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2021-18-16 BELL TEXTRON CANADA LIMITED (TYPE CERTIFICATE PREVIOUSLY HELD BY BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA LIMITED): Amendment 39-21717; Docket No. FAA-2021-0513; Project Identifier 2018-SW-116-AD.
(a) EFFECTIVE DATE

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective November 1, 2021.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies to Bell Textron Canada Limited  (type certificate pre-
    viously  held by  Bell Helicopter  Textron Canada  Limited) Model  429
    helicopters, certificated  in any  category, serial  numbers 57001 and
    subsequent.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component  (JASC) Code: 6500, Tail  Rotor Drive
    System; and 6520, Tail Rotor Gearbox.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted by reports of tail rotor gearbox assemblies found
    loose on the gearbox support. The FAA is issuing this AD address  tail
    rotor  gearbox  assemblies found  loose  on the  gearbox  support. The
    unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in structural  damage
    and possible loss of control of the helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply  with this  AD within  the compliance  times specified,  unless
    already done.

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

    Within 12 months  after the effective date of this AD;  or at the next
    scheduled 200-hours  time-in-service  (TIS)  or  12-month  inspection,
    whichever  occurs  first,  do a torque check of the tail rotor gearbox
    attachment hardware,  in  accordance  with the Accomplishment Instruc-
    tions, paragraph 2.,  of  Bell Alert Service Bulletin 429-18-41, dated
    July 24, 2018.  Repeat the torque check thereafter at intervals not to
    exceed 200 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first.

(h) CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

    If, during any torque check required by paragraph (g) of this AD,  any
    tail rotor gearbox  attachment moves during  any torque check,  repeat
    the torque check specified in paragraph (g) of this AD at intervals no
    less than 10 hours TIS and not to exceed 25 hours TIS until the torque
    stabilizes on all  the nuts. Stabilization  has occurred when,  at the
    next  torque  check,  the  value  has  remained  within  the specified
    acceptable limits (160 to 200 inch-pounds (in-lbs) or 19 to 22  newton
    meters (Nms), inclusive), preventing movement of the gearbox  housing.
    After the  torque stabilizes  on all  the nuts,  the repetitive torque
    checks specified in paragraph (g) of this AD are still required.

(i) CREDIT FOR PREVIOUS ACTIONS

    This paragraph provides credit  for the initial torque  check required
    by  paragraph (g)  of this  AD,  if  that action  was done  before the
    effective date of this AD as  required by paragraph (f)(2) of AD  2018
    -16-51, Amendment 39-19421 (83 FR 53171, October 22, 2018).

(j) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, International Validation Branch,  FAA,  has the authority
    to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures  found
    in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to
    your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as
    appropriate. If  sending information  directly to  the manager  of the
    International  Validation  Branch, send  it  to the  attention  of the
    person identified in paragraph (k)(1)  of this AD. Information may  be
    emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR730-AMOC@faa.gov.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC,  notify your appropriate principal in-
    spector, or lacking  a principal inspector,  the manager of  the local
    flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(k) RELATED INFORMATION

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Darren Gassetto, Aerospace
    Engineer,  COS Program Management  Section,  FAA,  Operational  Safety
    Branch,  Compliance  &  Airworthiness  Division,  1600 Stewart Avenue,
    Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590;  telephone 516-228-7323;  email Darren.
    Gassetto@faa.gov.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada AD CF-2018-35,
    dated  December 19, 2018.  You  may  view  the  Transport Canada AD at
    https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2021-0513.

(l) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

(1) The Director of the Federal Register  approved  the  incorporation  by
    reference of the service information listed  in this paragraph under 5
    U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable  to do the actions
    required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Bell Alert Service Bulletin 429-18-41, dated July 24, 2018.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For service information identified  in this AD,  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 productsupport@bellflight.com; or at https://www.bellflight.com/
    support/contactsupport.

(4) 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.

(5) You may view this service information  that is incorporated  by refer-
    ence at the National  Archives and Records Administration  (NARA). For
    information on the availability of this material  at NARA,  email: fr.
    inspection@nara.gov,   or   go  to:  https://www.archives.gov/federal-
    register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued on August 26, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Stra-
tegic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,  Aircraft Certifi-
cation Service.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Darren Gassetto, Aerospace Engineer, COS
Program Management Section, FAA,  Operational Safety Branch,  Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590
telephone (516) 228-7323; email Darren.Gassetto@faa.gov.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0513; Project Identifier 2018-SW-116-AD; Amendment
39-21717; AD 2021-18-16]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited (Type
Certificate Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited)
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
certain Bell Textron Canada Limited (Bell) Model 429 helicopters. This
AD was prompted by reports of tail rotor gearbox assemblies found loose
on the gearbox support. This AD requires repetitive torque checks of
the tail rotor gearbox attachment hardware, and corrective action if
necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition
on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective November 1, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of November 1,
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 productsupport@bellflight.com; 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. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA,
call 817-222-5110. It is also available at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0513.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0513; 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: Darren Gassetto, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, FAA, Operational Safety Branch,
Compliance & Airworthiness Division, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410,
Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-7323; email
Darren.Gassetto@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bell Textron
Canada Limited (Bell) Model 429 helicopters. The NPRM published in the
Federal Register on June 28, 2021 (86 FR 33918). In the NPRM, the FAA
proposed to require repetitive torque checks of the tail rotor gearbox
attachment hardware, and corrective action if necessary. The NPRM was
prompted by Canadian AD CF-2018-35, dated December 19, 2018 (Canadian
AD CF-2018-35), issued by Transport Canada, which is the aviation
authority for Canada, to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Textron
Canada Limited Model 429 helicopters. Transport Canada advises that
there have been reports of tail rotor gearbox assemblies found loose on
the gearbox support. Transport Canada issued Emergency Canadian
Airworthiness Directive CF-2018-18, dated July 11, 2018, which
corresponds to FAA AD 2018-16-51, Amendment 39-19421 (83 FR 53171,
October 22, 2018), to address the immediate safety concern. An ongoing
investigation determined that this condition-loose tail rotor gearbox
assemblies-could return even after the corrective actions by the
previous AD have been completed. This condition, if not addressed,
could result in structural damage and possible loss of control of the
helicopter.
Accordingly, Canadian AD CF-2018-35 requires repetitive torque
checks of the tail rotor gearbox attachment hardware and corrective
actions if necessary. The corrective action is doing additional
repetitive torque checks at intervals of 10 to 25 hours air time until
the torque stabilizes on all the nuts.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive


Comments

The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of
the costs.

Conclusion

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
helicopters. Except for minor editorial changes, this AD is adopted as
proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Bell Alert Service Bulletin 429-18-41, dated July
24, 2018. This service information specifies procedures for repetitive
torque checks of the tail rotor gearbox attachment hardware.
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.

Differences Between This AD and the Transport Canada AD

Where Canadian AD CF-2018-35 refers to ``200-hour'' inspections and
``10 to 25 hours air time'' for the torque checks, for this AD use
``time-in-service'' instead.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 98 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

Action
Labor cost
Parts cost
Cost per product
Cost on U.S. operators
Torque check 1 work-hour x $85 per hour = $85
$0
$85
$8,330

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions that are required based on the results of any
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of
helicopters that might need these on-condition actions:

Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions

Action
Labor cost
Parts cost
Cost per product
Repetitive torque check 1 work-hour x $85 per hour = $85, per cycle
$0
$85, per 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.

Regulatory Findings

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
Order 12866,
(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
reference, Safety.

The Amendment

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
directive: