DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0006; Project Identifier AD-2021-01298-R;
Amendment 39-21989; AD 2022-07-02]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell 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. Model 205A, 205A-1, 205B, 210, 212, 412,
412CF, and 412EP helicopters with a certain part-numbered tailboom left
hand fin spar cap (spar cap) installed. This AD was prompted by reports
of cracked spar caps. This AD requires inspecting each spar cap and
depending on the inspection results, removing the spar cap from
service. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on
DATES: This AD is effective May 9, 2022.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of May 9, 2022.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Bell Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101, United
States; phone: (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272;
email email@example.com; 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) 222-5110. It is
also available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0006.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0006; 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: Ameet Shrotriya, Aviation Safety
Engineer, DSCO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524; phone: (817) 222-5525;
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain serial-numbered
Bell Textron Inc. Model 205A, 205A-1, 205B, 210, 212, 412, 412CF, and
412EP helicopters with a spar cap part number 212-030-447-117
installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 21,
2022 (87 FR 3244). The NPRM was prompted by multiple reports of fatigue
cracking in the spar caps. Metallurgical lab reports identified that
the cracks originate at the rivet holes, possibly from mechanical
damage caused during deburring. In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to
require inspecting each spar cap and depending on the inspection
results, removing the spar cap from service before further flight. The
FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of
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
minor editorial changes, this AD is adopted as proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed the following Bell Alert Service Bulletins, each
dated April 15, 2020 (ASB):
ASB 205-20-116 for Model 205A and 205A-1 helicopters,
serial numbers (S/N) 30001 through 30065, 30067 through 30165, 30167
through 30187, 30189 through 30296, and 30298 through 30332;
ASB 205B-20-69 for Model 205B helicopters, S/N 30066,
30166, 30188, and 30297;
ASB 210-20-13 for all serial-numbered Model 210
ASB 212-20-162 for Model 212 helicopters, S/N 30502
through 30603, 30611 through 30999, 31101 through 31311, 32101 through
32142, and 35001 through 35103;
ASB 412-20-180 for Model 412 and 412EP helicopters, S/N
33001 through 33213, 34001 through 34036, 36001 through 36999, 37002
through 37999, 38001 through 38999, and 39101 through 39999; and
ASB 412CF-20-67 for Model 412CF helicopters, S/N 46400
Bell received a report of a fractured fin spar cap that occurred at
vertical fin station (F.S.) 71 through the first rivet hole attaching
the skin to the spar cap. Bell states that if undetected, the spar
cap cracking may lead to additional structural damage. Each ASB
specifies procedures for inspecting both flanges of the spar cap
between F.S. 50 and F.S. 71 for cracks, loose rivets, and other damage
using a 10x magnifying glass and flashlight and inspecting the exterior
of the fin skin where it contacts the spar cap for cracks, loose
rivets, and/or distortion. If no cracks or other damage are found, each
ASB specifies returning the helicopter to service; if a crack or other
damage is found, each ASB specifies contacting Bell's Product Support
Engineering before further flight. Additionally, each ASB specifies
that these inspections are to be accomplished within the next 100
flight hours or 90 days after the ASB's release, whichever occurs
first, and every 100 flight hours thereafter.
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.
The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. The design
approval holder may develop a modification that will address the unsafe
condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed,
approved, and available, the FAA might consider additional rulemaking.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 226 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD,
using an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour.
Each inspection takes about 1 work-hour, and there are no parts
costs, for an estimated cost of $85 per inspection and $19,210 for the
U.S. fleet per inspection cycle. Replacing a spar cap, if required,
takes about 50 work-hours and parts costs about $2,000, for an
estimated cost of $6,250 per spar cap replacement.
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