DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0497; Project Identifier 2019-SW-043-AD; Amendment
39-21711; AD 2021-18-10]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 429 helicopters. This AD was
prompted by three reports of unexpected forces or uncommanded inputs to
the directional (yaw) control system. This AD requires revising the
existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your helicopter. The FAA is
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective October 12, 2021.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Bell Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel,
Quebec J7J1R4, Canada; 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. 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-2021-0497; 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: Mitch Soth, Flight Test Engineer,
Southwest Section, Flight Test Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness
Division, 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 Textron Canada
Limited Model 429 helicopters, serial numbers 57001 and subsequent. The
NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 7, 2021 (86 FR 35692).
In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require revising the existing RFM for
your helicopter by adding procedures in Section 2, Normal Procedures,
under 2-4. INTERIOR AND PRESTART CHECK, 2-5. ENGINE START, and 2-8.
TAKEOFF; Section 3, Emergency and Malfunction Procedures, under 3-9.
AUTOMATIC FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM; and Section 4, Performance, under 4-2.
POWER ASSURANCE CHECK. The owner/operator (pilot) may revise the
existing RFM for your helicopter, and the owner/operator must enter
compliance with the applicable paragraphs of the AD into the aircraft
records in accordance with Sec. 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and Sec.
91.417(a)(2)(v). This is an exception to the FAA's standard maintenance
The NPRM was prompted by Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2019-16,
dated May 6, 2019 (Transport Canada AD CF-2019-16), issued by Transport
Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada to correct an unsafe
condition for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (now Bell Textron
Canada Limited) Model 429 helicopters, serial numbers 57001 and
subsequent. Transport Canada advises of three reports of unexpected
forces or uncommanded inputs to the directional (yaw) control system
during ground operations. Investigation revealed that a yaw trim
runaway can occur while the automatic pedal trim function is operating.
This condition, if not addressed, could result in loss of control of
the helicopter. Accordingly, Transport Canada AD CF-2019-16 requires
revising Bell RFM BHT-429-FM-1 by incorporating revision 14, dated
April 18, 2019.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received one comment from an individual who supported the
NPRM without change.
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, considered the
comment 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.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Section 2--Normal Procedures, Section 3--Emergency
and Malfunction Procedures, and Section 4--Performance, of Bell RFM
BHT-429-FM-1, Revision 14, dated April 18, 2019. This revision of the
service information adds a procedure to reduce the risk of trim runaway
during start sequence, cautions to reduce the risk of uncommanded
control movement during engine start and takeoff and re-setting force
trim detent instructions during engine start and takeoff, and an
emergency procedure to assist flight crew to recognize trim runaway and
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 120 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
Revising the existing RFM for your helicopter takes about 0.50
work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and $5,160 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 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