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PROPOSED AD BELL TEXTRON INC., AND VARIOUS RESTRICTED CATEGORY HELICOPTERS: Docket No. FAA-2022-0802; Project Identifier AD-2021-01094-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive  (AD) by
    August 15, 2022.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies  to  the  following helicopters  with main rotor blade
    (MRB) part number 204-011-250-001, -005, -009, -113 or -117 installed:

(1) Bell Textron Inc.  Model 204B helicopters,  serial numbers  (S/N) 2001
    through 2070 and 2196 through 2199,  inclusive,  certificated  in  any
    category;

(2) Bell Textron Inc. Model 205A and 205A-1 helicopters, S/N 30001 through
    30332, inclusive, certificated in any category; and

(3) Various restricted category helicopters:

(i) Model HH-1K helicopters; current type certificate holders include, but
    are not limited to, Rotorcraft Development Corporation;

(ii) Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc.,  Model SW205A-1 heli-
     copters;

(iii) Model TH-1F helicopters;  current  type certificate holders include,
      but are not limited to, Robinson Air Crane Inc.; Rotorcraft Develop-
      ment Corporation; and Tamarack Helicopters, Inc.;

(iv) Model TH-1L helicopters;  current  type certificate holders  include,
     but are not limited to, Bell Textron Inc.; Overseas Aircraft Support,
     Inc.; and Rotorcraft Development Corporation;

(v) Model UH-1A helicopters; current type certificate holders include, but
    are not limited to, Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc.;

(vi) Model UH-1B helicopters;  current  type certificate holders  include,
     but are not limited to, International Helicopters, Inc; Overseas Air-
     craft Support, Inc; Red Tail Flying Services, LLC; Richards Heavylift
     Helo, Inc; Rotorcraft Development Corporation; Southwest Florida Avi-
     ation International, Inc.; and WSH, LLC  (type certificate previously
     held by San Joaquin Helicopters);

Note 1 to paragraph (c)(3)(vi):  Helicopters with an SW204 or SW204HP des-
ignation are Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc.,  Model  UH-1B
helicopters.

(vii) Model UH-1E helicopters;  current type certificate holders  include,
      but are not limited to, Bell Textron Inc; Overseas Aircraft Support,
      Inc.; Rotorcraft Development Corporation; Smith Helicopters and West
      Coast Fabrications;

(viii) Model UH-1F helicopters;  current type certificate holders include,
       but are not limited to, AST, Inc.; California Department of Forest-
       ry;  Robinson Air Crane, Inc.;  Rotorcraft Development Corporation;
       and Tamarack Helicopters, Inc.;

(ix) Model UH-1H helicopters;  current  type certificate holders  include,
     but are not limited to, Arrow Falcon Exporters, Inc.; Global Helicop-
     ter Technology, Inc.;  Hagglund Helicopters, LLC;  JJASPP Engineering
     Services LLC;  Northwest Rotorcraft, LLC;  Overseas Aircraft Support,
     Inc.; Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc.;  Rotorcraft Development Corpora-
     tion;  Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc.;  and  Tamarack
     Helicopters, Inc.;

Note 2 to paragraph (c)(3)(ix):  Helicopters with an SW205 designation are
Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc., Model UH-1H helicopters.

(x) Model UH-1L helicopters; current type certificate holders include, but
    are not limited to, Bell Textron Inc.; Overseas Aircraft Support, Inc;
    and Rotorcraft Development Corporation; and

(xi) Model UH-1P helicopters;  current  type certificate holders  include,
     but  are  not limited to,  Robinson Air Crane, Inc.;  and  Rotorcraft
     Development Corporation.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 6210, Main rotor blades.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted by a report of cracks on the MRBs  outside of the
    current inspection area.  The FAA is issuing  this  AD  to  prevent  a
    failure of an MRB.  The unsafe condition,  if not addressed, could re-
    sult in loss of an MRB and subsequent loss of control  of the helicop-
    ter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

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

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

(1) As of the effective date of this AD,  before the first flight  of each
    day:

(i) Using cheesecloth, clean the upper and lower skin surfaces of each MRB
    in  the  area  between  blade stations  100  through  215,  noting any
    unsmooth areas and paying attention  to the trailing edge and  any MRB
    surface which snag the cheesecloth or cause it to fray, as this may by
    an indication of a crack or paint chip that could lead to corrosion.

(ii) If there is any unsmooth area or the cheesecloth  used  to  clean the
     MRB is snagged or frayed, remove paint from the area that is unsmooth
     or caused the snagging or fraying (affected area) by hand sanding  in
     a  spanwise direction  with  an  abrasive cloth  or sandpaper  220 or
     smoother grit and either:

(A) Visually inspect the affected area for any crack using a 10X or higher
    power magnifying glass  with a flashlight  applied at an oblique angle
    and perpendicular to the crack orientation; or

(B) Eddy current inspect  the affected area  for any crack using a surface
    probe.

(iii) If there is any crack,  before  further flight,  remove the MRB from
      service.

(2) As of the effective date  of this AD,  at  intervals  not to exceed 25
    hours time-in-service, prepare  the upper and  lower skin surfaces  of
    each MRB for inspection  by wiping the last  4 inches of the  trailing
    edge  between  blade  station 100  and 215  with an  isopropyl alcohol
    -soaked cloth and then drying the area with a clean cloth. Immediately
    after drying the area, using a flashlight at an oblique angle, inspect
    the surface  for a  dark line,  as this  is an  indication that excess
    isopropyl alcohol is bleeding out of a crack or edge void. If there is
    a dark line, remove paint from the area where there is a dark line  by
    hand  sanding  in  a  spanwise direction  with  an  abrasive  cloth or
    sandpaper 220 or smoother grit and inspect for a crack in the skin. If
    there  is  any  crack,  before further  flight,  remove  the  MRB from
    service.

(h) 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
    (i) 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.

(i) 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.

Issued on June 23, 2022. Ross Landes, Deputy Director for Regulatory Oper-
ations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,  Aircraft Certification Serv-
ice.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments  on this  proposed AD  by  August 15,
2022.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2022-0802; Project Identifier AD-2021-01094-R]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Inc. Helicopters and
Various Restricted Category Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD)
for certain Bell Textron Inc. Model 204B, 205A, and 205A-1 helicopters
and various restricted category helicopters. This proposed AD was
prompted by a report of cracked main rotor blades (MRBs). This proposed
AD would require repetitive inspections of each MRB and removing any
cracked MRB from service. 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 August 15,
2022.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions
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 Bell
Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX, 76101, United States;
phone: (800) 363-8023; website: https://www.bellflight.com/support/.
You may view this referenced 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-2022-0802; 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: 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:

Comments Invited

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-2022-0802; Project Identifier
AD-2021-01094-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 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. Any commentary that the FAA receives
which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the
public docket for this rulemaking.

Background

The FAA proposes to adopt a new AD for certain Bell Textron Inc.,
Model 204B, 205A, and 205A-1 helicopters and the following restricted
category helicopters:
Model HH-1K helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, Rotorcraft Development Corporation;
Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc., Model
SW205A-1 helicopters;
Model TH-1F helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, Robinson Air Crane Inc.; Rotorcraft
Development Corporation; and Tamarack Helicopters, Inc.;
Model TH-1L helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, Bell Textron Inc.; Overseas Aircraft
Support, Inc.; and Rotorcraft Development Corporation;
Model UH-1A helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc.;
Model UH-1B helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, International Helicopters, Inc.;
Overseas Aircraft Support, Inc.; Red Tail Flying Services, LLC;
Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc.; Rotorcraft Development Corporation;
Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc. (helicopters with an
SW204 or SW204HP designation are Southwest Florida Aviation
International, Inc., Model UH-1B helicopters); and WSH, LLC (type
certificate previously held by San Joaquin Helicopters);
Model UH-1E helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, Bell Textron Inc.; Overseas Aircraft
Support, Inc.; Rotorcraft Development Corporation; Smith Helicopters;
and West Coast Fabrications;
Model UH-1F helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, AST, Inc.; California Department of
Forestry; Robinson Air Crane, Inc.; Rotorcraft Development Corporation;
and Tamarack Helicopters, Inc.;
Model UH-1H helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, Arrow Falcon Exporters Inc.; Global
Helicopter Technology, Inc.; Hagglund Helicopters, LLC; JJASPP
Engineering Services, LLC; Northwest Rotorcraft, LLC; Overseas Aircraft
Support, Inc.; Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc.; Rotorcraft Development
Corporation; Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc.
(helicopters with an SW205 designation are Southwest Florida Aviation
International, Inc., Model UH-1H helicopters); and Tamarack
Helicopters, Inc.;
Model UH-1L helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, Bell Textron Inc.; Overseas Aircraft
Support, Inc.; and Rotorcraft Development Corporation; and
Model UH-1P helicopters; current type certificate holders
include, but are not limited to, Robinson Air Crane, Inc.; and
Rotorcraft Development Corporation.
The FAA received reports of chordwise cracks in MRB part number (P/
N) 204-011-250-113. The cracks originated from the extreme trailing
edge between blade station 190 and 210; this area is currently not
inspected during routine maintenance. This condition, if not addressed,
could result in failure of an MRB and subsequent loss of control of the
helicopter.

FAA's Determination

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

The FAA reviewed the following Bell Alert Service Bulletins (ASBs),
each Revision A and dated October 12, 2018, and for helicopters with
MRB P/N 204-011-250-001, -005, -009, -113, or -117:
Bell ASB 204-96-49 for Model 204B helicopters, serial
numbers (S/N) 2001 through 2070 and 2196 through 2199 and
Bell ASB 205-96-67 for Model 205A and 205A-1 helicopters,
S/N 30001 through 30332.
The FAA also reviewed Bell ASB UH-1H-18-20, dated October 23, 2018,
for all Model UH-IH helicopters with MRB P/N 204-011-250-113 installed.
These service bulletins specify procedures for daily wipe down
inspections and 25-hour inspections of the MRBs for cracks.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would require, before the first flight of each
day, cleaning certain areas of the upper and lower skin surfaces of
each MRB with a cheesecloth. If the cheesecloth is snagged or frayed
while cleaning an MRB, removing paint from the area that caused the
snagging and then either visually or eddy current inspecting the area
for a crack would be required. This proposed AD would also require, at
intervals not to exceed 25 hours time-in-service, wiping each MRB with
isopropyl alcohol and immediately after the blade dries, inspecting the
area for a dark line, which is an indication that excess alcohol is
bleeding out of a crack or edge void. If there is a dark line, removing
paint from the area where there is a dark line and inspecting for a
crack in the skin would be required. Finally, this proposed AD would
require removing from service any cracked MRB.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 682 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.
Each MRB inspection would take about .5 work-hour and parts would
cost $50 for an estimated cost of $93 per helicopter and $63,426 for
the U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle.
Replacing an MRB, if required, would take about 10 work-hours and
parts would cost about $157,815 per blade for an estimated cost of
$158,665 per MRB 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.

Regulatory Findings

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
regulation:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866,
(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
reference, Safety.

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
directive: