DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0286; Project Identifier AD-2021-01081-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited (Type
Certificate Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for Bell Textron Canada Limited (type certificate previously held by
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited) Model 206L, 206L-1, 206L-3, and
206L-4 helicopters with a certain part-numbered main rotor (M/R) blade
installed under Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SR02684LA. This
proposed AD was prompted by delamination of M/R blades. This proposed
AD would require a repetitive inspection for delamination, and
depending on the results, removing the M/R blade from service and
reporting certain information. The FAA is proposing this AD to address
the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by May
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 Avenue 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 NPRM, contact Van Horn
Aviation, L.L.C., ATTN: Dean Rosenlof, 1510 West Drake Drive, Tempe, AZ
85283; telephone (480) 483-4202; email email@example.com. 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-2022-0286; 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 NPRM, any comments
received, and other information. The street address for Docket
Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Jarzomb, Aerospace Engineer,
Airframe Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness
Division, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712; telephone
(562) 627-5234; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2022-0286; Project Identifier
AD-2021-01081-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 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 proposal 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 NPRM.
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 NPRM 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 NPRM, 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 NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Peter
Jarzomb, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch,
Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd.,
Lakewood, CA 90712; telephone (562) 627-5234; 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.
The FAA proposes to adopt a new AD for Bell Textron Canada Limited
(type certificate previously held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada
Limited) Model 206L, 206L-1, 206L-3, and 206L-4 helicopters with a
certain serial-numbered M/R blade part number (P/N) 20633000-101
installed under STC SR02684LA. Testing by Van Horn Aviation, L.L.C.,
revealed the potential for delamination in M/R blade P/N 20633000-101.
Delaminations were then confirmed by inspection of in-service M/R
blades. Testing by Van Horn Aviation, L.L.C., has confirmed that the
90[deg] plies fail in spanwise tension (normal to the fiber direction)
at the inboard end of the weight receptacle near M/R blade station
186.0. Delamination then propagates outboard from M/R blade station
186.0 at the interface between the 0[deg] and 90[deg] plies. According
to Van Horn Aviation, L.L.C., fatigue testing has shown that the
delamination initiates almost immediately and progresses slowly.
Thereafter, the delamination grows more slowly in a stable, predictable
manner. The delamination has been found to develop first on the lower
surface and grow outboard from the inboard end of the weight receptacle
and forward of the balance weight pocket. After approximately 4 to 6
inches growth of the delamination on the lower surface, a similar
delamination becomes detectable on the M/R blade upper surface. Should
the delaminations continue to grow to the point of static overload, the
receptacle could depart the M/R blade.
Accordingly, this proposed AD would require a repetitive inspection
for delamination, and depending on the results, removing the M/R blade
from service and reporting certain information. This condition, if not
addressed, could result in reduced structural integrity of the M/R
blade, excessive vibration, and subsequent loss of control of the
The FAA is issuing this NPRM after determining that the unsafe
condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other
products of the same type design.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Van Horn Aviation, L.L.C., Service Bulletin Notice
No. 33000-4R3, dated November 8, 2021 (SB 33000-4R3). This service
information specifies procedures to identify ``Zone 1'' and ``Zone 2''
inspection areas, accomplish repetitive visual and tap inspections of
the zones to detect and monitor the growth of any delamination, and
depending on the results, removing the M/R blade from service and
contacting Van Horn Aviation, L.L.C.
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 ADDRESSES.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require, at specified intervals, removing
the affected M/R blade, drawing rectangular inspection areas ``Zone 1''
and ``Zone 2'' with a permanent marker, tap inspecting the inspection
areas for delamination, marking and measuring the length of any
delamination, and depending on the results, removing the M/R blade from
service. This proposed AD would also require reporting certain
information to Van Horn Aviation, L.L.C.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information
This proposed AD would apply to additional M/R blades, serial
numbers A007, A008, and A009, that are not identified in SB 33000-4R3
as the FAA has determined that those serial-numbered blades are subject
to the same unsafe condition. The proposed AD would require using
certain part-numbered composite tap hammers, whereas SB 33000-4R3 does
not. SB 33000-4R3 specifies procedures to visually inspect the M/R
blade, whereas this proposed AD would not. If there is any delamination
in the upper surface inspection zone (``Zone 1''), this proposed AD
would require removing the M/R blade from service, whereas SB 33000-4R3
does not specify procedures for this condition.
The FAA considers that this proposed AD could be an interim action.
The inspection reports that would be required by this AD will enable
the FAA to obtain better insight into the unsafe condition. If final
action is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 23 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 this proposed AD.
Removing, tap inspecting, and re-installing an M/R blade would take
about 4.5 work-hours for an estimated cost of $383 per M/R blade, per
inspection cycle and up to $8,809 for the U.S. fleet per M/R blade, per
inspection cycle. Replacing an M/R blade would take about 4 work-hours
and parts would cost about $71,500 per M/R blade for a total of $71,840
per M/R blade. Reporting information to Van Horn Aviation, L.L.C.,
would take about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per report.
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of
information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB
Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public
reporting for this collection of information is estimated to take
approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the
collection of information. All responses to this collection of
information are mandatory. Send comments regarding this burden estimate
or any other aspect of this collection of information, including
suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Information Collection
Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood
Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.
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.
The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 this proposed
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would 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
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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