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PROPOSED AD SIKORSKY AIRCRAFT CORPORATION: Docket No. FAA-2023-0018; Project Identifier AD-2022-00883-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA  must receive  comments on  this airworthiness  directive (AD)
    action by March 3, 2023.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    This AD replaces AD 2022-02-01,Amendment 39-21898 (87 FR 2316, January
    14, 2022) (AD 2022-02-01).

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation  Model S-92A helicop-
    ters, certificated in any category, with a main rotor stationary swash
    -plate assembly (swashplate assembly)  part number  (P/N) 92104-15011-
    042 or P/N 92104-15011-043 installed.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)  Code:  6230,  Main Rotor Mast/
    Swashplate.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD  was prompted  by the discovery  of a crack  on the swashplate
    assembly inner ring.  The FAA is issuing this AD to detect cracks that
    could result in fretting wear on the shoulder that supports the clamp-
    up of the uniball outer race.  The unsafe condition, if not addressed,
    could result in failure of the swashplate assembly and subsequent loss
    of control of the helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

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

(g) DEFINITION

    For the purposes of this AD, a "suspected crack" is a nick, scratch or
     crack in the paint  or  primer that includes observable metallic base
     material.

(h) REQUIRED ACTIONS

(1) For helicopters with swashplate assemblies identified in paragraph (c)
    of this  AD that  have accumulated  1,600 or  more total hours time-in
    -service on the swashplate  assembly, within 50 hours  time-in-service
    (TIS) from February  18, 2022 (the  effective date of  AD 2022-02-01),
    and  thereafter at  intervals not  to exceed  50 hours  TIS, visually
    inspect the swashplate assembly for a crack,  nick, dent, and scratch,
    by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Section 3, paragraph  B.
    (except paragraphs B.(2)(a) through  (c)) of Sikorsky S-92  Helicopter
    Alert Service Bulletin ASB  92-62-009, Basic Issue,  dated February 6,
    2019. If there  is a crack,  nick, dent, or  scratch that exceeds  the
    allowable  limits,  before  further  flight,  remove  the   swashplate
    assembly from service.

(2) For helicopters with swashplate assemblies identified in paragraph (c)
    of this AD, within 50 hours  TIS after the effective date of  this AD,
    and  thereafter  at  intervals not  to exceed  50 hours  TIS, visually
    inspect  the  swashplate  assembly  for  surface  discontinuities  and
    suspected cracks by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Section
    3., paragraphs B.(1)  through (3), of  Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter  Alert
    Service Bulletin ASB  92-62-010, Basic Issue,  dated January 26,  2022
    (ASB 92-62-010). If  there is any  surface discontinuity or  suspected
    crack, before further  flight, remove the  trunnion and accomplish  an
    eddy  current  inspection (ECI)  or  fluorescent penetrant  inspection
    (FPI) for a crack by accomplishing the actions in paragraph  (h)(2)(i)
    or (ii) of this AD, as applicable.

(i) Accomplish an ECI  by following  the Accomplishment Instructions, Sec-
    tion 3, paragraphs C.(1) through (6),  but not paragraph C.(6)(c)(1).,
    of ASB 92-62-010.

(ii) Accomplish an FPI  by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Sec-
     tion 3, paragraphs D.(1) through (5),  except paragraph D.(4), of ASB
     92-62-010.

(3) For helicopters with a swashplate assembly identified in paragraph (c)
    of this AD certified for operation at a maximum gross weight of 26,500
    lbs.  that  have  accumulated 8,600  or more  total hours  TIS on  the
    swashplate assembly,  or certified  for operation  at a  maximum gross
    weight of 27,700 lbs. that have accumulated 3,300 or more total  hours
    TIS  on  the  swashplate  assembly,  within  50  hours  TIS  after the
    effective date of this AD,  and thereafter at intervals not  to exceed
    50 hours TIS, with the trunnion installed, accomplish an ECI or FPI of
    the uniball  lower bore  lip, uniball  upper bore,  and each  trunnion
    mount bolt hole for a crack by accomplishing the actions in  paragraph
    (h)(3)(i) or (ii) of this AD, as applicable.

(i) Accomplish an ECI  by following  the Accomplishment Instructions, Sec-
    tion 3, paragraphs C.(2) through (6), but not paragraph C.(6)(c)1., of
    ASB 92-62-010.

(ii) Accomplish an FPI  by following the Accomplishment Instructions, Sec-
     tion 3, paragraphs D.(2), (3), and (5) of ASB 92-62-010.

