical System--Operational Check, of Bell 429 Maintenance
Manual Supplement For 600-Pound External Hoist Kit, BHT-429-MMS-4,
Revision 1, dated March 14, 2014. This service information specifies
inspection procedures and corrective action for various components of
the hoist system.
Lastly, the FAA reviewed Testing and Fault Isolation, pages 101-
117/118, Cleaning, pages 401-405/406, and Scheduled Maintenance, pages
609-611/612, of Goodrich Rescue Hoist System Component Maintenance
Manual 25-00-38-1, dated July 15, 2009, for rescue hoist assembly part
number 44316-12-102. This service information specifies maintenance
procedures and lists replacement parts for this part-numbered Goodrich
rescue hoist assembly.
Differences Between This AD and the Transport Canada AD
This AD requires corrective action for failed CMR tasks, whereas
the Transport Canada AD does not. The Transport Canada AD requires
accomplishing an operational check of the hoist cable anti-foul
assembly daily after the last flight, whereas this AD requires this
action before the first flight of the day involving a hoist operation
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 110 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 tail rotor outboard flapping bearing takes about 4
work-hours and parts cost about $7,500 for an estimated cost of $7,840
per helicopter and $862,400 for the U.S. fleet, per replacement cycle.
Replacing a hoist kit cable cutter cartridge takes about 3 work-hours
and parts cost about $5,200 for an estimated cost of $5,455 per
helicopter and $600,050 for the U.S. fleet, per replacement cycle.
Performing a functional check of the wheeled landing gear system
takes about 4 work-hours for an estimated cost of $340 per helicopter
and $37,400 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing a functional
check of the float/life raft kit takes about 2 work-hours for an
estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $18,700 for the U.S. fleet,
Performing an operational check of the hoist kit cable anti-foul
assembly takes about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per
helicopter and $18,700 for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Cleaning,
visually inspecting, and lubricating the rescue hoist cable takes about
2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $18,700
for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing an operational check of the
hoist kit speed limit switches and the electrical system takes about
0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and $4,730
for the U.S. fleet, per cycle. Performing a functional check of the
cable cutter cartridge electrical system takes about 3 work-hours for
an estimated cost of $255 per helicopter and $28,050 for the U.S.
fleet, per cycle.
The FAA has no way of determining the estimated costs to do
allowable repairs based on the results of the CMR tasks. If required,
replacing the float/life raft takes about 2 work-hours and parts cost
about $5,000 for an estimated cost of $5,170 per float/life raft.
Replacing the anti-foul assembly takes about 3 work-hours and parts
cost about $1,500 for an estimated cost of $1,755 per anti-foul
assembly. Replacing a rescue hoist cable takes about 3 work-hours and
parts cost about $3,150 for an estimated cost of $3,405 per rescue
hoist cable. Overhauling a rescue hoist assembly costs about $83,000
and it takes about 8 work-hours to remove and reinstall the hoist for
labor cost of $680, for a total estimated cost of $83,680 per
helicopter, per overhaul cycle. Alternatively, replacing a hoist takes
about 8 work-hours and parts cost about $200,000 for an estimated cost
of $200,680 per helicopter, per replacement cycle.
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 action.
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