DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; Project Identifier AD-2021-00006-R;
Amendment 39-21740; AD 2021-20-02]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Inc. (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Bell Textron Inc. (type certificate previously held by Bell
Helicopter Textron Inc.) Model 205B helicopters. This AD was prompted
by a notification of certain parts needing a life limit. This AD
requires determining the total hours time-in-service (TIS) of certain
part-numbered main rotor grip assemblies (grip assemblies),
establishing a life limit for certain part-numbered grip assemblies,
removing from service any grip assembly that has reached or exceeded
its retirement life, creating a component history card, and removing
any grip assembly from service before reaching its retirement life.
This AD also prohibits installing certain grip assemblies unless the
life limit was established in accordance with this AD. The FAA is
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective October 28, 2021.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0454; 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, any
comments received, and other information. The 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: Kuethe Harmon, Safety Management
Program Manager, Certification & Program Management Section, DSCO
Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,
Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5198; email
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 Inc. Model
205B helicopters with grip assembly part number (P/N) 204-011-121-005,
P/N 204-011-121-113, or P/N 204-011-121-117 installed. The NPRM
published in the Federal Register on June 10, 2021 (86 FR 30824). The
NPRM was prompted by a notification from Bell of established life
limits for certain part numbered grip assemblies that were not included
in Chapter 4, Airworthiness Limitations Schedule (ALS) of Bell
Helicopter 205B Maintenance Manual BHT-205B-MM-1, Revision 1, dated
July 15, 1993. Bell states the life limit of 9,000 hours TIS for grip
assembly part number (P/N) 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-011-121-113, and P/
N 204-011-121-117 was left out of the ALS for Model 205B helicopters.
Bell states this may suggest that these part numbers have an unlimited
life when installed on Model 205B helicopters, whereas the retirement
life is 9,000 hours TIS. This condition, if not addressed, could result
in fatigue and failure of the grip assembly and loss of control of the
Accordingly, Bell specifies updating the existing ALS to establish
a life limit of 9,000 hours TIS for grip assembly P/N 204-011-121-005,
P/N 204-011-121-113, and P/N 204-011-121-117. The FAA is issuing this
AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received comments from one commenter. The following
presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response.
Request To Correct a Typographical Error
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency requested the FAA revise
references made to a certain grip assembly P/N, which is listed
incorrectly in two instances in the Background section of the NPRM. The
FAA agrees. The Background section of the NPRM contained two
typographical errors in which the FAA incorrectly stated the affected
grip assemblies with life limits omitted from the ALS for Model 205B
helicopters are grip assembly P/N 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-011-121-113,
and P/N 204-011-121-005. However, the affected grip assembly part
numbers are P/N 204-011-121-005, P/N 204-011-121-113, and P/N 204-011-
121-117. The FAA has revised the Background paragraph of this final
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 products. Except for
the minor editorial change described above, this AD is adopted as
proposed in the NPRM. This change, which corrects a typographical error
in the Background section of the NPRM, does not increase the scope of
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 2 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per
Determining the total hours TIS of each grip assembly and updating
the helicopter records takes about 1 work-hour for each grip assembly,
for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $170 for the U.S fleet.
Replacing each grip assembly takes about 16 work-hours and parts
cost about $50,000, for an estimated cost of $51,360 per grip assembly.
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 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