(4) If there is a crack as a result of any of the inspections  required by
    paragraph (h)(2) or (3) of this AD, before further flight,  remove the
    swashplate assembly from service.

(i) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, Boston ACO, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, 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.

(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  Jared Hyman,  Aerospace
    Engineer, Boston ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
    1200 District Avenue, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781)
    238-7799; email: 9-AVS-AIR-BACO-COS@faa.gov.

(k) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

(1) The Director of the Federal Register  approved  the  incorporation  by
    reference  (IBR)  of the service information  listed in this paragraph
    under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable  to do the actions
    required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on[DATE 35 DAYS
    AFTER PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE].

(i) Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter  Alert Service Bulletin ASB 92-62-010,  Basic
    Issue, dated January 26, 2022.

(ii) [Reserved]

(4) The following service information was approved for IBR on February 18,
    2022 (87 FR 2316, January 14, 2022).

(i) Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter  Alert Service Bulletin ASB 92-62-009,  Basic
    Issue, dated February 6, 2019.

(ii) [Reserved]

(5) For Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation  service  information  identified in
    this AD contact your local Sikorsky Field Representative or Sikorsky's
    Service Engineering Group  at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation,  Mailstop
    K100,  124 Quarry Road,  Trumbull, CT 06611;  telephone 1-800-946-4337
    (1-800-Winged-S);email wcs_cust_service_eng.gr-sik@lmco.com. Operators
    may also log on to the Sikorsky 360 website at sikorsky360.com.

(6) 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.

(7) You may view this service information  that is incorporated  by refer-
    ence at the National Archives and Records Administration  (NARA).  For
    information on the availability of this material  at NARA,  email: fr.
    inspection@nara.gov,  or go to: www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/
    ibr-locations.html.

Issued on January 10, 2023.  Christina Underwood, Acting Director, Compli-
ance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 3, 2023.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2023-0018; Project Identifier AD-2022-00883-R]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2022-02-01, which applies to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Model S-92A
helicopters with certain part-numbered main rotor stationary swashplate
assemblies (swashplate assemblies) that have accumulated 1,600 or more
total hours time-in-service (TIS) installed. AD 2022-02-01 requires
visually inspecting the swashplate assembly at specified intervals and
depending on the results, removing the swashplate assembly from
service. Since the FAA issued AD 2022-02-01, the FAA determined it was
necessary to expand the applicability and require more detailed
inspections to address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would
retain the actions of AD 2022-02-01, expand the applicability, add a
detailed recurring visual inspection, and require either eddy current
inspections (ECI) or fluorescent penetrant inspections (FPI). 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 March 3,
2023.

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 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 by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2023-0018; 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.
Material Incorporated by Reference:
For Sikorsky service information identified in this NPRM,
contact your local Sikorsky Field Representative or Sikorsky's Service
Engineering Group at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Mailstop K100, 124
Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611; telephone 1-800-946-4337 (1-800-
Winged-S); email wcs_cust_service_eng.gr-sik@lmco.com. Operators may
also log on to the Sikorsky 360 website at sikorsky360.com.
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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jared Hyman, Aerospace Engineer,
Boston ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1200
District Avenue, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781) 238-
7799; email: 9-AVS-AIR-BACO-COS@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-2023-0018; Project Identifier
AD-2022-00883-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
the 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
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 Jared
Hyman, Aerospace Engineer, Boston ACO Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington,
Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781) 238-7799; email:
9-AVS-AIR-BACO-COS@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 issued AD 2022-02-01, Amendment 39-21898 (87 FR 2316,
January 14, 2022) (AD 2022-02-01), for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Model S-92A helicopters with a swashplate assembly part number (P/N)
92104-15011-042 or P/N 92104-15011-043 that has accumulated 1,600 or
more total hours TIS, installed. AD 2022-02-01 was prompted by a
notification of an in-service crack in a swashplate assembly inner
ring. The crack, discovered during a routine inspection, extended
between the uniball bore and
near the right-hand trunnion to servo attach bolt hole. This condition,
if not detected and corrected, could result in fretting wear on the
shoulder that supports the clamp-up of the uniball outer race, failure
of the swashplate assembly, and subsequent loss of control of the
helicopter. AD 2022-02-01 requires, within 50 hours TIS and thereafter
at intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS, visually inspecting the upper
and lower surfaces of the swashplate assembly for a crack, nick, dent,
and scratch. If there is a crack, nick, dent, or scratch that exceeds
allowable limits, AD 2022-02-01 requires removing the swashplate
assembly from service before further flight. The agency issued AD 2022-
02-01 to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Actions Since AD 2022-02-01 Was Issued


Since the FAA issued AD 2022-02-01, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
issued Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin ASB 92-62-010,
Basic Issue, dated January 26, 2022 (ASB 92-62-010), for Sikorsky
Aircraft Corporation Model S-92A helicopters with serial numbers 920006
and subsequent equipped with swashplate assembly P/N 92104-15011-042 or
P/N 92104-15011-043, delivered as of January 26, 2022 (the issuance
date of ASB 92-62-010). ASB 92-62-010 specifies a visual inspection of
the swashplate assembly for cracks followed by recurring 50-hour
inspections. Depending on the accrued flight time, maximum gross
weight, or suspicion of cracks, ASB 92-62-010 specifies performing
either an FPI or ECI. Prior to the FAA issuing AD 2022-02-01, Sikorsky
Aircraft provided a comment to the NPRM (86 FR 47041, August 23, 2021)
for that AD stating that the 50-hour recurring inspections proposed in
the NPRM were insufficient based on recent fatigue evaluations, which
had introduced a new failure mode. Sikorsky Aircraft further stated
that this new failure mode requires improved detection capability,
which would be introduced in a forthcoming revision to Sikorsky S-92
Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin ASB 92-62-009, Basic Issue, dated
February 6, 2019 (ASB 92-62-009). Sikorsky Aircraft explained that the
planned revision would specify special inspections at 50-hour, 375-
hour, and 1,500-hour intervals to visually detect a potential fatigue
crack at specific regions of the swashplate and would include criteria
for when to accomplish an FPI or ECI. Since providing that comment,
Sikorsky Aircraft has updated its guidance and retained ASB 92-62-009
and issued ASB 92-62-010. The special 375-hour and 1,500-hour
inspections with added specific focus on the swashplate region were
incorporated into the maintenance manual and not into a service
bulletin. Based on continued analysis, the FAA has determined that the
unsafe condition could exist on swashplate assemblies regardless of
accumulated usage and accordingly has expanded the applicability of
this proposed AD. In addition, the FAA has determined it is necessary
to require more detailed inspections to address the new failure mode.

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 Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed ASB 92-62-010, which specifies a visual inspection
of the swashplate assembly to determine if there are any cracks and
initiates a 50-hour recurring visual inspection. If cracks are found,
ASB 92-62-010 specifies replacing the swashplate assembly. Dependent on
accrued flight time or suspicion of cracks, an FPI or ECI is performed.
ASB 92-62-010 also specifies returning the swashplate assembly, uniball
bearing, trunnions, and all attachment hardware to Sikorsky for
investigation if cracks are found.
This proposed AD would also require ASB 92-62-009, which the
Director of the Federal Register approved for incorporation by
reference as of February 18, 2022 (87 FR 2316, January 14, 2022).
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 ADDRESSES.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would continue to require, for swashplate
assemblies that have accumulated 1,600 or more total hours TIS, certain
recurring visual inspections. This proposed AD would also expand the
visual inspections required by AD 2022-02-01 and revise the
applicability statement of AD 2022-02-01. This proposed AD would
require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information
already described, except as discussed under ``Differences Between this
AD and the Service Information.''

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

The applicability statement in this proposed AD does not identify
airframe serial numbers, whereas the effectivity of ASB 92-62-010 does.
This proposed AD would affect all swashplate assemblies P/N 92104-
15011-042 and P/N 92104-15011-043 regardless of delivery date, whereas
the effectivity of ASB 92-62-010 is for those part-numbered swashplate
assemblies delivered as of January 26, 2022 (the issuance date of ASB
92-62-010). ASB 92-62-009 specifies a one-time visual inspection of the
swashplate assembly; this proposed AD would require recurring visual
inspections of the swashplate assembly to determine if any crack, nick,
dent, or scratch develops over time. This proposed AD does not require
returning parts to or contacting Sikorsky, while ASB 92-62-009 and ASB
92-62-010 specify performing those actions.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 89 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following
costs to comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85
per work-hour.
Visually inspecting a swashplate assembly would take about 1.0
work-hour, for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $7,565 for
the U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle.
Performing an ECI or FPI would take about 8.0 work-hours, for an
estimated cost of $680 per helicopter and $60,520 for the U.S. fleet,
per inspection cycle.
Replacing the swashplate assembly, if required, would take about 16
work-hours and parts cost about $389,720, for an estimated cost of
$391,080 per helicopter.

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 that the 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:

a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2022-02-01, Amendment 39-21898 (87
FR 2316, January 14, 2022); and

b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: