DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-1658; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-01597-R;
Amendment 39-22293; AD 2022-27-08]
Airworthiness Directives; Bell Textron Canada Limited Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 407 helicopters. This AD was
prompted by an accident. This AD requires inspecting the tailboom attachment
structure, as specified in a Transport Canada AD, which is incorporated
by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective January 12, 2023.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 12,
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by February 13, 2023.
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 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.
AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2022-1658; 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 listed above.
Material Incorporated by Reference:
For Transport Canada material that is incorporated by
reference in this final rule, contact Transport Canada, Transport
Canada National Aircraft Certification, 159 Cleopatra Drive, Nepean,
Ontario, K1A 0N5, CANADA; telephone 888-663-3639; email
internet tc.canada.ca/en/aviation. You may find the Transport Canada
material on the Transport Canada website at tc.canada.ca/en/aviation.
You may view this material 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
regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2022-1658.
Other Related Service Information: For Bell 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 bellflight.com/support/contact-support.
You may also view this service information at the FAA contact
information under Material Incorporated by Reference above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Bradley, Program Manager,
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email email@example.com.
Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, has
issued Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68, dated December 15, 2022
(Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68), following issuance of National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Aviation Accident Preliminary Report
Number ANC22FA041, to correct an unsafe condition for certain serial-
numbered Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 407 helicopters.
This AD was prompted by an accident. The FAA is issuing this AD to
address failure of the tailboom attachment hardware. See Transport
Canada AD CF-2022-68 for additional background information.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 requires checking (inspecting) the
torque on the tailboom attachment nuts and depending on the results,
replacing parts with new parts and stabilizing the torque. Transport
Canada AD CF-2022-68 also requires a detailed visual inspection of the
existing sealant application of the aft fuselage attachment fittings
and depending on the results, removing the sealant, accomplishing a
detailed visual inspection of the tailboom attachment structure
(fittings, aft frames, aft fuselage bulkhead, aft section of the canted
web, tailboom canted bulkhead, and upper and lower tailboom longerons),
repair, and reapplying sealant. If the detailed visual inspection of
the tailboom attachment structure was not required as a result of the
existing sealant application inspection, Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68
also requires accomplishing the detailed visual inspection of the
tailboom attachment structure and depending on the results, repair.
Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 prohibits installing a tailboom until
inspection of the security of the shims on the forward face of the
tailboom bulkhead and elongation of the four bolt holes in the tailboom
and fuselage fittings, and any repair, is accomplished. Lastly,
Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 requires reporting information to Bell.
This material 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.
Other Related Service Information
The FAA also reviewed Bell Alert Service Bulletin 407-22-128, dated
December 8, 2022. This service information specifies procedures for
checking (inspecting) the torque of the aft fuselage attachment nuts
and depending on the results, replacing parts with new parts, retaining
the removed parts for further investigation by Bell, stabilizing the
torque, applying corrosion preventive compound, and recording
information. This service information also specifies, using a powerful
light and mirror, inspecting the existing sealant application of the
aft fuselage attachment fittings and depending on the results, removing
the sealant, accomplishing a detailed visual inspection of the tailboom
attachment structure (fittings, the aft frames, aft fuselage bulkhead,
aft section of the canted web, the tailboom canted bulkhead, and upper
and lower longerons), repair, reapplying sealant, and recording
information. For tailbooms that are not installed on a helicopter, this
service information specifies procedures for ensuring that the four
shims are securely bonded in position on the forward face of the
tailboom bulkhead, examining the four bolt holes in the tailboom and
fuselage fittings for elongation, discarding certain removed parts,
examining certain other parts, replacing parts, and recording
information. Lastly, this service information specifies procedures for
reporting the previously recorded information to Bell.
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 is issuing this AD after evaluating all
pertinent information and determining that the unsafe condition exists
and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type
Requirements of This AD
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in Transport
Canada AD CF-2022-68, described previously, as IBRed, except for any
differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD
and except as discussed under ``Differences Between this AD and the
Transport Canada AD.''
Explanation of Required Compliance Information
In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD
process, the FAA developed a process to use some civil aviation
authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance
with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been
coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result,
Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 is IBRed in this FAA final rule. This
AD, therefore, requires compliance with Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68
in its entirety through that incorporation, except for any differences
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD. Using
common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular section
in Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 does not mean that operators need
comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement
refers to ``all required actions and compliance times,'' compliance
with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled
``Corrective Actions'' in Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68. Service
information referenced in Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 for compliance
will be available at regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2022-1658
after this final rule is published.
Differences Between This AD and the Transport Canada AD
Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 requires torque checks, whereas this
AD requires torque inspections because those actions must be
accomplished by a mechanic that meets the requirements of 14 CFR part
65 subpart D. Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 requires retaining removed
parts for further investigation by Bell, whereas this AD does not
include that requirement. However, operators may choose to retain the
parts for further investigation by Bell as this AD does not prohibit an
operator from doing so. Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 does not specify
the compliance time to accomplish the repetitive (stabilization) torque
checks (inspections) in its AD, whereas this AD does. Transport Canada
AD CF-2022-68 requires contacting Bell Product Support Engineering for
a repair or instructions to rectify any defect, whereas this AD
requires a repair done in accordance with a certain approval. Lastly,
Transport Canada AD CF-2022-68 specifies to report inspection results
within 30 days, whereas this AD requires reporting inspection results
within 10 days instead.
The FAA considers this AD interim action. If final action is later
identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because the tailboom attachment hardware was involved in an accident
where the tailboom attachment hardware failed during flight, resulting
in the tailboom separating from the helicopter and loss of control of
the helicopter. Failure of the tailboom attachment hardware could occur
during any phase of flight without any previous indication. As the FAA
has no information pertaining to the extent of this condition of the
tailboom attachment hardware that may currently exist in helicopters or
how quickly the condition may propagate to failure, the compliance time
to complete the required inspections is within 25 hours time-in-service
or 30 days, whichever occurs first, which is shorter than the time
necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the final
rule. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are
impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C.
In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days,
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2022-1658; Project Identifier MCAI-
2022-01597-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The
agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this final rule.
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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Kristi
Bradley, Program Manager, COS Program Management Section, Operational
Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket
for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 839 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
Torque inspecting the tailboom attachment hardware, and visually
inspecting the sealant and the tailboom attachment structure takes
about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and
$142,630 for the U.S. fleet. If required, replacing a bolt and nut set
takes about 2 work-hours and parts cost about $170 for an estimated
cost of $340 per replacement. Stabilizing the torque takes about 1
work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per instance. The FAA has no
data to determine the costs to accomplish approved repairs. Reporting
information takes about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per
helicopter and $71,315 for the U.S. fleet.
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 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 currently 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 be
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.
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, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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