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2022-07-03 BELL TEXTRON INC.: Amendment 39-21990; Docket No. FAA-2021-0713; Project Identifier AD-2021-00180-R.
(a) EFFECTIVE DATE

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective April 27, 2022.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This  AD  applies  to  Bell Textron Inc.,  Model 412, 412EP, and 412CF
    helicopters, certificated in any category.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 2700, Flight Control Sys-
    tem.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted by  evaluation results showing flight loads  that
    impact the  collective lever  fatigue life  on helicopters  with a BLR
    Aerospace Strake and FastFin (Strake and FF) system installed. The FAA
    is issuing this AD to prevent fatigue damage and cracking, which could
    result  in  failure  of the  collective lever  and subsequent  loss of
    control of the helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified,  unless al-
    ready done.

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

(1) Within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this
    AD:

(i) For helicopters with a Strake and FF system part number (P/N) 412-705-
    040-101 installed since initial delivery from the manufacturer,  add a
    permanent penalty of 5,000 hours TIS to the total hours  TIS indicated
    on the component history card or equivalent record  for the collective
    lever P/N 412-010-408-101.

Note 1 to paragraph (g)(1)(i): Bell Helicopter service information identi-
fies helicopters with serial numbers 36570, 36579, 36587 and 36593 through
36602 inclusive, as being originally delivered with a Strake and FF system
installed and needing the flight hour  (hours TIS) penalty  on  collective
lever P/N 412-010-408-101 applied.

(ii) For  helicopters  with  Strake and FF system  P/N 412-705-040-101 in-
     stalled after delivery from the manufacturer,  calculate the TIS pen-
     alty for collective lever P/N 412-010-408-101  by  accomplishing  the
     following:

(A) Verify the component history card  or equivalent record of the collec-
    tive lever and note the total hours TIS.

(B) Determine the remaining hours TIS  by  subtracting the total hours TIS
    of the collective lever from its life limit of 10,000 total hours TIS.

(C) Divide the remaining time by 2  and  add  that  number to the existing
    total hours TIS. This is the new total TIS after being penalized.

(D) Enter the new total TIS  after  being  penalized from paragraph (g)(1)
    (ii)(C)  of this  AD  to  the  component history record  or equivalent
    record for the collective lever.

(2) Before  further  flight,  remove from service any collective lever P/N
    412-010-408-101 that has reached or exceeded its life limit of  10,000
    total hours TIS. Thereafter, remove from service each collective lever
    P/N 412-010-408-101  on or  before reaching  its life  limit of 10,000
    total hours TIS.

(3) As of the effective date of this AD,  do not install a new (zero total
    hours TIS) collective lever P/N 412-010-408-101 on any helicopter with
    Strake and FF system P/N 412-705-040-101 installed unless a penalty of
    5,000 hours TIS has been added to the total hours TIS on its component
    history card or equivalent record.

(4) As of the effective date of this AD,  do not install a used collective
    lever P/N 412-010-408-101 on any helicopter with Strake and FF  system
    P/N  412-705-040-101  installed  unless  a  penalty  is  calculated by
    accomplishing the actions required in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD.

(h) SPECIAL FLIGHT PERMITS

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

(i) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, DSCO 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  certification
    office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph
    (j) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ASW-190-COS@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.

(j) RELATED INFORMATION

    For more information about this AD,  contact Hye Yoon Jang,  Aerospace
    Engineer, Delegation Oversight Section, DSCO Branch, Compliance & Air-
    worthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,  Fort Worth, TX 76177;
    telephone (817) 222-5190; email hye.yoon.jang@faa.gov.

(k) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

    None.

Issued on March 16, 2022. Derek Morgan, Acting Director, Compliance & Air-
worthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Hye Yoon Jang, Aerospace Engineer, Dele-
gation Oversight Section, DSCO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5190;
email hye.yoon.jang@faa.gov.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0713; Project Identifier AD-2021-00180-R;
Amendment 39-21990; AD 2022-07-03]
RIN 2120-AA64

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) for
Bell Textron Inc., Model 412, 412EP, and 412CF helicopters. This AD was
prompted by evaluation results showing flight loads that impact the
collective lever fatigue life. This AD requires adding a permanent
hours time-in-service (TIS) penalty for certain collective levers and
prohibits installing those collective levers unless the permanent hours
TIS penalty has been added. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective April 27, 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 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 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-2021-0713; 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: Hye Yoon Jang, Aerospace Engineer,
Delegation Oversight Section, DSCO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness
Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone
(817) 222-5190; email hye.yoon.jang@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 Bell Textron Inc.,
Model 412, 412EP, and 412CF helicopters. The NPRM published in the
Federal Register on August 27, 2021 (86 FR 48078). The NPRM was
prompted by the results of an evaluation of BLR Aerospace Strake and
FastFin (Strake and FF) system part number (P/N) 412-705-040-101. The
NPRM stated that during the evaluation, additional flight loads were
recorded that impact the collective lever fatigue life. Accordingly,
the NPRM proposed to require adding a permanent life penalty for
affected collective levers and prohibit installing those collective
levers unless the permanent life penalty has been added. This
condition, if not addressed, could result in fatigue damage and
cracking, failure of the collective lever, and subsequent loss of
control of the helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

The FAA received comments from one commenter; Bell Textron, Inc.
The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's
response to each comment.

Request for a Change to Nomenclature

Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA revise the penalty
nomenclature from ``life penalty'' to ``flight hour penalty''
throughout the AD action. Bell Textron, Inc., stated that the penalty
is only applied to hours TIS and that the life remains unchanged.
The FAA partially agrees. The FAA agrees to changing the
nomenclature; however, the nomenclature typically used in rotorcraft
FAA AD actions for domestic products is ``hours TIS'' (or ``total hours
TIS'') instead of flight hours (or total flight hours). The FAA has
revised that nomenclature accordingly in this final rule.

Request for a Change to the Description of What Prompted This AD

Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA clarify the description of
what prompted this AD; specifically that during the evaluation, the
additional flight loads that impact the collective lever fatigue life is for helicopters
with the Strake and FF system installed.
The FAA agrees and has revised this final rule accordingly.

Request for Changes to the Preamble

Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA make revisions to the
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM section.
The FAA acknowledges this comment; however, because this section
does not exist in a final rule after an NPRM, the commenter's request
does not apply.
Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA make revisions to the
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information
section.
The FAA acknowledges this comment; however, the specified
difference has been deleted because of a certain other change. In light
of this, the commenter's request no longer applies.

Requests for Changes to the Notes

Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA revise Note 1 to paragraph
(g)(1)(i) to clarify that the specified serial-numbered helicopters
require the flight hour (hours TIS) penalty after delivery.
The FAA partially agrees. The FAA agrees to clarify that the
specified serial numbers are identified as needing the penalty applied.
Accordingly, the FAA has revised Note 1 to paragraph (g)(1)(i) in this
final rule to identify the specified serial numbers as being originally
delivered with a Strake and FF system installed and needing the flight
hour (hours TIS) penalty on collective lever P/N 412-010-408-101
applied.
Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA delete Note 2 to paragraph
(g)(1)(ii) because it would be redundant with incorporation of changes
to the required actions it requested pertaining to helicopters with a
Strake and FF system P/N 412-705-040-101 installed after delivery from
the manufacturer.
The FAA agrees and has deleted Note 2 to paragraph (g)(1)(ii) in
this final rule.

Requests for Changes to the Required Actions

Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA make changes to the penalty
calculation requirement for helicopters with a Strake and FF system P/N
412-705-040-101 installed after delivery from the manufacturer because
the calculation needs to provide the remaining time for those affected
collective levers.
The FAA agrees and has revised that requirement in this final rule.
Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA delete the penalty
requirement for helicopters without a Strake and FF system P/N 412-705-
040-101 installed because the evaluation results did not show grounds
for a flight hour penalty for those helicopters, and according to Bell
Textron, Inc., requiring the penalty would create unreasonable economic
losses resulting from premature replacement of the collective lever.
The FAA agrees and has revised this final rule accordingly.
Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA revise the prohibition of
installing a new (zero total hours TIS) collective lever P/N 412-010-
408-101 to clarify that the prohibition requirement is for helicopters
with a Strake and FF system P/N 412-705-040-101 installed because a
penalty of 5,000 hours TIS is not justified for a new (zero total hours
TIS) collective lever P/N 412-010-408-101 installed on a baseline
configuration aircraft (without a Strake and FF system).
The FAA agrees and has revised this final rule accordingly.
Bell Textron, Inc., requested the FAA delete the prohibition of
installing a used collective lever P/N 412-010-408-101 due to flight
evaluation results that do not support flight hour penalty to the
collective lever PN 412-010-408-101 on a baseline configuration.
The FAA agrees and has revised this final rule accordingly.

Conclusion

The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered any comments
received, 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, and
any other changes described previously, this AD is adopted as proposed
in the NPRM. None of the changes will increase the economic burden on
any operator.

Related Service Information

The FAA reviewed Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 412-12-151,
Revision A, dated July 8, 2014. This service information specifies
procedures for adding a permanent flight hour (hours TIS) penalty for
collective levers installed or previously installed on helicopters with
a Strake and FF system P/N 412-705-040-101.

Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

The service information specifies adding the permanent life penalty
at the next scheduled inspection, whereas this AD requires that action
within 50 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD instead.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 96 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 AD.
Replacing a collective lever takes about 2 work-hours and parts
cost about $18,237, for an estimated cost of $18,407 per helicopter and
up to $1,767,072 for the U.S. fleet.

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.

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: