DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-1178; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00986-R;
Amendment 39-21986; AD 2022-06-20]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited (Type
Certificate Previously Held by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020-20-
06, which applied to certain Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited
(now Bell Textron Canada Limited) Model 429 helicopters. AD 2020-20-06
required repetitive inspections of certain cyclic and collective
assembly bearings. This AD was prompted by new bellcrank assemblies,
which have been upgraded with corrosion resistant steel bearings. This
AD retains certain requirements of AD 2020-20-06, and depending on the
inspection results, requires removing certain parts from service and
installing the upgraded cyclic and collective bellcrank
assemblies. This AD also requires installing the upgraded collective
and cyclic bellcrank assemblies on certain helicopters if not already
installed, and prohibits installing certain bellcrank assemblies. The
FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
DATES: This AD is effective April 26, 2022.
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 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)
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1178; 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
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: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY
11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; email email@example.com.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2020-20-06, Amendment 39-21262 (85 FR
60356, September 25, 2020) (AD 2020-20-06). AD 2020-20-06 applied to
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Model 429 helicopters with a
bellcrank assembly part number (P/N) 429-001-523-101, 429-001-523-103,
429-001-532-101, or 429-001-532-103 installed. The NPRM published in
the Federal Register on January 14, 2022 (87 FR 2362). In the NPRM, the
FAA proposed to retain some of the requirements of AD 2020-20-06, and
proposed to require, for certain serial-numbered helicopters, within 12
months after the helicopter was manufactured or 30 days, whichever
occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6 months,
disconnecting certain parts, stowing certain parts to prevent binding,
and moving the cyclic stick and the collective stick to inspect for
roughness in the flight control system and binding in the collective,
lateral, and longitudinal arm assemblies. If any of these conditions
exist, the NPRM proposed to require, before further flight, removing
certain parts from service and installing upgraded bellcrank
Additionally, the NPRM proposed to require, for certain serial-
numbered helicopters that do not have the upgraded bellcrank assemblies
installed, within 24 months, installing the upgraded bellcrank
assemblies, which would provide a terminating action for the recurring
inspections. Finally, the NPRM proposed to prohibit installing any
affected bellcrank assembly on any helicopter.
The NPRM was prompted by Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3, dated
August 30, 2021 (Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3), issued by Transport
Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, to correct an
unsafe condition for Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 429 helicopters,
all serial numbers. Transport Canada advises of new collective and
cyclic bellcrank assemblies which have been upgraded with corrosion
resistant steel bearings. This condition, if not addressed, could
result in restrictions in the collective, directional, or pitch control
systems, and subsequent loss of helicopter control.
Accordingly, Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3 requires for certain
serial-numbered helicopters, within 12 months from the helicopter
manufacture date, or for helicopters that have exceeded the age
threshold of 12 months from the helicopter manufacturer date, within 30
days, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6 months, performing a
functional check of the flight controls to detect roughness in the
pivot bearings and binding of the collective, lateral, or longitudinal
arm end bearings of the bellcrank assemblies. If any roughness or
binding is detected, Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3 requires
replacement of each affected bellcrank assembly before further flight.
Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3 also requires, within 24 months,
installing the upgraded collective and cyclic bellcrank assemblies and
considers this action a terminating action to the recurring
inspections. Finally, Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3 prohibits an
affected bellcrank assembly from being installed on any helicopter.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of
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. This AD is adopted as proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Bell Technical Bulletin 429-18-58, Revision B,
dated August 23, 2021 (TB 429-18-58 Rev B), which specifies procedures
to upgrade certain part-numbered bellcrank assemblies to the bellcrank
assemblies that utilize the corrosion resistant steel bearings.
The FAA also reviewed Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429-
15-21, Revision C, dated August 23, 2021 (ASB 429-15-21 Rev C), which
specifies moving the cyclic stick fore, aft, and laterally, and the
collective stick up and down from stop to stop to detect deteriorated
pivot bearings. ASB 429-15-21 Rev C also specifies inspecting to
determine whether the bearings in the collective, lateral, and
longitudinal arm assemblies rotate freely. If discrepant arm bearings
are found, ASB 429-15-21 Rev C specifies contacting Bell Product
Support Engineering to report the findings and replacing the discrepant
parts with serviceable parts.
Differences Between This AD and Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3
Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3 provides requirements if the most
recent functional check was performed using a hydraulic test stand as
an alternate procedure. This AD provides no such alternate procedure.
Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3 provides requirements for helicopters
that have exceeded the age threshold of 12 months from the helicopter
manufacturer date to complete the initial functional check within 30
days from the effective date of its AD. This AD requires the initial
inspection within 12 months after the helicopter was manufactured or 30
days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.
Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3 allows credit for the corrective
actions of Part I if the initial functional check was accomplished
prior to the effective date of Transport Canada AD CF-2016-11R3,
whereas this AD does not.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 64 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
Inspecting the cyclic and the collective bellcrank assemblies for
roughness in the pivot bearings and binding in the collective, lateral,
and longitudinal arm end bearings takes about 3 work-hours for an
estimated cost of $255 per inspection cycle.
Installing the upgraded collective and cyclic bellcrank assemblies
takes about 18 work-hours and parts cost about $1,750 for an estimated
cost of $3,280 per upgrade installation.
The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate.
According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this AD
may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2020-20-06, Amendment 39-21262 (85
FR 60356, September 25, 2020); and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: