DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0605; Project Identifier AD-2021-00805-R;
Amendment 39-21664; AD 2021-15-52]
Airworthiness Directives; Various Restricted Category Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
various restricted category helicopters originally manufactured by Bell
Textron Inc. This AD was prompted by a fatal accident in which an
outboard main rotor hub strap pin (pin) sheared off during flight,
resulting in the main rotor blade and the main rotor head detaching
from the helicopter. This AD requires removing certain pins from
service and prohibits installing those pins on any helicopter. The FAA
previously sent an emergency AD to all known U.S. owners and operators
of these restricted category helicopters and is now issuing this AD to
address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective August 13, 2021. Emergency 2021-15-52,
issued on July 8, 2021, which contained the requirements of this
amendment, was effective with actual notice.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by September 13, 2021.
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
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
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 final rule, contact Bell
Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101, United States;
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-2021-0605; 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 listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Wilson, Aerospace Engineer,
Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,
Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5786; email
On July 6, 2021, the FAA issued Emergency AD 2021-15-51 (Emergency
AD 2021-15-51) for Bell Textron Inc. Model 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B,
and 212 helicopters. That action was prompted by a Bell Textron Inc.,
Model 212 helicopter fatal accident in which a pin part number (P/N)
204-012-104-005 with a serial number (S/N) prefix ``FNFS'' sheared off
during flight, resulting in the main rotor blade and the main rotor
head detaching from the helicopter. The pin had accumulated only 20
total hours time-in-service (TIS). An inspection of a different Model
212 helicopter revealed that another pin installed, and made by the
same manufacturer with the same S/N prefix, was deformed; this pin had
accumulated only 29 total hours TIS. Failure of the pin could result in
the main rotor blade detaching from the helicopter and subsequent loss
of control of the helicopter.
Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, has
issued Canadian Emergency AD CF-2021-23, dated July 5, 2021 (Transport
Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-23), to correct an unsafe condition for
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Model 204B helicopters, S/Ns 2001 through
2070 and 2196 through 2199; Model 205A-1 helicopters, S/Ns 30001
through 30065, 30067 through 30165, 30167 through 30187, 30189 through
30296, and 30298 through 30332; Model 205B helicopters, S/Ns 30066,
30166, 30188, and 30297; and Model 212 helicopters, S/Ns 30501 through
30999, 31101 through 31311, 32101 through 32142, and 35001 through
35103. Transport Canada advises that during an investigation of a Bell
Textron Inc., Model 212 fatal accident in Canada, it was discovered
that a pin P/N 204-012-104-005 with an S/N prefix ``FNFS'', sheared off
during flight, leading to detachment of the main rotor blade and the
main rotor head. The pin had accumulated only 20 hours of service, and
inspection of another Canadian Bell Textron Inc., Model 212 helicopter
found a pin of the same P/N, made by the same manufacturer, with the
same S/N prefix ``FNFS'', to be deformed after only approximately 29
hours in service. According to Transport Canada, failure of a pin will
result in detachment of the main rotor blade and loss of control of the
helicopter. Transport Canada also advises that, although the defective
pins were only reported on Bell Textron Inc., Model 212 helicopters,
pins of the same P/N can also be installed on Bell Textron Inc., Model
204B, 205A-1, and 205B helicopters. While the cause of failure has not
been determined, as a precautionary measure and to address the risk of
detachment of affected pins in flight, Bell has issued alert service
bulletins that specify replacing pins P/N 204-012-104-005 that have S/N
Accordingly, Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2021-23 requires
replacement of affected pins. Transport Canada considers its emergency
AD an interim action and states that further AD action may follow.
After Emergency AD 2021-15-51 was issued, the FAA determined that
pin P/N 204-012-104-005 with S/N prefix ``FNFS'' could also be
installed on restricted category helicopters originally manufactured by
Bell Textron Inc. These helicopters include, but are not limited to,
Rotorcraft Development Corporation Model HH-1K
Robinson Air Crane Inc.; Rotorcraft Development
Corporation; and Tamarack Helicopters, Inc., Model TH-1F helicopters;
Bell Textron Inc.; Overseas Aircraft Support, Inc. (type
certificate previously held by JTBAM, Inc.); and Rotorcraft Development
Corporation Model TH-1L helicopters;
Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc., Model UH-1A helicopters;
International Helicopters, Inc.; Overseas Aircraft
Support, Inc.; Red Tail Flying Services, LLC; Richards Heavylift Helo,
Inc.; Rotorcraft Development Corporation; Southwest Florida Aviation
International, Inc. (helicopters with an SW204 or SW204HP designation
are Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc., Model UH-1B
helicopters); and WSH, LLC (type certificate previously held by San
Joaquin Helicopters), Model UH-1B helicopters;
Bell Textron Inc.; Overseas Aircraft Support, Inc.;
Rotorcraft Development Corporation; Smith Helicopters; and West Coast
Fabrications Model UH-1E helicopters;
AST, Inc.; California Department of Forestry; Robinson Air
Crane, Inc.; Rotorcraft Development Corporation; and Tamarack
Helicopters, Inc., Model UH-1F helicopters;
Arrow Falcon Exporters Inc.; Global Helicopter Technology,
Inc.; Hagglund Helicopters, LLC; JJASPP Engineering Services, LLC;
Northwest Rotorcraft, LLC; Overseas Aircraft Support, Inc.; Richards
Heavylift Helo, Inc.; Rotorcraft Development Corporation; Southwest
Florida Aviation International, Inc. (helicopters with an SW205
designation are Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc., Model
UH-1H helicopters); and Tamarack Helicopters, Inc., Model UH-1H
Bell Textron Inc.; Overseas Aircraft Support, Inc.; and
Rotorcraft Development Corporation Model UH-1L helicopters; and
Robinson Air Crane, Inc.; and Rotorcraft Development
Corporation Model UH-1P helicopters.
Therefore, the FAA issued Emergency AD 2021-15-52 to address the
unsafe condition on these helicopters. Emergency AD 2021-15-52 requires
removing the affected pins from service and prohibits installing those
pins on any helicopter. The FAA sent the emergency AD to all known U.S.
owners and operators of these helicopters.
The FAA is issuing this AD because the agency evaluated all the
relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of these
same type designs.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Bell Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) UH-1H-21-21 and
Bell ASB UH-1H-II-21-31. Each ASB is dated July 7, 2021 and specifies
removing all P/N 204-012-104-005 pins with an S/N prefix ``FNFS''
before next flight. These ASBs also specify that, although the
investigation is still in progress, removing these pins from service is
required. These ASBs state that these pins may not have been
manufactured in accordance with the engineering design requirements and
may therefore shear as a result of this nonconformance.
This AD requires removing pins P/N 204-012-104-005 with an S/N
prefix ``FNFS'' before further flight. This AD also prohibits
installing those pins on any helicopter as of the effective date of
The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. If final action
is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
An unsafe condition exists that required the immediate adoption of
Emergency AD 2021-15-52, issued on July 8, 2021, to all known U.S.
owners and operators of these helicopters. The FAA found that the risk
to the flying public justified waiving notice and comment prior to
adoption of this rule because the required corrective actions must be
completed before further flight. These conditions still exist,
therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are
impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C.
In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days,
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0605; Project Identifier AD-
2021-00805-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule.
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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to David
Wilson, Aerospace Engineer, DSCO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness
Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone
(817) 222-5786; email email@example.com. Any commentary that the FAA
receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in
the public docket for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 529 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 up to four pins takes about 20 work-hours and parts cost
about $1,756 for four pins for an estimated cost of up to $3,456 per
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.
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, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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